Unsigned / Self-released
Words: Craig Hartranft
They finally got around to doing it. On the strength of their EP Wild N Ready and two more years, London's Damn Dice release their first long player, The Great Unknown. To be fair, of the twelve tunes here, four are from the EP: Down, Caught In The Ride, Take The Fight, and Bang Your Head. The rest are brand spankin' new, and you're going to want to hear them.
Much of what could be said about this new album was already said in my review of Wild N Ready. Yet, as I repeat myself, suffice to say this is a full platter of classic Eighties melodic hard rock eagerly spiced with heavy metal. It's 1989 deja vu all over again. But it appears, from comparison of band photos past and present, Damn Dice has dropped much of the glam sleaze look from their wardrobe and stage appearance. That's not a bad thing. And Damn Dice is spot on for the genre. Pretty fandamntastic, actually.
Strong melody in the arrangements. Good harmony in the guitar lines and vocal arrangements. A solid kick ass groove in the rhythm section. And those tasty sharp and soaring guitar solos. Then, with many songs, they can wrap this up even metal heaviness. Good examples of that would be Bang Your Head, Power, Down, and Rock (Like You Mean It). Even so, the rock groove infects every song. Metal meets melodic hard rock, but that's not uncommon. That's what informs "true metal" after all. Take The Fight, What Now, and Caught In The Ride are only a few songs which blur those lines.
Finally, whereas the EP didn't have a ballad, Damn Dice offers one here with Home. Well, it's not entirely a full ballad. At the start it begins with some classic vocal harmonies over acoustic guitar, even some snapping fingers, reminding somewhat of Extreme. This last until the middle where the songs bursts into a clear melodic hard rock anthem, then to exit as it started. It's really quite good, especially the vocal harmonies. All in all, for metal-edged melodic hard rock, Damn Dice's The Great Unknown is the real deal, and quite entertaining. Very recommended.
All in all, for metal-edged melodic hard rock, Damn Dice's The Great Unknown is the real deal, and quite entertaining. Very recommended.
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