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Dial is the new project featuring ex-Pain of Salvation bassist Kristoffer Gildenlow on lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, fretted and fretless bass guitars, mandolin, keyboards, cello, double bass, and programming. Quite a mouthful there. The first song, "Beautiful," is highly experimental, and features a lot of electronic synths and programming. "Sadness," on the other hand, is a great actual prog rock tune that would put the last Pain of Salvation album to shame.
Featuring layered vocals, and intensity building hooks, "Sadness" is really an incredible song. They also use a Mellotron flute sound to great effect during the verses. Gildenlow proves he has good vocal skills as well, and now that he isn't faded out in the background of the music, you can really hear how great his voice is. Liselotte Hegt's vocal performance is equally pleasing. She uses more of a jazz or blues-based vocal style that works quite well within the music.
The songwriting is incredible. Dial's not deep into the prog like mid-period Pain of Salvation, as they use many more straight-forward, rockin' riffs and more experimental progressions that include very strange uses of minor chords.
Speaking of strange, "Candyland" is freaking ridiculous. It sounds like a carnival showtune with Joy de Jong performing the staccato sousaphone, forming a bouncy groove while Hegt's jazzy vocals really open up the track.
The track is extremely cartoony and laughably entertaining, yet still manages to build up to a Muse-like climax near the end. Synchronized is very easy to get into, and evokes a feeling of warmth in you -- like with the song "Green Knees." It's incredibly emotional and as memorable as a beautiful photograph.
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