[Review] Dice – Chronicles Of The Last Self Thinkers

Dice are a German band active since 1974 and define their sound as “Cosmic Prog.” During their long career they have released 29 albums, whose new one “Chronicles Of The Last Self Thinkers” was released on June 12, 2023 via Scene Records containing 6 long tracks. Opener “Who Knows the Truth” immediately immerses us in the band’s sound with fine guitar and keyboard interlacing. The rhythm section is enriched with tempo changes and deep, load-bearing bass lines, while the vocals are warm and retro-sounding. The band’s style brings the Progressive sounds of the second half of the 70s to the present day, with good guitar and keyboard interlacing with a cosmic, electronic touch and choral parts in the vocal choruses. The long duration of the song alternates between long vocal parts and instrumental inserts with interesting solo cues. The following “I Am the Only One,” which again exceeds 12 minutes in length, is characterised by retro sounds, especially the keyboards. The guitar offers good duets with the keyboards both in the melodic lines and in the solo inserts, developing the song unlike the previous one with more space given to the instrumental parts. Dilated sounds and cosmic atmospheres permeate the track, using the long duration to evolve the central theme and interpreting the lyrics with a good vocal at times choral. “Just Like the Lemmings” alternates softer, pop-like passages with more elaborate prog passages, always maintaining a 70s-style imprint. Tempo changes and instrumental sections take the sound to another level, offering the best moments of the song especially in the short solo inserts. The band shows the softer, more melodic side of their sound with “The Key,” featuring a rhythm section characterised by percussion and slow-moving. A symphonic and choral background with dreamy traits characterises the melodies, on which the other instruments and at times a solo vocalist enriched by effects are inserted. In the second part, the intensity increases and the guitar offers some solo cues before returning to the initial theme and closing. A more energetic rhythm and good electric guitar work open “Freedom for My Soul,” one of the grittier tracks on the album. After the first vocal stanzas, in the middle section the band develops a good instrumental section with the guitar in evidence. The vocal returns and in the second part the band inserts another interesting lead guitar cue that takes us through to the finale. The album ends with “Chronicle 57 Blues Play (DICE-Map 7),” which is the shortest track in duration, still exceeding five minutes. Entirely instrumental, the track is centred on a prolonged guitar solo that accompanies us throughout the duration, intense and emotional. A band offering here their 29th studio album, as promised one a year since 1997. The band’s style is reminiscent of the second half of the 1970s, also in the choice of sounds, especially the keyboards. Tracks of long duration, some with large vocal parts, others where more space is given to instrumental sections, with the guitar as the protagonist. A listen for lovers of the softer, less intricate sounds of Prog, bringing the atmosphere of the late 70s to the present day.

Tracklist

01. Who Knows the Truth (12:41)
02. I Am the Only One (12:16)
03. Just Like the Lemmings (9:38)
04. The Key (10:02)
05. Freedom for My Soul (9:52)
06. Chronicle 57 Blues Play (DICE-Map 7) (5:05)

Lineup

Christian Nóvé / Vocals, Keyboards, Bass
Ramona Nóvé / Backing Vocals
Peter Viertel / Guitars
Tom Tomson / Drums

DICE |Spotify|

Scene Records |Official Website|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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