Dali's Dilemma - _Manifesto for Futurism_
(Magna Carta, 1999)
by: Brian Meloon (7 out of 10)
Three words best describe this CD: images and words (the 1992 album by Dream Theater, that is). While it doesn't display quite the same level of compositional skill, Dali's Dilemma have copied the _Images and Words_ sound very well, including several of the guitar and keyboard tones. Unfortunately, they went a little too far in this regard, as evidenced by the "Wait For Sleep"-inspired "Whispers", and their theft of part of the middle section of "Metropolis" in "Living in Fear". Some of their other influences show up as well, such as the very U2-ish intro to "Hills of Memory". As you'd expect, there's a mix of heavy and light material, making this a diverse album. Although the compositions don't flow as well as those on _Images and Words_, there aren't many jarring transitions either. The musicianship is excellent on all counts, with especially good guitar work. The production is impeccable: clean and clear, without sounding over-produced. This is technically a great album, but unfortunately the obvious influences and blatant rip-offs really dampen my enthusiasm for it. If you're in the mood for a good Dream Theater clone, or you're unhappy with the direction they've taken recently, this is a good choice. If you're looking for an original band with a unique sound, look elsewhere.

(article published 15/6/1999)

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