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Dialeto — Pandelirium
(Bandcamp no#, 2024, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-03-01

Pandelirium Cover art

Dialeto is a progressive rock / fusion band from São Paulo, Brazil, a powerhouse trio that we’ve covered several times previously in Exposé (all of their releases since 2013’s The Last Tribe, on the Moonjune label). Now back a few years ago bandleader and guitarist Nelson Coelho was hit pretty hard by the Covid-19 virus from the outset of the  pandemic, initial hospitalization, worsening of health, followed by further transfers to other hospitals, intubation, ongoing delirium during many lapses of consciousness, followed by a very long and challenging period of recovery. Coelho is the band’s principal songwriter, and his intent with Pandelirium was to document his personal journey throughout the whole ordeal and through to recovery in a multimedia (book + CD) package; the CD will only available with the book, which is written in Portuguese, and as of this writing is scheduled for release sometime in March 2024. That said, Pandelirium is also available as a digital download on the band’s Bandcamp site, which is what I would recommend. The Covid-19 pandemic affected all of us to one degree or another, and Coelho’s experience seems to be far worse than most, but what’s the point of making a concept album out of it when Dialeto’s music is purely instrumental (save some scattered subtle whispering), and the five pieces on Pandelirium could juat as easily be about anything else if the band didn’t tell you so? So that’s where I’m going to go with this review. Panderlium is an outstanding purely instrumental achievement by one Brazil’s finest bands. In addition to his duties as guitarist and main composer, Coelho also plays various software instruments, flanked by bassist Gabriel Costa (who also wrote the closing track “Back Home”) and drummer Fred Barley, recordings that took place over the four year period from 2020 to 2023. The near nine-minute opening cut, “The Long Way,” drives home a degree of mystery as it builds to a frenzied pace with blistering guitar chops leading the way. “The Great Geodesic Hall” offers a dark and suspenseful slow-build that bursts into some ripping fusion just minutes before its end. The extremely dark and slow paced procession of “The Long Way Back” is avant-progressive at its finest until around three minutes in where it all erupts into chaos, then follows a number of interesting diversions to its ultimate conclusion. “Waiting for Numbers” presents alternating hard rock with swagger against a number of tasty jazz sorties, while the closer, “Back Home,” intends to convey the joy of returning home after the end of the ordeal, definitely a more positive and upbeat feel. On strictly a musical level, Pandelirium may well be Dialeto’s towering achievement to date.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

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