Live Reviews

Published on May 16th, 2017 | by Gareth Allen


Dialects at Edinburgh Opium

Headlining the ‘Environs – Post Reality Jamboree’ at Edinburgh’s Opium Alternative Club and Bar, Dialects showed just how special a band they are! They are creating music that is breaking through all the traditional metal and progressive genre boundaries, and is aiming for the creative heights of what can be done with an edgy and dynamic metal sound and heart stopping melodies!

There are some great bands in the line up. Catching the end of 3 Days From Retirement’s set, their shimmering and driven post rock sound really impressed. There is an expansiveness and wide canvass feel to their music, that fills the venue with an enveloping sound.

Halo Tora are just fantastic, with a progressive rock that soars and swoops, with its striking changes of musical mood. In Chris Alexander and Ian McCall they have two fine vocalists, who create the most wonderful of harmony vocals. The musicianship is also really superb, with the keyboards and guitars creating a cinematic type progressive sound.The songs are incredibly infectious, driven by a great rhythm section, that you just need to move to, and the audience do just that!

So to the headliners Dialects. The sense of pent up musical energy and passion is palpable as they begin their set. The audience seem to sense it too, as they gather around the front of the stage.

Early on in the set Illusory, from the excellent new double A-side single on Sunbird Records, sees the band in full flight, with a frenetic interplay between all the instruments, that is a real testament to how good a set of musicians they are.

A set highlight is When you die you’re truly alone, also from the new single. It is a real slow burn of a song, with beautiful interweaving guitar melodies from Conor and Steve, underpinned by some great jazz tempos from Szymon and Ali on the drums and bass. Then the band let loose and the song hits the musical stratosphere, as the melodic signatures crash into each other, and the song is rhythmically driven to the absolute extreme. The sweet melodic coda that closes the performance of this stunning musical piece, is an emotional respite. Literally music that grabs at your heart!

The final song of the set Mountainous puts the stamp on all that is great about Dialects. If you can imagine the aggression of full on metal crossed with the intricate playfulness with melody of John Coltrane, you have it. There is also a really funky drums led section, which the audience really respond too. In fact the sympathy between band and audience is a real marker of this show, and at different points Steve and Conor jump into the audience while still playing their guitars. A sort of post rock mosh pit!

What is also striking about Dialects live is the way the intricate composition of the songs shines through, while you also feel you want to dance to this amazing music. As my friend Yvonne at the show put it so well, compositionally they make you think of King Crimson.

Dialects are a band you just can’t afford to miss out on, and once heard you will be absolutely smitten!

Really well done guys!

And a shout out for the promoters Edinburgh’s Infinite Hive Music. To bring such a great line up of experimental music into the heart of Edinburgh is so cool.

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About the Author

A committed metal head with a love of jazz, soul, and folk. Living in Central Scotland and attending gigs in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with it's really amazing venues. My iconic moment... being invited on stage at the Glasgow Garage, by DevilDriver's Dez Fafara!

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