Written by: PP on 25/11/2009 00:28:36

"Precatio" is another record that has been on my list for ages for a reason that will make southern Italy based Dialis happy: I could've listened to the record three times and bashed it based on my first impression: horribly amateurish with songs just floating around pointlessly without going anywhere in particular. But something kept me from doing so, a constant thought of an unusually deep emotion lingering somewhere beneath the surface that I just hadn't uncovered yet. And then I finally realized what it was: every sound found on "Precatio" isn't just a sound. It's a small part of a beautiful composition - not necessarily a 'song' in the traditional sense - originating directly from the feeling of band's two masterminds Bottoni / Di Lorenzo. Every man on earth knows communicating feelings is the most difficult issue of all, so bear with me while I attempt to make you understand what "Precatio" actually is.

The task isn't made any easier by the band's own promo sheet, which states "Even though the band has been influenced by international rock music, Dialis are a project which cannot be included in any stylistic category" - a statement which I wholeheartedly agree with. Dialis namely play dark, brooding, atmospheric folk music assisted by a plethora of instruments: classical piano, cello, clarinet, flute, transverse flute, tenor & soprano saxophone, accordion, violin. But before that makes you think of other folk bands, either in rock or metal, it's important to mention that Dialis aren't really folk in the traditional music scene sense. Their expression is much more minimalistic and thoughtful in nature. Every violin passage contrasted by classical piano, every distorted riff, every flute entrance is sparingly used to reflect a feeling, creating an ever-changing mood that's consistently dark, but not in the evil or pitch black sense... rather a different shade of gray. This picture, featured in the album's booklet, describes precisely the setting and the atmosphere that Dialis so successfully craft on the record. It's dusk, maybe with light rain, but yet oddly peaceful, perhaps because the busy life of big towns and cities is so distant in the horizon that it doesn't affect you at all. The occasional jazzy guitar solos sound like they could be from almost any legendary guitarist's solo album, but the calmness of how they are executed only fortifies the imagery I've been trying to explain for the better part of this paragraph.

Some people may be put off by Bottoni's constant tendency to use mini-vibrato when singing, but once you get used to it, you'll notice that his gothic styled vocal plays a large role in creating the brooding mood of the entire record. Like so many other things on "Precatio", the vocals aren't just vocals, they're actually an instrument used carefully to manipulate the atmosphere. That's also why I think Dialis have done a great job behind the production desk, because the lo-fi, bass-heavy soundscape helps many different aspects of the atmosphere.

But even though I've slowly learned to appreciate what it is that Dialis are trying to, or should I say succeed in creating, I'm still finding it difficult to give "Precatio" a higher rating than the one I'm about to give, and that's because Dialis are so different, so original in their expression that I'm struggling to think of anyone who would find enough time or curiosity within themselves to understand the stuff behind the album - the feeling - rather than focus just on the music itself. It's like a manually constructed pocket watch from Switzerland, the inner workings of which is astoundingly intricate, but the majority of people only use one for two reasons - bragging and checking the time - without really understanding or caring how it works.


Download: As Judas Curses, Presentation To The Heaven
For the fans of: Jazzy, minimalistic goth-folk
Listen: Myspace

Release date June 2009

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