Dante | When We Were Beautiful
Label : Gentle Art Of Music
Release Year : 2016
Country : Germany
Genre : Progressive Metal
Alexander Göhs – Vocals
Markus Maichel – Keyboards/Piano
Christian Eichlinger – Drums/Vocals
Julian Kellner – Guitars
Bernd Schönere – Bass
In 10 short years it seems that Germany’s Dante have established a pedigree in progressive metal and rock. Dante have certainly never been bit by the infamous second album sophomoric jinx and have something very few bands that have been around 10 years have, that being a steady consistency. Their fan base continues with every album and tour. Where some bands seem to struggle to build on past or recent success, Dante continue to build upon their recent efforts and never develop a pretentious attitude about them.
Dante are one of those bands to seem to incorporate elements of progressive rock’s past with present elements of progressive metal’s present. If there were a scale to measure the elements they incorporate the balance would be about even. Many of their current industry peers can not are not as balanced.
While preparing to write this review for Dante’s When We Were Beautiful , I also went back and got the three previous albums before this, 2008’s The Inner Circle, 2010’s Saturate and 2013’s November Red. Throughout my listening and research of their entire library it seems Dante have only matured and gotten stronger with every album. When We Were Beautiful is definitely and more matured progression that will certainly continue to cement the band’s legacy in progressive rock and metal. That all being said lets explore some highlights of Dante When We Were Beautiful.
Rearrangement Of The Gods opens up with a great thunderous drum beat. Soon it rips into a progressive rhythmic frenzy between the bass, drums and rhythm guitar. At around the 1:20 mark the keyboards come in with a neo progressive sound moving the track along with solid continuity. At the 1:36 mark the track has a really cool spoken word narrative that gives the track a conceptual element before the main lead vocal comes in to pick up the story in a melodic sense.
Ambitious is a straight away heavily rhythm oriented track with various old school hammond organ and synth atmospheres. Alexander Göhs – Vocals , comes in with a old school almost 1970’s stoner vocal dialect. The instrumental portion of Ambitious gives the listener several breaks as the vocal plays off the very core rhythm section of bass and drums inside the track itself. The core rhythm section as a span of various time progressions and signatures. At the 4:41 mark there is several rhythmic signatures playing off one another between the bass, rhythm guitar and drums. While the rhythm section remains bottom heavy the keyboards give it a floating atmospheric passage. Even including a nice old school piano.
Beautiful Again begins as a rhythmic distorted frenzy. Within that frenzy it stays on a steady time signature laden progression. It has the appearance of progressive proto-thrash. The vocal harmonies give the track a fullness and warmth within the progressive frenzy. The listener can easily comprehend the track once the vocal and harmony comes into play. Markus Maichel – Keyboards/Piano really meshes the track together with his various time changes. It is wonderfully executed controlled chaos coming off the keys on this track.
Until The Last Night Breaks In has a somber yet mellow intro that quickly roars into a furious progressive frenzy. A progressive frenzy that includes old school hammond organ with modern synth atmospheres. After the first 3:00 of well crafted signatures the warm lead vocal comes in and carries the track. The lead vocal is accompanied by several echo vocals that encompass the listener’s senses. At the 6:00 mark the track takes you on a roller coaster of various up tempo riffs and time signatures. Some signatures with serious solo work by Julian Kellner – Guitars. Around the 8:00 mark some very well written and engineered drum/rhythm section comes into the track.
Let Me Down begins with some very synth new school based keyboarding and drumming that builds to a thunderous rhythm section. This track takes on a more raw and nasty approach with the rhythm guitar at the center. It is soon followed by some old school hammond organ. Even more so than a newer glossy keyboard. Where there is a crunchy distortion rhythm there seems to be a great lead keyboard/synth/hammond to compliment the passage and progression.
Sad Today begins in a very dark somber mood. It contains ballad like piano work. The warm vocals are a perfect compliment to the bass and piano. Lyrically it is about heartache.
Finally is the appropriate last track on the album. It opens up with a 3:00 passage of various twists and turns among the time signature. The first 3:00 are very busy as to not allow for the listener to get bored towards the build up of the vocals at the 3:05 mark. About the 5:05 mark their are some wonderfully engineered spoken word passages that help with the narrative of the story. There are some wonderfully vocal harmonies and vocal echo melodies well crafted throughout the entire track. At the 7:45 mark the keyboard works double duty as another guitar in the band and a keyboard in the track. This is compounded wisely with a killer bass/drum section taking trade off turns.
After going back and listening to every Dante album before When We Were Beautiful, I have come to the conclusion that this band does not know how to put out a bad album. This is a band that certainly continues to build and progress upon excellence. They are a band where you can also start anywhere in the library and become a fan off any album they have released. I am giving this a 5/5 for uncompromising songwriting, production and presentation.