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Daedalus - 2009 - "The Never Ending Illusion"

(57:21, Progrock Records)


*****
                 
TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Waiting for the Dawn 1:14
2.  Perfect Smile 6:24
3.  Life 5:46
4.  Hopeless 5:11
5.  Cold Embrace 5:24
6.  The Never Ending Illusion 9:06
7.  The Dancers 5:06
8.  Horizons in a Box 7:11
9.  A Journey to Myself 6:32
10. Mare Di Stelle 5:27

LINEUP:

Davide Merletto Ц vocals 
Andrea Torretta Ц guitars 
Giuseppe Spano Ц keyboards 
Fabio Gremo Ц bass 
Davide La Rosa Ц drums 
With:
Alessandro Corvaglia Ц vocals 
Lucia La Rosa Ц vocals 
Roberto Tiranti Ц vocals 
Stefano Lodo Ц French horn
Stella Sorgente Ц double bass

Prolusion. DAEDALUS is an Italian band that was formed in 2000. It released its debut album, "Leading Far from a Mistake", back in 2003. In 2008 the musicians were signed to Galileo Records, and in January 2009 their sophomore effort, "The Never Ending Illusion", was released through Progrock Records.

Analysis. Once the opening atmospheric introduction piece, Waiting for the Dawn, ends and the first song, Perfect Smile, kicks off, many will probably draw comparisons with Dream Theater in terms of the music they hear. The melodic, powerful vocals of Davide Merletto will probably strengthen this line of thinking - his voice and vocal style do resemble James LaBrie quite a bit. But, first and foremost, the guitar sound is what reminds one of this well-known US band, with a dark, aggressive tinge pretty similar to what you might find on their third album, "Awake". When immersing oneself a bit deeper in this production though, the differences start to make themselves heard. True enough, this production isn't one that is highly inventive or creative and the atmosphere, the mood as well as the compositional structure don't break any new ground, but they aren't carbon copies of existing acts either. The guitar is the dominant instrument throughout, serving aggressive, dark riffs with just a bit of grit to them in most instances. Repetitive riff barrages are used just as often as more fluent, wandering passages, and on quite a few occasions the riffs explore some slightly quirky patterns. Style variations are used for chorus and bridge segments, often drawn out riffs inserted in a slower pattern. Synths have more of a secondary role for this act, with segments without any input from this instrument at all while on most of the occasions where they are utilized they are pushed back in the mix. Mellow passages inserted into some of the compositions are the main exception here, and we're treated to some select parts where the synths soar underscored by the guitars too. But this is first and foremost a guitar-dominated affair. The vocals are a key element in all non-instrumental tracks and, as noted, vocalist Merletto does have a voice rather similar to James LaBrieТs. However, his delivery is rather different, as he manages the art of delivering powerful, melodic vocals without coming across as melodramatic or bombastic. Personally, I prefer Merletto over LaBrie in this department. The compositions as such are pretty straightforward affairs. The contrast between vocals and guitars creates strong moods with nerve and tension, the odd break to mellow sections adds variety, and the synths add textures and details most times and a bit of dramatic flair when needed. There are few truly adventurous escapades to be found though Ц the focus seems to be rather on creating and exploring strong, captivating moods and atmospheres.

Conclusion. Italian act Daedalus has created a solid progressive metal album with "The Never Ending Illusion". Their sound has some obvious similarities to what Dream Theater were doing early in their career, so this is a production that should have a strong appeal to those who enjoy this type of progressive metal in general and Dream Theater's take on it in particular.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 2, 2009
The Rating Room


Related Links:

Progrock Records
Daedalus


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