Universal Dice Release “Last Prayer / Out Of Many, One”
It’s extremely seldom for bands to make it to ten years as part of a group, let alone twenty-five, but for ‘90s rockers Universal Dice, you’d think it was a walk in the park. Starting their trek into music with a concept album rock opera of all things, they seemed to be calling their shot fairly early on. Twenty-five years later, here they are, still rocking out — and now they’re releasing some of their favorite tracks again for a new generation as part of their 25th-anniversary extravaganza! Two tracks, “Last Prayer” and “Out of Many, One” are seeing themselves initiated in a part of a re-release package to celebrate the band’s landmark year.
“Last Prayer” is a fan favorite, undoubtedly, and it’s a ballad that has only grown more beloved over time. Featuring lyrics that feel far more modern than their late ‘90s roots would have you believe, there’s a distinct crisis of faith at the song’s core. Hearing it for the first time in 2022, audiences will have almost no distinction between what the song was originally meant to tackle versus what it’s about in today’s ever-changing political sphere.
The truth is, society hasn’t grown as much as we think it has and the timeless nature of a song such as “Last Prayer” is a warning sign to current and future generations. Beyond the lyrics, the track is a powerful song in its instrumental, too; crisp guitar complements lead singer Gerry Dantone’s powerful vocals, and the percussion is of its time but retro in this new modern light. The nostalgia for the crisp simplicity of 1990s production is a helluva drug, but Universal Dice has it in spades!
The chaser, “Out of Many, One,” is a brilliant protest song released in reaction to the Invasion of Iraq and the lack of foresight and emotion that brought everything to such a pointless head. At almost twenty years old, there’s a sense of irony similar to the previously mentioned “Last Prayer” as the song’s subject still feels fresh and eternal. It’s a bizarre feeling, listening to music from the past and relating to it with such profound emotions, but Dantone knew what he was on about and the band has doubled down on their beliefs by revisiting both singles years and years later.
The quality of the band’s remasters is a massive upgrade, bringing the songs into the 21st century with a brand-new sheen and direction. Overall, there’s quite a lot of ground that’s been covered within the re-release and remastering of these tracks, and with a new album on the way, Universal Dice seems to be amping up for a fantastic 2023. If the band decides to remaster and re-release any other tracks, that’s yet to be determined, but I can imagine it’s in the works if these two singles do well. It would be interesting to see the band fully re-record some of their old tracks as a way to bring things into the present day, but the remastering is enough of an upgrade that old and new fans should have their appetites sated.
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