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Dánae - Medusa CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.87 | 20 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars What a great surprise this turned out to be! I purchased Argentinean band Danae's second album `Medusa' as something of an afterthought in a recent prog order, probably thinking `Oh yeah, another new instrumental album, might be cool'. Sure, the cover was nice (kind of a `Brain Salad Surgery'/H.R Giger influence going on there), but I just threw in on a pile to get to eventually. Eventually finally came, and I'm happy to discover it was an exciting and dynamic collection of extended instrumental pieces, frequently in a heavy style, although never metal, and thankfully still full of the grand progressive bombast we love so much.

A bit of background to this mostly unknown band. Despite being formed in the late 70's and maintaining a continuous profile on the live circuit throughout the 80's, the four piece band (two guitars, bass and drums) never got around to recording a proper studio album, eventually disbanding in the early 90's. Fortunately the inspirational fires were relit in 2000, and after finally recording a self-titled debut in 2004, we now have this further follow-up.

I won't detail each piece on the album, but try to imagine the musical dexterity of 70's Rush without the high pitched squealing vocals, or the technicality of Dutch instrumental band Finch without their keyboard dominated sound and you'll get a little closer to understanding the way these guys work. All of the tracks offer complex hard rock formed around weaving twin guitar melodies, aggressive upfront leaping bass and rapid-fire intricate exhausting drumming that never misses a beat. The band move through seamless transitions, winding musical passages, playing a rock/fusion of sorts (rarely jazzy) and always catchy, deeply grooving and very melodic. There is a highly skilled level of musicianship on display here, and best of all, despite being a modern recording, if you didn't know you would swear this was a vintage release from back when the band were first playing.

Special mention must also go to the lovely mini LP packaging that a few of the Viajero Inmovil Records label releases seem to have had recently, as well as the exquisite artwork by Felipe Abel Surkan on display throughout. Despite the aforementioned Giger influenced front cover, it's the surreal imagery on the back cover and inside that really stands out and would be very prized by prog fans. Lets hope a proper vinyl of this CD is in the works, as the larger format would really do the art justice.

We're very fortunate that Danae finally got around to recording their compositions and rewarding us with an exceptional release. 2013 has seen so many first-rate instrumental albums, and `Medusa' can proudly stand alongside those other titles. While some of them might be actually better, this little underdog album is more than capable of taking on the bigger, more high-profile instrumental artists. Lovers of heavy prog will find it to be a kick-ass album, and followers of sophisticated yet gutsy instrumental prog will discover yet another fine addition to their collection.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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