Dutch/British melodic and progressive rock act Dilemma pulled a phoenix stunt on us and has risen from the ashes! For several years the band disappeared from the public eye. But behind the scenes they have been working hard on their new studio album ‘Random Acts Of Liberation’. This gem has been mixed by Rich Mouser (Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, Neal Morse) and was released in November 2018 via Butler Records/Music On Vinyl.
Dilemma consists of founder and keyboardist Robin Z, drummer Collin Leijenaar (Neal Morse, Dave Bainbridge, Affector, Kayak), guitarist Paul Crezee and bass player Erik van der Vlis, who all where part of Dilemma since right after the release of debut album Imbroccata in 1995.
Last but not least, British guitarist/vocalist/front man Dec Burke (Frost*, Audioplastik, Darwin’s Radio) joined Dilemma in 2017 to finish the recordings of the new album.
“I’m extremely proud of this record”, says drummer/producer Collin Leijenaar about ‘Random Acts Of Liberation. “We have gone the extra mile and relied on all our experience to make all the details work – and we’ve used a lot of resources as well”, says Leijenaar with a big smile on his face. In fact the whole band actually flew from Holland (Dec Burke from England) to L.A. to work with Rich Mouser, known for his work with Spock’s Beard,
The Neal Morse Band, Transatlantic and others. Leijenaar: “I’ve known Rich for a long time, through Neal Morse and my other band Affector. Rich is a genius mixer and real audio pro. We all went to his studio to make the best sounding record possible and even re-recorded some stuff there for an even better result.”
On tour with Sons Of Apollo
Leijenaar used to switch drum seats with Mike Portnoy for Neal Morse’s solo band every now and then. Portnoy personally invited Dilemma on the European tour as the opening act for the progressive hard rock band Sons Of Apollo (with Derek Sherinian, Ron ‘Thal’ Bumblefoot, Billy Sheehan and Jeff Scott Soto).
Leijenaar: “We recently got of Dilemma’s very first tour with our new line-up. It was a blast to cross Europe with Sons Of Apollo!” Portnoy praised ‘Random Acts Of Liberation’ and was also very impressed with Dilemma’s live performances. Here’s what he had to say for himself: “It was my pleasure to have Dilemma on the final European leg of Sons Of Apollo’s 2018 Tour. As their latest album is one of my favorite prog releases of the year, I knew their musicianship and songwriting would be fully appreciated by the audience.”
And this is no mumbo-jumbo! Dilemma really is killing it: on the stage as well on your stereo/streaming device. And that is because Dilemma is no stranger to the melodic and progressive rock landscape. In the late 90’s the band’s distinctive sound led to a record deal with SI Music/Roadrunner Music. Debut album ‘Imbroccata’ became a fact and was met with high praise, especially in Japan. While the band existed on and off through the years, Dilemma played well known Dutch venues like 013, Tilburg and Boerderij, Zoetermeer.
After a disbandment the Dutch prog/symfo magazine iO Pages asked Dilemma in 2012 for a special one-off reunion show during the iO Pages Festival. This was in a matter of fact a breath of fresh air that sparked a continuation. But during the recording process for a new album singer Danny Butler decided to discontinue. It seemed the end for Dilemma…
However, the band secretly decided to reset and start over while keep working under the same moniker. Now with a completely rewritten and newly recorded album, and with Dec Burke as their new front man, there’s no question left: Dilemma is here to stay for the long run and ‘Random Acts Of Liberation’ paves the way for a whole new journey.
“I knew Dec from the band Alpha Flood, which never really got of the ground. But Dec and I stayed in touch throughout the years. When he came over from England to Holland to rehearse it just gelled so well: in under an hour there was this great musical and personal chemistry. We then certainly knew he was the right guy to take the role of front man. Dilemma is a real brotherhood of friends, who share a love of progressive music with a pop twist.”
With songs ranging from 3 to over 12 minutes, the listener is in for a wild and dynamic ride! The surprising time signatures and enchanting guitar solos aside; Dilemma is all about liberating melodies and feel. ‘Random Acts Of Liberation’ will give you 72 minutes of just that (and more). Hearing is believing!
What other artists say about ‘Random Acts Of Liberation’
“Damn!! Yet another great new prog release. The new album by Dilemma is some very tasty ‘modern prog’ à la new Spock’s, Frost, Flying Colors, Steven Wilson and Haken. Awesome drumming by Collin Leijenaar and loving the melodic edge Dec Burke brings to the band!
As always an immaculate mix by Rich Mouser. One of the top 10 music albums of 2018 so far.”
Mike Portnoy (Sons Of Apollo/Neal Morse Band/Flying Colors/ex-Dream Theater)
“Though Dilemma sounds like a band with great musicians I was even more impressed by the songwriting on this album, which is always the first thing I listen to anyway. The tracks are accessible, but never too easy. Clever, but feeling. Well dobe! Special compliments to singer Dec Burke, great voice!”
Ton Scherpenzeel (Kayak)
“Dilemma’s new one is the freshest prog I’ve heard this year. Brimming with hooks, virtuoso prog and great songs. A must for fans of Neal Morse, Flying Colors and Spock’s Beard.”
Bill Evans (Executive Producer/Manager Flying Colors)
“It was special to have the guys make the journey over to LA to mix with me! Their music took me, and will take the listener on a ride, from hard-hitting bombastic high energy passages to pastoral landscapes that you can disappear into. Pop sensibilities along with prog elements make for a very well rounded album. The superb musicianship brings it all to life in Dilemma’s Random Acts Of Liberation!”
Rich Mouser (Oleander, mix engineer Spock’s Beard/Transatlantic/Neal Morse Band)
“This album covers lots of ground, from tender ballads to prog rock to hard rock, but always within a strong pop framework. Strong songwriting, playing and singing throughout. You’re gonna love it!”
Dave Meros (Spock’s Beard)
“Listened to the album during my jog time. Wow… it’s really great! The first song immediately gave me wings, I instantly ran faster. Good guitar riffs, very special. I also think Dec Burke sounds really nice. The music is a mixture of prog and pop and is well written, played and recorded. I must say that Collin’s drums sound super, and also played very well! The whole production and mix is great, very transparent.”
Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon/Star One/The Gentle Storm/Vengeance)
Dec Burke – vocals, guitars
Paul Crezee – guitars
Collin Leijennar – drums, loops, percussion
Erik van der Vlis – bass
Robin Z – keyboards, grand piano
Link to latest album: https://dilemma.lnk.to/LiberationWE
The Inner Darkness:
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