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(57:19, Galileo Records / Gonzo MM)
TRACK LIST: 1. What a Challenging World 2:20 2. Your Lies 3:55 3. Until You're Here 4:53 4. Perspective of the Moon 4:57 5. For Aye 6:18 6. Motherland 6:53 7. Sand 5:06 8. Weather the Storm 5:39 9. Underground 4:25 10. A Tale 6:11 11. Empty Rooms 6:42 LINEUP: Davide Merletto – vocals Andrea Torretta – guitars Sandro Amadei – keyboards Daz La Rosa – drums Fabio Gremo – bass
Prolusion. DAEDALUS is an Italian quintet, whose history began in 2000. “Motherland” is its third official outing to date and was released this last July, following "The Never Ending Illusion" and "Leading Far from a Mistake" from 2009 and 2003 respectively. This is my first encounter with the band’s work – it was Olav (OMB: my sole workmate on the site) who wrote the review of its previous album.
Analysis. I have experienced a kind of quasi-deja vu when listening to this album, as it sounds sort of like the own brother of “Shattered Lines” by Atto IV (which I reviewed previously: just yesterday actually), but is nevertheless somewhat less originally thinking as well as adventurous ‘person’ than that. Daedalus performs symphonic Prog-Metal, which is near-squarely in the tradition of Threshold, doing so on nine of the disc’s eleven tracks. (Okay, the singer’s benefactor is Dream Theater front man James LaBrie, but it doesn’t that matter ‘already’, since these two ensembles are currently playing in similar musical fields). So I don’t think there is the barest necessity to list and describe all of those compositions. I’ll only note that, while being quite derivative (and therefore sterile – got the idea?), this dark, heavy and intense staff nonetheless issues quite a fine statement in its own rights and might set the stage for the band’s further evolution. It would also be unfair not to mention that all of the implied compositions contain some truly interesting maneuvers, with good rhythmic variety and a smart harmonic sense permeating each of those. And of course, I won’t omit the fact that two of the tracks have some distinguishing features. Empty Rooms and Weather the Storm (one of the two instrumental here) both begin quietly, the latter impressively: with the passages of acoustic guitar, later on deploying not only classic prog-metal riffs, but also thrash-y ones. Each of them also reveals an episode that has a certain atmospheric quality to it, the one on Empty Rooms being full of dark symphonic colorations, evoking Tiamat’s ‘97 masterpiece “A Deeper Kind of Slumber”. Another (shorter) instrumental, What a Challenging World, begins as space music, but soon assumes the shape of what is above designated as the album’s primary style. Finally, For Aye is a fairly conventional heavy metal ballad, albeit at first it sounded promising, representing a set of sophisticated acoustic guitar passages.
Conclusion. The album does falter in places, lapsing into some idiomatic cliches, but I can live with that; I like this kind of heavy progressive music actually (and I really like Threshold’s classic, Black Sabbath-inspired, stuff – better than Dream Theater). If you also have a bent for dramatic, darker symphonic Prog-Metal without extreme soloing, you should find “Motherland” quite a listenable album as well, at least overall.
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