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Daal - Decalogue of Darkness CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 337 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the other new release from the contemporary Italian masters DAAL. Whereas "Navels Falling into a Living Origami" consists of a single 49-minute piece of music, "Decalogue of Darkness" is a 71-minute instrumental prog album divided into ten chapters without separate track titles. This time all music is composed by Alfio Costa (Mellotron, Moog sub 37, piano, synth and samplers). Davide Guidoni handles drums, acoustic percussion, noises and samplers, and the duo is accompanied by guitarist Ettore Salati and bassist Bobo Aiolfi.

I can't say this would be anyhow less inspired album, but personally I prefer "Navels" which feels more like an adventurous journey and which in the end seems to have more variety in the soundscape. Mellotron is very central in "Decalogue", undoubtedly making the listener's associations to the early King Crimson even more evident than what DAAL's originality would deserve; despite the Mellotron and all the 'Crimsonesque' details there may be, also this album has a unique, timeless personality instead of copying some music made over 40 years ago.

For those wishing for a track-by-track approach I advice reading especially BrufordFreak's long review. As funny as it feels to say out loud, occasionally I feel this album is relying TOO heavily on the familiar, thick Mellotron sound. For example Chapter Five starts delicately in a way that reminds me of Popol Vuh (Hosianna Mantra era) but then it all returns to the same old 'tron thickness. In my opinion the best things here are more spacey, acoustic moments (such as 50% of Chapter Six, and Chapter Nine completely) without the Mellotron. Also "Decalogue of Darkness" is clearly meant to be listened as a whole, but the 10-part form makes it possible to return to one's favourite parts much easier than on the one-part "Navels". The best track on its own is the second longest, Chapter Ten (10:20). It's "the most melodically engaging" as BrufordFreak points out.

Even though I didn't quite find the similar enthusiasm to this album as the three preceding reviewers (or as I myself had for "Navels Falling into a Living Origami" some weeks earlier), I can sincerely agree on its artistic value. If you're fond of dark instrumental prog featuring lots of Mellotron, this is EXACTLY the album you want to have. The 12-page leaflet features intriguingly morbid photographs to accompany the dark-toned world of this music.

Matti | 4/5 |


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