Dice [Sweden]

Dice (78, released in 88), The Four Riders Of The Apocalypse (77, released in 92), Live Dice (released in 94)


"They did one self-titled album, which quickly went into oblivion and out of print. This is perhaps the most "typically progressive" Swedish band that has ever existed. Quite good instrumentally, actually. In their best moments they were a little Gentle Giant like, in their worst they were quite sleep-inducing."


"Excellent symphonic-rock band from Sweden. Their earliest album Four Riders Of The Apocalypse contains 4 long symphonic trax and is entirely instrumental. Dice features a vocalist, is a little more lively, and sports a good sense of humor. Both are great and highly recommended."


"Dice were a Swedish band whose self-titled release, issued only in Japan, quickly sold out. It was their only known release until the discovery of the material that now appears on Four Riders Of The Apocalypse. The music is squarely in the symphonic vein, dominated by keyboards, and washes of mellotron sounds. Howver, Dice are a bit more adventurous musically, in the spirit of Gentle Giant, and combine that element into the mixture. The music is, in the words of guitarist Orjan Strandberg .".. an instrumental symphonic rock piece, sort of in a 'concerto' form with 3 - 4 movements ...," and that is a very accurate description. With a variety of moods, a concept, and passages with shifting time signatures, this should appeal to those who like the melodic prog rock of the seventies."


"Dice are a Swedish symphonic five piece band who existed in the late '70s. The first and only release while they were together is their eponymous release from 1978. Overall, their sound is closest to Yes and Gentle Giant, with bits of Focus and maybe a hint of the Canterbury scene. Dice contains four short songs (3-8 minutes) plus the obligatory side long suite. One of the short songs, "Utopian Suntan," is a sarcastic piece about the joys of nuclear radiation. The others are more "serious" symphonic works though the music in "Utopian Sunshine" is nothing to sneeze at. Overall, this is a pretty decent album though the vocals could be better. The music is very well played but the writing isn't the strongest. Only Dice know why, but their true masterpiece, Four Riders of the Apocalypse, never saw daylight until its release on CD in 1992. Recorded in 1977, before their "first" album, Four Riders is an instrumental tour de force. The music changes constantly and never gets boring, moving from slow organ builds to fluid synth lines. The same influences are at work but the writing is stronger and there are no vocals. Why the scrapped this one, we'll never know. Excellent and dynamic music. Start with Four Riders... if you can find it."


"I can't remember which European country that this band comes from, but it doesn't really matter, since its the music that counts. An instrumental four piece (gtr,bass,keys,drums), Dice plays a complicated form of symphonic progressive. While I can't think of anything that really stands out about Four Riders of the Apocalypse, it's definitely worthwhile if you like bands like Amenophis or Mirthrandir. The music follows a theme of sorts, with occasional reprises and repeated rhythms. It seems to be something of a concept album, but w/o lyrics I can't be sure. The only drawback to this otherwise excellent release is that it is a bit too straightforward. There are so many bands of this style. While Dice is definitely one of the better ones, the cliches tend to get old after a while."

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