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Daal Decalogue of Darkness album cover
4.21 | 357 ratings | 23 reviews | 47% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Chapter I (6:20)
2. Chapter II (16:24)
3. Chapter III (4:34)
4. Chapter IV (6:06)
5. Chapter V (4:48)
6. Chapter VI (5:04)
7. Chapter VII (4:23)
8. Chapter VIII (8:34)
9. Chapter IX (4:18)
10. Chapter X (10:20)

Total time 70:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Alfio Costa / piano, Mellotron, Moog Sub 37 synth, sampler, noises, composer
- Davide Guidoni / drums, percussion, sampler, noises

- Ettore Salati / guitars
- Bobo Aiolfi / bass

Releases information

Artwork: Davide Guidoni

CD Agla Records - CD10 (2018, Italy)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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DAAL Decalogue of Darkness ratings distribution

(357 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(47%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

DAAL Decalogue of Darkness reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars The team of David Guidoni and Alfio Costa, better known as the musical duo DAAL in prog circles have been captivating the progressive rock community ever since they unleashed their debut "Disorganicorigami" back in 2009. The band has always dabbled in the visionary fusion laced possibilities of progressive space rock and classical music mixed with ample doses of electronica and decorated with dark experimental elements which makes them stand out from the crowd. After a four year absence from the scene after their lauded "Danced Of The Drastic Navels," DAAL is back with not just one new album but TWO! These two albums stand separately from each other with completely different approaches but complement each other quite well. Whereas "Navels Falling Into A Living Origami" is the more experimental of the two and tackles a fifty minute continuous stream of sound that constitutes a mere track and looks more to the future than past glories, DECALOGUE OF DARKNESS on the other hand is more in the classic DAAL sound and less experimental.

This one was designed to have a vintage sound that has less instrumentation than its counterpart. While "Navels Falling" has a total of eight musicians on board, DECALOGUE OF DARKNESS is more basic and only has four which finds Alfio Costa on keyboards and mellotron, Davide Guidoni on drums and percussion, Ettore Salati on guitars and Bobo Aiolfi on bass. While not technically a single track album, the music also has a free flowing effect that connects all the tracks and in this case there are ten untitled tracks that serve as subdivisions for the overall concept of a descent into darkness. This album was described to me as a return to the sound of "Dodecahedron" only without the experimentation, so in effect this is a stripped down, bare bones type of DAAL album that finds simplicity in its quartet played format that takes a no nonsense prog rock approach. As usual, everything these talented perfectionists touch turns to gold since despite the overall simpler setting, the band manages to perform another excellently produced space rock. This one has a lot more presence of guitar than "Navels Falling."

DECALOGUE OF DARKNESS stands out from other DAAL albums in that it implements the mellotron as the main instrument and is distinguished by many of the subtleties that the instrument provides. While the mellotron has jumped to the forefront with its dominate role, the guitar and bass offer unique counterpoints as well with the jazzed up drumming workouts the perfect complementary effect to create some of the coolest proggy workouts in the genre. This one is entirely instrumental unlike "Navels Falling" which found a short vocal performance towards the end of its run. DECALOGUE has a long running time of nearly 71 minutes but provides another escapist's prog paradise for those who like lengthy progified jams that simmer in space rock mode and have occasional outbursts of heavier distorted action to offer some contrast. While most of the tracks are shorter in length, two extend past the ten minute mark with "Chapter II" hitting the sixteen minute mark.

DAAL has established itself as one of the best underground prog bands on the scene today that maintains an attachment to the traditional sense of the genre but yet manages to find its own niche in a modern day world. It's astonishing that while many bands take a decade or more to create a followup album, these guys conjured up not one, but TWO brilliant albums to bring about in the year 2018. Which of these albums any particular listener loves more will depend on taste. For those who prefer a darker and more experimental approach to the electronically induced space rock that DAAL dishes out, then they will prefer the "Navels Falling" album (which i do) but for those who love a more vintage classic sound that eschews the eccentrics then DECALOGUE OF DARKNESS will be your ticket to that spaced out proggy rock bliss. Any way you slice it, DAAL remains one of my favorite contemporary prog bands for good reason. They always deliver the goods on a totally professional level with beautiful melodic motifs dressed up with all the right prog and spaced out touches. Another winner for DAAL.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Italian team of ALfio Costa and DAvide Guidoni are back with what is BY FAR their greatest contribution to prog world. If you get a chance to see the AMAZING video presentations of their music (on YouTube), do so. As a matter of fact, all of the songs here sound and feel as if they should companion videos. (Maybe they do!) The band is definitely expressing their curiosity with the dark side of the cosmos. I want to add that the production values on Decalogue are exceptional: the sound quality is incredible and the CD artwork is one of the best I've ever encountered--mediæval-inspired art perfectly matched to the songs and subject matter and simply gorgeous!

1. "Chapter I" (6:00) with or without the accompanying video (footage from the 1930 Swedish film Häxan) this is an amazingly mature and perfect prog instrumental. It opens with simple arpeggio soon joined by several layers of keys (including Mellotrons) before the drums and bass join in. Even into the second minute we're still in the intro. Around 1:30 we finally get the establishment of the foundational groove--and it's a good one! The full, lush layers of keys and guitars are pretty steady while the bass and drums are very busy. At 3:30 things break down leaving bass, piano and drums to duke it out until the re-establishment of the driving groove. This is awesome! So much to listen to! So many instruments adding their little but important input! Then things stop and the final 35 seconds are spent with a kind of solo bassoon dirge. Definitely perfect soundtrack music! (10/10)

2. "Chapter II" (16:25) opens with household noises before ominous minor key piano, Mellotron and tympani join in with a slow death march. Piano, bass, and Mellotron try to run counterpoint to each other but it just doesn't work for me--the 'tron does a poor job of trying to substitute for orchestral strings. Then fifth minute's near-disturbing controlled cacophony plods along too slowly; this may have worked at a faster pace, or without the militaristic drum backing. Soft, delicately played sections such as the one in the second half of the seventh minute work well--and I love the introduction of 'tron voices in the eight minute--but then the new "upbeat" section at the beginning of the ninth minute is just too incongruous, too inconsistent (though in and of itself it's a section of very nice instrumental performances). Just before the ten minute mark things pause while a Frippertronic guitar holds his notes, then things reconvene to continue the upbeat section with the guitar become more distorted and aggressive a minute later. The fourteenth minute is better, but the brief return of the descending scale chord progression in the sixteenth minute is a disappointment, and the soft single instrument (synth flute) outro (as usual) is anti-climactic. After a half-dozen listens to this one, I am no more enamored or esteemed of this song than my first lesson. It's just too scattered and lacks engaging melodies and chord progressions. Even the drumming seems odd and often irritating on this one. (8/10)

3. "Chapter III" (4:24) uses two alternating themes throughout, one quite simple and sparse with slowly played notes from piano and guitars, the other a driving groove more lush and full with Mellotrons and full rock instrumentation. There is quite a familiar early-ANEKDOTEN feel to this music. Nice melodies and excellent sound and instrument construction. (9/10)

4. "Chapter IV" (6:07) several rather dissonant instrument lines are woven together for a while before finally coming together at the end of the second minute. The drumming is quite brilliant. There's quite an early-KING CRIMSON feel to this one. The excellent guitar lines are very Frippian, very mathematical--even in the extended bird- accompanied outro over the final minute--and the Mellotron is quite prominent (maybe too much so), but it is the drums that take top honors for me on this one. (9/10)

5. "Chapter V" (4:49) another song that opens with some brilliantly creative sound and instrument choices woven together. It doesn't feel as if it's going to work, as if all of the odd sounds are going to shred the song (or my ears) until drums, bass (fretless?), keys, and guitars finally settle into a groove driven by an eight-note melody repeated well into the fourth minute before things "fall apart" and a post-apocalyptic chaos of disorganized percussives ensues until the final note. (8.5/10)

6. "Chapter VI" (5:04) opens as an emotional grand piano piece, soon accompanied by acoustic guitar arpeggi and soloing electric guitar, but at 1:05 the prog band bursts in, giving us a glimpse of what will soon be established. Lots of Mellotron and Robert Fripp "Book of Saturdays" guitar soloing behind, within, and in front. At 2:45 the addition of steady drums, bass, and a chord-playing electric guitar give the song a heavier sound as a lone synth takes over maintenance of the melody line. Once again, the final section is a quiescent single instrument (lead electric guitar) softly soloing into the sunset. (9/10)

7. "Chapter VII" (4:24) opening with bass, cymbols, and discordant piano chord being arpeggiated while while fuzzy electric guitar chord rises to the fore (this is familiar from previous DAAL songs) but then at 1:14 everything falls away save for flanged cymbol play and a whole new, gentle and pretty theme is established. This is quite beautiful! Mellotron "flutes" in one of the leads as a weave of several instruments keeps this section going until it begins to fracture and fall apart in the fourth minute. Lots of door- or wood-knocking (like someone trying to break out from inside a coffin) filling the background as the discordant opening theme returns and takes us to the end. Cool song! (9.25/10)

8. "Chapter VIII" (8:35) opens with a Russian-like chord slowly arpeggiated by the lower end of the piano (and later by the Mellotron) while cymbols and right and of piano play at something else. This sounds a LOT like Javi Herrera's KANT FREUD KAFKA work on his 2014 album No tengas miedo--especially the songs "Antiesis" and "Hombre." Add Fripp guitar and flute to the slow palate and we still have a KANT FREUD KAFKA soundtrack feel. At 3:05 drums, bass, and guitars condense and Mellotron takes over the lead to create a rather eerie section. Again, great drum play through out this song. At 6:12 the heavy section ends and the piano-based opening section begins to repeat itself--though it shifts this time into acoustic gentle guitar strumming with and Fripp lead carrying us into the final minute and then solo "harpsichord" to finish. (8.5/10)

9. "Chapter IX" (4:18) pretty piano arpeggio with reverse electric guitar lead playing just beneath open this song. Near the minute mark the guitar drops out and the piano completes a full bridge by itself. When the "verse" picks up again the piano and reverse guitar are joined by keyboard wind section (flute, oboe, bassoon) to weave in an alternate melody. At 3:11 we again get a break for the solo piano bridge but this time no one rejoins him as he plays improvisationally to the song's close. Pretty song. Simple and succinct. Like the second verse the best. (8.75/10)

10. "Chapter X" (10:21) piano and gently plucked electric guitar with symphonic cymbol play cover an almost HARMONIUM-sounding opening three minutes before the full band kicks into a really beautiful, steady, emotional prog instrumental--one in which, again, it feels as if a story is being conveyed. Brilliant stuff; definitely the most melodically engaging song on the album. (10/10)

The engineering and sound production are impeccable--it does NOT get better than this--and the instrument selection and combination throughout the album is creative and compelling, with clarity and distinctiveness to all instruments no matter how many layers DAvide ALfio use in construction. Perhaps there is a little over-use of Mellotron and Fripp guitar noodling.

Five stars; a masterpiece of modern instrumental progressive rock music.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After 4 years of silence, the dynamic duo of Davide Guidoni and Alfio Costa , known as DAAL have reappeared with a couple of albums, Decalogue of Darkness and the Navels Falling into a Living Origami, two more monuments of modern progressive experimentation that stretches the sonic boundaries once again. This is not neo, symphonic, or RPI but a rather strange brew of synthesized electronics, percussive propulsion and dreamy configurations that surely define, after a lengthy and high quality discography, their own place in the progressive music universe. Davide is one of the premier drummers in the world, a masterful craftsman who has adorned many significant Italian prog albums, while Alfio has made his name with Prowlers and Tilion. Kind of fitting that I got my ears honed to this on Halloween, as its quite a fitting soundtrack to the yearly goblin-laden event.

Decalogue of Darkness offers up quite a panorama of mind-music compositions, laced with imagination and substance, the dynamic duo adding guitarist extraordinaire Ettore Salati (RedZen, Soulengine, The Watch among many others) and Prowlers alumnus Bobo Aiolfi on bass to the mix. The entirely instrumental work has strong melancholic tendencies , at times eerie and spectral, yet always on the verge of experimentation. There are some definite King Crimson moments everywhere, with vast mellotron swaths that breathe dense clouds into the forlorn piano musings, deft cymbal work that rekindles images of vintage Bruford and the guitars often Fripping amazing as on the blistering track Chapter 8 . Wow!

The adventure begins with the masterful Chapter I , a heady, mellotron-drenched, bass-infected introduction, expertly propelled by manic drumming and sensitive percussion. The guitar slashes are overwhelming , the intensity raw and powerful. A better soundtrack ouverture is hard to come by. Just plain brilliant! The stage is set for a wild hour of extravagant creativity and artistic genius. The massive 16 minute + Chapter II is more dissonant, obscure and eerie, the colossal mellotron leading the way through a maze of sonic corridors, densely cinematographic and laden with furtive angst. The tinkling piano surges ahead amid the chaos while the arrangement remains confrontational, very much in an Anekdoten -like configuration, with occasional Twilight Zone chime/tick-tock noodlings. The densest and most complex piece on the recording, it requires patience and attention to detail. The second part halfway in is even more spectral, cacophonic and tumultuous, as Davide ransacks his drum kit along the way, a poly-rhythmic octopus given free reign. The under-pinned Frippian guitar licks are doom-laden and acerbic, once again we are reminded of classic Larks Tongues-era KC, ultimately leading to a stunning Arabic tinged electric guitar solo that keeps on giving. Gargantuan finale, explosive mayhem, call it what you want , this is absolutely awesome. The soft ending is unexpected.

Chapter III keeps the pedal to the floor, at least in terms of mellotron dominance, unabashedly serving up massive windswept waves of sound, the fury suddenly abated by gentle servings of acoustic peace where the mighty 'tron shows both its grace and pomp. The cymbal work is noteworthy, the rolling bass figurines etched within the groove, but the big white keyboard remains firmly in control. The contrasts between serene and explosive are truly appealing .

Turning into a rockier expanse, Chapter IV gets a full-on King Crimson disguise, as Davide is killing it on his kit, a fine observer of Giles and Bruford, Ettore ripping (Fripping) hard and fast, while Bobo keeps it all in play. Alfio's keys remain firmly entrenched in mellotron land. This is another awe-inspiring and intricate piece of music. Chapter V delves more into psychedelia, what with the odd swirling guitar licks setting up a very defined groove, well propulsed rhythmically and sonically dense. The trick here is how it suddenly veers into an uncomfortable numbness (sorry Floyd!) and belltolling kind of apocalypse. Chapter VI offers a return to almost normal sounds, the axe carving a luscious melody that stands strong and true, the piano acting as an accessory to the crime, though interferred by more mellotron cascades, but with a KingC meet PinkF feel that is overt and obvious. Love this immensely as its the most accessible and instantly memorable track on the disc. The outro is gently divine!

The next Chapter is the magic 7 and it reinvents the spooky sense earlier, the piano playing Twilight Zone like motifs once again, with brash guitar slashes helping the mood along, evolving into pastoral themes where the flute mellotrons reign supreme. The surreal arrangement then veers into effect-laden mayhem that really elevates the sense of doom and gloom succesfully. The Chapter VIII is a highlight event, a sprawling piece that showcases the Crimsonian elements that continue to define modern rock music fifty years later, the sacred union of colossal orchestrations (i.e Mellotron), the supple acoustic guitar ornamentation that also relies on technically inspired electric phrasings, bruising bass guitar underpinnings and a delirious world clas drum exercize. Disturbing, confrontational, nervy, on the edge of painful, the listener is thrown on a roller coaster of emotions, with contrasting chimes, elegance and medieval musings. Scary! By far the ultimate track on thsi masterpiece. The accessory Chapter 9 has Alfio caressing his ornate piano in dreamy fashion, drenched in fabulous mystery and reverie. This is all restraint and reflection, a celestial , cristalline moment amid all the confusion. Like my pal BrufordFreak stated, « pure and simple »! Amazing!

The finale is an epic 10 minute composition that encompasses all the elements that highlight DAAL's creative juice. This is what modern prog music should sound like in the hands of uncompromising artists. Beautiful guitar arpeggios , dreamy piano sensibilities and luxuriant percussive rhythms, that swell into a masteful Ettore Salati guitar romp that hits all the emotional buttons, as the mighty mellotron elevates the track to absurd heights , a slight nod to Yes' ''Soon oh Soon '', before veering off into the murky, dense and overwhelmimg sunset. Davide once again pushes the enveloppe with mythical prowess. In awe, I am!

The cover art is utterly sublime and very descriptive of the sounds generated by the band, a serious masterpiece of prog which will delight many fans. This is what modern prog music should sound like in the hands of uncompromising artists.

5 asteroids of genius

Review by Matti
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.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For over a decade now, the duo of Italian multi-instrumentalists Davide Guidoni and Alfio Costa have been honing a distinctly modern sounding mix of dark electronics, doom-laden symphonic grandness, senses-shredding avant-garde experimentation and neo-classical sophistication under the Daal banner, each new release consecutively raising the bar even further for their always high-quality and intelligent works. But 2018 has brought not only one, but two superior releases from the pair (or three if you want to include Davide's superb electronic side-project B-Rain's `Echoes from the Undertow' CD as well!), and rather than being a double album merely split into separate discs, they are instead two completely stand-alone works that hold their own unique sounds and identities, even if both are instantly recognizable as Daal. The first is `Decalogue of Darkness', and it is the most lavish and darkly articulate defining symphonic musical statement so far from Costa and Guidioni.

`Decalogue...' is a collection of ten fully instrumental shadowy symphonic pieces simply labelled parts I-X (although they are separate pieces, not all flowing into each-other), and in many ways it proves to be Daal's love letter to the glorious age of grand vintage progressive rock, just grafted to a heavier modern sound and without ever sounding like a tired retro throwback. It also joins the ranks of those particularly cherished albums that Mellotron freaks absolutely worship - Schicke Fuhrs Frohling's `Symphonic Pictures', Quarteto 1111's `Onde, Quando...' and Anglagard's `Epilog' - all step forward please! - seeing as how `D.o.D' is practically slathered in endless washes of the instrument! You want to completely drown in the 'Tron?! Step right this way...

A spectral pantomime of eerie electronic tip-toes patter around `Chapter I's infernally searing Mellotron strings, grinding guitar blasts courtesy of frequent Daal collaborator Ettore Salati of Redzen/SoulenginE/Ex-The Watch, Alfio's stalking piano, slithering bass from Tilion and Prowlers musician Roberto `Bobo' Aiolfi and Davide's bashing drum menace, this intense opener being very Goblin and L'Albero del Veleno-like indeed!

Hmm, in prog-terms, is just over sixteen minutes long enough for a piece to be considered a true epic?! Well, either yes or no, `Chapter II' is exactly that, and here the duo offer an elegant showcase of grandiose Mellotron themes all serenading each- other in between bursts of Anglagard-esque strangling n' twisting guitar runs and a touch of King Crimson-like ominous majesty. A pounding oppressive beat over ghostly piano and the dirtiest of scratchy Mellotron reeks of Italian occult legends Jacula/Antonius Rex at the start, the icier reflective moments remind of melancholic acts like White Willow and Landberk, and the entire piece takes on a crushing, overwhelming intensity...and just when you think it's winding down, they bring it all back for a final feral storm of wailing guitar n' Tron noise that would make King Crimson envious - phew!

The shorter `Chapter III' could easily have popped up on an Anekdoten album with its downbeat piano interludes constantly blasted by defiant Mellotron bursts and brisk up-tempo sprints, the suffocating `Chapter IV' could be an `Islands'-era Crimson outtake with its skittering percussion rattles and creeping bass murmurs, and `Chapter V' is a mournful introspective theme (one of the strongest on the disc) that sounds like a lost Giallo horror film soundtrack from the Seventies.

Achingly beautiful piano reflections and heartfelt guitar ruminations are confronted by torrid Mellotron slivers throughout `Chapter VI', slab-heavy guitar riffing, vacuum-like distortion and jazzy discordant mania is met with ethereal ambient synth breaks throughout `Chapter VII', and there's an aggressive brooding menace that permeates all of `Chapter VIII' (just listen to that putrid mud-thick bass vomiting throughout the middle!). The ghostly ballad `Chapter IX' is dreamy and shimmers with unease (and nice that the band keeps the piece very intimate), and ten-minute closer `Chapter X', with its cross of regal guitar strains, reflective synths and achingly melancholic piano fleetingly calls to mind classic era Genesis and brings a sweeping orchestral-like magnificence (with some brief tasty up-tempo bursts in the middle too), and it's a relief that the duo resist the urge here to make a lot more racket and violence.

Although it probably didn't need to run for seventy-one minutes, and some listeners might ask for the first time `Can there be too much Mellotron?' (response from the prog masses likely being any combination of `No!/Heathen!/Off with his head!'), there is no denying the sheer power and richness of refinement throughout `Decalogue of Darkness'. Some may find the first half so blustery and bombastic that it proves overwhelming, but the second reveals itself to be even stronger with some deceptively lovely and incredibly strong musical themes rising up throughout. All together though, symphonic prog works don't come much more luxurious, inspired and crowd-pleasing than `Decalogue of Darkness', and it's another superb addition to the Daal catalogue.

Four stars.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars DAAL is a project from Italy, headed by core members Alfio Costa (keyboards) and Davide Guidoni (drums). They are having a very productive phase in the back. With the result of two studio albums, plus a solo project produced by Davide, which he recently released under the moniker B-Rain. When necessary, while acting like an entire rock band, there is some exquisite support available due to Ettore Salati (guitars) and bass player Bobo Aiolfi. According to the album title it may go for a dispute over religious themes, though lyrics aren't available, for the simple reason that this is completely instrumental. Obviously evaluated in the eye of the beholder. The booklet pictures are going for a strong cinematic orientation, including exorcism, horror, mysticism and similar, just in the vein of fellow countrymen Goblin maybe.

In any case, when listening to 'Decalogue Of Darkness', you are experiencing an eclectic symphony across 10 chapters, which means a running time of about 70 minutes in total. Chapter I turns out to be a wonderful opener. Alfio Costa's effective mellotron input strikes immediately. A somewhat bittersweet lift-off, very nice main melody. Corresponding to the visual concept DAAL are providing a rather dark mooded sound, though not really depressive anyhow. Davide Guidoni puts out all the stops too, with diverse gradiations of rock and jazz. He's a prolific drummer for sure. You will find variations such as deeply moving parts dominated by symphonic patterns, furious interplays, heavy rocking turns as well as melancholic acoustic guitar and piano driven interludes. I would especially point out Chapter X as a very profound partition. Well, can't name another prog album yet which is that blatantly mellotron drenched. Something special, bravo!

Review by Warthur
4 stars More spoopy prog with a significant influence from mid-1970s King Crimson from the dynamic duo of Daal? Sure, why not? This is pretty much "Dodecahedron II: Polyhedral Boogaloo", with the album split into 10 chapters (hence the title!). Take Dodecahedron, immerse it in purest Mellotron for a while, and cut into 10 slices instead of 12, and you more or less arrive at this.

Lucky for Daal, Dodecahedron was a pretty good album, with the result that this one is as well. Perhaps a more retro- prog styled approach this time, in keeping with the historical style of the cover illustration, but otherwise we're looking at business as usual for Daal.

Review by patrickq
3 stars Here's an album which, if nothing else, has an accurate title - - although Ten Instrumental Heavy-Symphonic Prog Songs would've been even more descriptive.

I really like the drumming here. Since drummer Davide Guidoni is half of Daal, it's not surprising that he's much more prominent in the mix than drummers usually are. On songs like "Chapter VIII" his kit is cranked up while the listener must strain to hear the guitar (played by a sideman) - - it seems a little odd for rock music. But Guidoni's position in the mix works here because he's not showy. On some Emerson, Lake and Palmer albums it seems obligatory that Carl Palmer have a showcase every so often, whether it's demanded by the material or not (OK, to be fair, the material is sometimes arranged so that a drum solo seems necessary). Guidoni seems content to play second fiddle, so to speak, to pianist/keyboardist Alfio Costa. Costa composed the entire album and even gets a track ("Chapter XI") to himself. Most likely Guidoni shares the drummer's trait of humility (he does get full responsibility for the art direction, though).

For his part, Costa dominates the proceedings but doesn't hog the limelight. Many instrumentalists have been much less central on projects billed as solo albums. But Costa is no Wakeman; Decalogue of Darkness isn't about him, it's about... well, actually, it's not entirely clear what this album is about. The song titles provide no obvious clues, nor does the title or the cover art. Of course, as the cliché goes, the songs should speak for themselves, and that's evidently what Costa and Guidoni intend.

Given that Decalogue of Darkness is entirely instrumental, and that each song seems to evoke a different mood, it could easily be a popularized film score. Adding to this sense is the use, especially earlier in the album, of classical motifs.

Overall, this is a good instrumental album, heavier on the atmosphere than the melody, which is why if I heard randomly-chosen 30-second passage from Decalogue of Darkness, I'm sure I couldn't tell you what song it was from. The exotic "Chapter VII" is probably the best track here, although the 16-minute "Chapter II" is nearly as good and perhaps more representative of the whole.

Decalogue of Darkness is also accessible, à la Trans-Siberian Orchestra, though it's less overtly commercial and has much less guitar. Put another way, those who like their symphonic prog with a bit of metal will enjoy this album, as will prog-rock fans in general. (For what it's worth, Prog Archives users rank Decalogue of Darkness among the best albums of 2018.)

Review by andrea
5 stars After a long period of silent work, in 2018 Daal expressed their creativity by releasing contemporaneously on Agla Records two excellent albums: "Decalogue Of Darkness" and "Navels Falling Into A Living Origami". The first one features dark atmospheres and vintage sounds that could recall some seventies soundtracks of horror films. Here the line up features along with Alfio Costa (Mellotron, Moog, piano, synthesizers) and Davide Guidoni (drums, percussion) the guests Ettore Salati (guitars) and Bobo Aiolfi (bass). According to the liner notes, this work is dedicated to the memory of some dear persons that the musicians lost and miss but who are still present in their hearts. The art cover, taken from a 1508 woodcut portraying the devil taking the soul of a dying man, and the pictures in the booklet try to describe the musical content, conceived as "an inner mirror reflecting the dark side of a man with his nightmares and fears"...

Despite the gloomy subject matter and the Gothic art cover, the music has nothing to do with depressing black metal or dissonant passages evoking infernal sceneries. On the contrary, all along the untitled ten chapters in which is divided this long album, the music is always characterised by a sumptuous, symphonic beauty... Delicate, dreamy passages evolve into nervous parts with the rhythm section giving a strong sense of tension while light, soaring melodies alternate with sudden surges of dark, mysterious energy. At times bands such as Goblin or L'Albero del Veleno might come to mind, but this work has it's own originality and deserves a very attentive listening from the very first notes to the last...

By chance, recently, while re-listening to this album I was reading a novel by Gaston Leroux and I stumbled in a passage that in my opinion seems to capture its spirit: "He called out, with all the strength of the sorrow that filled his breast... He called in the way in which you call not upon a living, but upon a dear dead woman, in the hope that she may appear to you. For there are moments when human sorrow does not dread ghosts and when it conjures up shades to press them to its heart, without trembling on the threshold of the great mystery; moments when love would have the dead come forth from the dark and when it is astonished - so loud has been its call - that the spirits do not come and kiss its lips!" (quote from Balaoo, by Gaston Leroux). Well, I think that this music is a kind of powerful call to the ghosts, a lay requiem mass able to stir emotions and even to express a sense of positivity by exorcising the evil spirits of melancholy and sadness.

One of my favourite 2018 albums!

Latest members reviews

4 stars "Decalogue of Darkness" is the 8th album of this group in duet with a certain Davide Guidoni on percussion , which has released an intimate and very mesmerizing Album sour the name of B-RAIN. This album is actually composed of 10 orchestral pieces based on samplers and other Mellotrons played by ... (read more)

Report this review (#2340097) | Posted by alainPP | Wednesday, March 4, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If dark, chilling instrumentals are your thing, check this out right away, because this album is genuinely horrifying (especially Chapters VI-X). I'd never consider this album for casual listening. The best way to listen to this album is at night, alone, in the dark. I first checked out this a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2242196) | Posted by Astrod | Tuesday, August 6, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Decalogue of Darkness" is not a brand new album, but for me is an absolutely discovery, So let's introduce them. What at first seems like a strange band name is easy to explain, because only the names of the two musicians who were responsible for this project from the beginning are dealt with: DA ... (read more)

Report this review (#2136886) | Posted by Flybynight-door | Saturday, February 16, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What drives a musical group to change the skin so often, even publishing 2 CDs at the same time, one the exact opposite of the other? Want to surprise? A strong sense of experimental research? Two souls within the same project? I believe that "Decalogue of Darkness" and "Navels Falling into a Li ... (read more)

Report this review (#2132794) | Posted by Sinedie | Thursday, January 31, 2019 | Review Permanlink

2 stars 1.5 Stars, An endless fog of mellotron While it is frowned on to pass judgement on a album after a single listen, when an album is either amazing or awful it does not require too many repeated plays, and unfortunately Decalogue Of Darkness falls into the latter. DAAL have been one of those hig ... (read more)

Report this review (#2132765) | Posted by LakeGlade12 | Thursday, January 31, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Decalogue of Darkness is a new Daal album released in 2018, simultaneously with "Navels Falling into a Living Origami". Stylistically Decalogue of Darkness is a return to the atmosphere of "Dodecahedron", considered by many the best work of Alfio Costa (Mellotron, piano, noises, samplers) and Dav ... (read more)

Report this review (#2120105) | Posted by minus | Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Decalogue of Darkness is one of those records that surely attract people in the world of progressive music. A few years ago I had heard "Dodecahedron" and I loved it, but this is definitely higher !!! Decalogue of darkness includes the best symphonic prog in dark colors of recent times. It is power ... (read more)

Report this review (#2117120) | Posted by Aenima-x | Friday, January 11, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The DAAL are two brains thinking and their cd is one of those destined to fall in love every Prog-lover, as its ruts out scholars of extraordinary beauty notes, all accompanied by a beautiful cover and a booklet with 10 great pictures, that tell the mood of the record. "Decalogue of Darkness" h ... (read more)

Report this review (#2112024) | Posted by Alex_Smirnov | Saturday, December 29, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After 4 years of silence italian Daal return, with two very different CDs, but complementary to their style, the first experimental and electronic, the second most "vintage" with dark and mysterious strokes, as always! Decalogue of Darkness is definitely part of their second soul, the one that gave ... (read more)

Report this review (#2110367) | Posted by MariaCarta | Sunday, December 23, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars DAAL have become a very complex and sophisticated machinery. The last goal of the duo, composed by the keyboardist Alfio Costa and the drummer Davide Guidoni, is a double publication: two albums built on two styles opposite each other. "Decalogue of Darkness" collects ten chapters, and already f ... (read more)

Report this review (#2108328) | Posted by Pagano | Tuesday, December 18, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "TONS OF TRONS!!" This album was my first musical encounter with the Italian prog formation DAAL, I was very curious to their sound after I noticed so many euphoric words about their two 2018 releases on the I ... (read more)

Report this review (#2085255) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Tuesday, December 11, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Italian progressive scene is in excellent condition, 50 years after its first musical explorations! Daal is a duo, keyboardist Alfio Costa and percussionist Davide Guidoni and represents a singular face of Italian progressive music. A sort of synthesis between symphonic , dark, neo-romantic prog ... (read more)

Report this review (#2082367) | Posted by Mariusprog | Wednesday, December 5, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After some albums much appreciated by critics and audiences DAAL Alfio Costa and Davide Guidoni come to the seventh cd, with their instruments armor (including a celestial Mellotron !!!) and the contribution of some good collaborators like Ettore Salati and Bobo Aiolfi (guitar and bass) creating a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2078432) | Posted by R.Diaz | Sunday, November 25, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars There are great news for the Daal, one of the best realities, at this moment, of the Italian prog: there are as 2 new records for the group of the keyboardist and genier Alfio Costa, also known for the activity with the Prowlers, and drummer Davide Guidoni, here helped by guitarist Ettore Salati ... (read more)

Report this review (#2077124) | Posted by p_nomade | Tuesday, November 20, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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