The Dali Thundering Concept – ‘Savages’ (Album Review)

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Concept albums have long been a staple part of every progressive music fan’s diet. At this point, so many have been recorded that The Dali Thundering Concept had their work cut out as they put together the plan for Savages.

Their response was simple: Go as deep as possible, and refuse to settle for anything short of perfection.

“The Dali Thundering Concept have created an awe-inspiring long-player”

Savages comes extremely close to perfection – and does achieve it as far as sheer musicianship, compositional expertise, and pristine production go. The only issue for me is that The Dali Thundering Concept do owe huge debts to Periphery and occasionally The Dillinger Escape Plan, and far less substantial debts (perhaps a few Euros each) to Protest The Hero and Tesseract. Since this album’s target audience will naturally be familiar with the prog metal world’s leading lights, musical trainspotting will probably prove a distraction, and possibly draw attention away from the fact that The Dali Thundering Concept really have created an awe-inspiring long-player.

Jazz and fusion have always been prog staples, ever since King Crimson recorded 21st Century Schizoid Man, but in recent years they’ve often been neglected. Dillinger were never afraid to go there, but modern prog bands seem to shy away from the goatee-sporting genres in favour of “moar brutulz”. The Dali Thundering Concept don’t just dabble with jazz, fusion, and even funk – when they venture outside of metal altogether, they do so masterfully.

During Ostrich Dynasty, the fusion playing on offer brings Alex Machacek to mind – and is absolutely exceptional. Demeter is one of the most out-there tracks on the whole of Savages, boasting super-dissonant chords, sax-and-guitar unison lines, and even some semi-scatting female vocals. Two tracks later, Utopia brings back the sax – and even throws some frantic slap work into the mix.


Overall, Savages stands out as truly progressive despite The Dali Thundering Concept often wearing their influences on their sleeves. In Cassandra, there’s even some synth- and sample-heavy electronica to get your head around. If you’re into experimental music, spend some time with Savages.

You won’t want those 54 minutes back.


Pre-order Savages (out April 13) through Bandcamp here.

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Posted on 04 April 2018

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