Band: The Alea Dilemma
CD Title: Within the Clamor of Voices
Label: Independent Release (2015)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
Hailing out of Kansas City Missouri comes a new prog band called The Alea Dilemma with their debut album entitled Within the Clamor of Voices. The trio came together in 2013 with the express purpose of creating Progressive Rock music inspired by the classic seventies bands but then injecting some intricate fusion elements. You might be forgiven for not seeing the prog connection as you listen to the albums opening tracks where the band tends to sound somewhat more of a straight-forward hard rock band with some “interesting” riffs. But once you get passed those opening songs things take a slow and steady turn towards some amazing compositions. It starts with a nice little jazzy interlude in the mid-tempo rocker “Alters” [5:17] and then as we go into the next track “Down the Rabbit Hole” [6:26] we experience an instrumental track that is full of jazzy riffs and shifting textures. There are in fact ten compositions on the album clocking in at sixty-nine minutes. Seven of the ten songs are over six minutes with the longest being just over ten. The band’s stated musical direction is one based on a foundation of hard rock which is then layered with the more complex performance elements from the fusion and prog genres. There are more than a few times where the band simply drifts off into jazz-laced guitar solos supported by an ever changing rhythm section. It’s a style heard many times in the prog arena but rarely played as confidently as heard here. These guys sound like they’ve been playing together for years: the sound is tight. As we move through the album the construction of the songs becomes ever more complex, radically changing time, tempo and structure. It’s an exciting roller-coaster ride. These guys are full of great musical ideas and have the ability to pull it off. If this is what they can accomplish on their first album I can’t wait to see how they develop. I highly recommend you check them out.