HOT NEWS!

What could have been the missing Dream Theater’s album from the 90s…

By Joel Barrios, Rock at Night Miami’s correspondent

Exactly one week from today almost every single progressive rock magazine or fanzine around the world was celebrating the coming of the 25th anniversary of what can arguably be called the quintessential album in the evolution of progressive metal: Dream Theater’s “Images and Words”. Today, I want to travel back in time and write about a mostly unknown album from that very same era which flew under the radar for many progressive rock and progressive metal lovers and which is one worth revisiting.

Let’s set the record straight since the beginning: The Prog Metal category is known for having plenty of bands that just assimilate the sound ‘created’ by Dream Theater rather than adventuring themselves through at the time fairly new sub-genre. They were subsequently named “Dream Theater clones”. What many forgot while labeling them, is that pretty much every single music act from the 70s onwards got their influences from those who came before them. As I always say, listening to music is a completely subjective experience and my opinion is as valid as yours, even if we are in the opposite sides of the fence. That being said, if you are open-minded enough to enjoy music for what it is, instead of stating the obvious references, then keep reading…

Salvador Dali was a brilliant surrealist painter in the early 20th century. The way that he conveyed his deepest, darkest emotions through his incredibly detailed (and incredibly weird) artwork is a true testament to his inhuman talent. Fast forward a few decades and a progressive metal band by the name of DALI’S DILEMMA hit the scene. “Manifesto For Futurism” is one of those buried records from the golden era of the Magna Carta (Does anyone remember that label?) and should be kept from oblivion. Two brothers, guitarist Patrick and bassist Steve Reyes, met keyboardist Matt Guillory in 1994, soon adding vocalist Matt Bradley and drummer Jeremy Colson (who later rose to fame as the mainstay drummer for Steve Vai) and DALI’S DILEMMA was formed. Guillory was the band’s resident rock veteran, having appeared on approximately 10 records for various artists, as well as Magna Carta’s Rush tribute, the Pink Floyd tribute and the fantastic collaborative record “The Age Of Impact” from Explorer’s Club (where Matthew Bradley also sang).

“Manifesto For Futurism” is an excellently constructed ten-piece set that features strong musicianship (you’ll notice some elegantly gothic, neo-classical tinges in their guitar lines). They managed to capture the essence of Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow, and Deep Purple, swirling it all together with progressive metal flourishes. The band’s sound is very much influenced by 89-94 Dream Theater, and indeed, it will remain so for most part of the album: guitar and keyboard inputs are mostly related to the “Images” era, while the rhythm duo is more inspired by the “Awake” era.  You’ve got the blasting shred solos, the great atmospheric keyboards, the diverse but powerful drumming and a not very audible bass, but when audible it’s superb. The only aspect from DALI’S DILEMMA that made an easy distinguishment from both bands is clearly the vocals by Matthew Bradley who is far from being the high-pitched vocalist that James LaBrie was back then in the 90’s. Obviously , virtuoso playing on a disc could never be enough to give a progressive metal album a rating, as almost all progressive metal musicians are top-notch. DALI’S DILEMMA managed to craft hooks within each song while holding onto the tempo changes and keyboard/guitar solos. I wonder how the album would have sounded with Neil Kernon (Nevermore, Queensryche) behind the producer’s seat.

Sadly, this was the only record this band ever made. In an interview with Metal Rules in 1999, Pat Reyes said the band was working on a sophomore effort which actually never saw the light of day. Around August of 2013, I came in contact with the news that Matt Bradley had committed suicide, yet the circumstance surrounding his death were not publicly released. The only band-member who has remained active (as far as I’ve heard) is Matt Guillory, who recently announced  his keyboardist role for Beyond The Katacomb, a progmetal project led by Swedish powerhouse vocalist L-G Persson.

Those who aren’t into prog music may think that DALI’S DILEMMA sounds like every other band out there, those who can see beyond it are no doubt going to appreciate this band’s solely endeavour to form the core of what they could have become. All in all, “Manifesto For Futurism” is an excellent addition to any good prog-rock collection with metal-prog sensibilities: an album that should not be forgotten…

Joel Barrios

My name is Joel Barrios. I'm a Miami-based freelance multidisciplinary designer and professional photographer, born some decades ago in the mysterious and beautiful island of Cuba. For me web-programming, graphic design and photography are just way of life. It's not a job but a passion that you grow with every day. Despite I studied software development, I've been a self-taught designer and photographer for most of my life, and dabbling with code and digital manipulation software have become my natural element. I enjoy many other types of photography, but my passion for music has driven me into concert photojournalism. I strive at capturing the moments you might have missed even if you were at the show, I want my photographs to help you to relive the moment or to make you feel like you were there part of the audience.

I have a big family, my happy team: my wife, four daughters and two cats.
About Joel Barrios (86 Articles)
My name is Joel Barrios. I'm a Miami-based freelance multidisciplinary designer and professional photographer, born some decades ago in the mysterious and beautiful island of Cuba. For me web-programming, graphic design and photography are just way of life. It's not a job but a passion that you grow with every day. Despite I studied software development, I've been a self-taught designer and photographer for most of my life, and dabbling with code and digital manipulation software have become my natural element. I enjoy many other types of photography, but my passion for music has driven me into concert photojournalism. I strive at capturing the moments you might have missed even if you were at the show, I want my photographs to help you to relive the moment or to make you feel like you were there part of the audience. I have a big family, my happy team: my wife, four daughters and two cats.

3 Comments on What could have been the missing Dream Theater’s album from the 90s…

  1. Thanks for introducing this prog gem.

  2. Decent article, and it makes me want to check out the album, but the title is quite misleading. What’s up with that?

  3. I came across this album c. 10 years ago, having googled for bands similar to DT. With a production that was actually clearer than DT’s (in that the bass was allowed space to be heard), and great musicianship allied to great tunes, it was exceptional. Sadly, the chance of a follow-up was apparently scuppered by Magna Carta’s usual shenanigans. It’s a shame to discover that the singer committed suicide. I have since heard Guillory’s work with James Laurie, but nothing of the other musicians at all; another shame, with great talent seemingly lost. Well worth listening to for all fans of 90s prog metal

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


Close
Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better