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Dial: Synchronized

This is nothing like what we expected.

Kristofer Gildenlow is the ex-bassist for Pain Of Salvation - but when he and brother Daniel parted ways between that band's Be and Scarsick albums, there was a lot of pain within the band - and there was a definite change in the music. In our review of Scarsick we alluded to the fact that Kristofer took a notable portion of the fanbase with him, as well as an important element of the band's signature sound.

So when he, Liselotte Hegt and Rommert van der Meer formed Dial, you'd expect the music to be at least partly in the vein of PoS's charismatic prog-metal ... and it isn't. This is prog meets broadway - softly symphonic, reasonably progressive, mysteriously dark, with great, imaginative female vocals that range from Kate Bush to soaring melodies that could have been part of an old fashioned rock opera.

In fact - that's one of the overriding feelings you're left with ... wrap these songs around a story, and you'd have a convincing concept piece - complete with wonderful song-to-song variety, approachable anthemic choruses, delicate instrumentation accompanying soft, emotive male vocals - it's all there. "Jewel" has a Tori Amos like vocal line over an elegant piano motif, "Candyland" starts off sounding like Kate Bush then swells into a huge chorus that would be at home on London's West End. "Hello" could have been a Paatos piece - elegant and quirky, with male and female vocals in a duet. And Childhood Dreams is one of the standouts, with soft male vocals - half whispered, half sung with perfect control and a melody line that recalls parts of Deep Purple's classic "Child In Time".

Prog Rock Records has a winner with Syncronized. It doesn't contain the brilliant progressive complexities of Kristofer's previous band, and it definitely occupies the lighter side of the progressive music spectrum - but it's wonderfully melodic and it will certainly be in rotation in many CD players for a long time.

Recommended.

Track Listing:

  • Beautiful
  • Sadness
  • Jewel
  • Candyland
  • Green Knees
  • Hello
  • Points of View
  • Wish It Away
  • Wounded
  • Nature's Cruelty (Mo's Song)
  • Childhood Dreams

  • Added: May 22nd 2007
    Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
    Score:
    Related Link: The Band's MySpace Site
    Hits: 4761
    Language: english

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    » SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

    Dial: Synchronized
    Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-05-22 20:31:35
    My Score:

    What a strange and mysterious release Synchronized is from Dial, the new project of former Pain of Salvation member Kristoffer Gildenlow. If you expected anything resembling PoS, forget it, as Dial is more about ethereal prog, quirky alternative rock, and pop than anything resembling the complex prog-metal that Kristoffer left behind in his brother's band. With lovely female vocals from Liselotte 'Lilo' Hegt complementing those of Gildenlow, you get some lush and varied sounds here. One of the best representations of the two working perfectly together is "Sadness", a melodic prog piece with some liquid guitar leads and spacey keyboards, sounding a tad like early Porcupine Tree, while Kristoffer and Hegt's vocals soar together.

    The production of Devon Graves is rich and full, and he even adds his distinctive vocals to the song "Wish It Away". Despite some really nice moments, much of Synchronized stays a bit too laid back for really long stretches, and never really gets out of first gear, perhaps a little too atmospheric for its own good. Still, those into mellower prog that strays away from anything resembling bombast should check this out.



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