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Daal - Dodecahedron CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.04 | 286 ratings

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5 stars Daal's third opus shows clearly the evolution of the Alfio Costa and Davide Guidoni tandem's style of organic ambient music, creating a massive soundtrack for the body and the mind. The keys and drums are certainly up front and center, the guiding light through a dense jungle of eclectic sounds, special effects, deep melodies and colossal orchestrations. Comparisons are nearly impossible; the music is highly original and cinematographic, layered with sweeping coats of mellotron, pulsating bass synthesizer patterns and solid non-electronic drumming. The guest list is equally impressive, as we find the sterling Ettore Salati (The Watch, SoulenginE and The Redzen) absolutely shining on electric guitar and keyboardist Luca Scherani (Höstsonaten) playing bouzouki, while Roberto Aiolfi (Tilion) lays down some mean bass , double bass and fretless motifs. There are also nimble sprinklings of sax, flute, clarinet, celtic harp, violin and cello. This is the type of progressive soundtrack that requires intense concentration and the listener will be thus rewarded with varying senses of pleasure, always picking up a different vibe that may have gone unnoticed previously. Obviously depending on the circumstances, environment, mood or time of day, the interpretation will be completely creative and original. That is a rare and most commendable achievement, reached here in spades!

Finally I get to deviate from my usual blow by blow, track by track account and just swelter in the profound glow of this most complete work, really meant to be played in one full sitting, like a soundtrack to an hourly moment in your day. The moods can flutter from one end of the sonic spectrum to the other, almost at will and without any advance notice. One second we are amid deep electronic ambiances and the next, things suddenly get ominous and depressive (almost like vintage Goblin, L'Ombre della Sera or Morte Macabre). At other times, the atmosphere can be exotic, romantic, seductive, ambient, or as on "III" outright King Crimson-esque, circa Red. Luxuriance and disturbance hold hands, winking at each other with glee! Cello and violin make impromptu visits that ultimately disturb and confound, forcing the listener into shadowy realms that have a slight labyrinthine feel, contrasting veils of shimmering light and obscure gloom vying for position. Tinges of classical music cocktailing with jazzy segments ("IV") keep the challenged ears constantly on edge, unaware of what can be coming up next. Primal jungle sounds coalescing with some free jazz sax blowouts also affect the nodes ("V") and veer one's mind into elsewhere. Doom- laden Hitchcockian weirdness is also on the menu, the duo unafraid to toss in some Jamie Muir-like percussion insanity (He was with KC for a brief Lark's Tongues period and then went into a monastery!) within the bubbly synth whirlpool, the chaotic meeting the poetic and having a sip of Campari together on the piazza. Salati blows off some espresso steam with a whopping electric guitar solo, screeching for the stars unrepentant. When you least expect it, a superb electronic lullaby full of Nutella sweetness delects the sonic palate, sweltering electro-symphonics and pulsating frantic bass soloing and a tick-tock reference. Taking a glimpse into their earlier "Disorganicorigami" style, where the snarling Mini-Moog and lugubrious bass synth patterns combine to startle and shudder, like a mellotron-led symphonic holocaust, the "IX" track dispenses occult meanderings amid the torrent of power. Halloween music for a few minutes, just to scare away the disguised little angels. Boo! The sax, dulcimer and clarinet revert to a jazzier mood, solemn and yet heartfelt, sonically painted by some blue melancholia that is crushingly effective. Like two spent lovers still woozy from their intertwining lovemaking's crescendo, deep within their mutual afterglow, the lonely and shared cigarette turning slowly to ash! Ballsy and genial! Some profound electronics again, mournful cello, cannonading drums and synth waves unite in icy rapture, like Tangerine Dream meets the Penguin Café Orchestra in a Budapest coffee house only to finish off the masterpiece with a classic symphonic prog workout that harkens back to the RPI and Brit-prog glory days. The majestic finale is achingly gorgeous, the mighty mellotron again leading the charge, carving out a grandiose melody of the finest pedigree, these lads know their musical heritage and are audacious enough to express it with the sheerest intensity.

This is a hallmark album of the highest quality, one of 2012's very very best, a future classic and an absolute must for the discerning prog music fan, always on the lookout for the unexpected and the ultra-original. Well, this is in so many ways! Every spin has been an experience to remember and cherish. .

5 Dario Argentos

tszirmay | 5/5 |


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