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DAAL

Eclectic Prog • Italy


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Daal biography
Formed in Bergamo, Italy, in 2008

DAAL is an Italian duet. It's a project by Davide Guidoni and Alfio Costa. They're both experienced musicians on Italian Prog rock scene - Guidoni is a drummer who had been working with Taproban, The Far Side, Gallant Farm, Nuova Era, Ozone Player and others. Costa (Tilion, Prowlers, Colossus project, Dark Session) plays keyboards - mostly vintage ones, as well as some softsynths.

It's not surprising their music is rich in lush textures, with emphasis on a multitude of layers; a heritage of Italian Progressive Rock movement is evident, as well as various other influences. A curiosity is their nod to a Swedish progressive rock scene.




DAAL Videos (YouTube and more)


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Decalogue Of DarknessDecalogue Of Darkness
Maracash 2018
$17.90
$17.89 (used)
Echoes Of Falling StarsEchoes Of Falling Stars
Agla Records
$19.99
DodecahedronDodecahedron
Agla Records
$19.99
DisorganicorigamiDisorganicorigami
Mellow Records
$19.99
Navels Falling Into A Living OrigamiNavels Falling Into A Living Origami
Maracash 2018
$18.20
$18.19 (used)
Dodecahedron by Daal (2012-08-03)Dodecahedron by Daal (2012-08-03)
Agla Records
$62.94
$58.57 (used)
Destruktive Actions Affect Livings by Daal (2011-08-03)Destruktive Actions Affect Livings by Daal (2011-08-03)
Agla Records
$53.07
DisorganiciorigamiDisorganiciorigami
Mellow 2009
$27.80
Dances Of The Drastic NavelsDances Of The Drastic Navels
Ma. Ra. Cash Records 2015
$22.37
$22.16 (used)
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DAAL discography


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DAAL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 95 ratings
Disorganicorigami
2009
4.00 | 129 ratings
Destruktive Actions Affect Livings
2011
4.25 | 109 ratings
Echoes Of Falling Stars
2011
4.07 | 247 ratings
Dodecahedron
2012
4.04 | 193 ratings
Dances Of The Drastic Navels
2014
4.31 | 86 ratings
Decalogue Of Darkness
2018
4.29 | 66 ratings
Navels Falling Into A Living Origami
2018

DAAL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DAAL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DAAL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.94 | 18 ratings
Destruktive Actions affect Livings limited edition boxset
2011
4.57 | 23 ratings
Dodecahedron (Limited Edition Boxset)
2012

DAAL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.52 | 29 ratings
Echoes
2012
4.45 | 33 ratings
The Call of the Witches
2012
5.00 | 4 ratings
Decalogue of Darkness - Chapter I
2018

DAAL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Decalogue Of Darkness by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.31 | 86 ratings

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Decalogue Of Darkness
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & 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!

 Decalogue Of Darkness by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.31 | 86 ratings

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Decalogue Of Darkness
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

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.

 Decalogue Of Darkness by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.31 | 86 ratings

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Decalogue Of Darkness
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by p_nomade

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 and bassist Bobo Aiolfi. It is "Decalogue Of Darkness" and "Navels Falling Into A Living Origami": they are, in reality, two very different but complementary works that demonstrate the eclecticism and the wide range of views of the Daal. This "Decalogue Of Darkness" is linked, in some way, to the previous things and, in particular, to an album like "Dodecahedron" while the other is more experimental and less conventional but no less valid. "Decalogue Of Darkness" has a solemn and regal atmosphere that will make the symphonic lovers happy. There is a great deployment of keyboards: those who love the sound of Mellotron and the vintage settings will find bread for their teeth. From the cover we are projected into a dark and gothic universe populated with shadows. We are facing a thick work that could be the ideal soundtrack of a horror and esoteric script of the '70s as "Il Segno del Comando". The cd is divided into 10 chapters all without name, that lead us into a maze from which there is no exit. The interplay between the musicians is perfect: Alfio Costa's elegant and evocative keyboards are well accompanied by Davide Guidoni's jazzy drums, while the "floydian" guitar embroidery and the pulsating bass contribute to enriching the sound. The highlight of the disc is the second chapter, over 16 minutes long: the initial part, introduced by the piano and the mellotron, immediately immerses us in an ancient and gloomy dimension, where untold rituals are performed in ruined castles. Then the sound becomes imposing and magniloquent to then fall back towards quieter and more mysterious sounds and then continue again towards more frenetic atmospheres: the ending is stupendous and horrifying. But this is a feature that we also find in the other chapters of the disc. The beginning of the last chapter is very evanescent and cosmic: I came to mind the Tangerine Dream period "Phaedra" and "Rubycon": then the beautiful guitar of Ettore Salati paints poignant embroidery of atmosphere while in the second part the music becomes obscure and evocative. "Decalogue Of Darkness" keeps on excellent levels in all of its 71 minutes duration and confirms the whole Daal class.
 Decalogue Of Darkness by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.31 | 86 ratings

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Decalogue Of Darkness
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
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.

 Navels Falling Into A Living Origami by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.29 | 66 ratings

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Navels Falling Into A Living Origami
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars As much as Decalogue of Darkness sought to evoke the turbulence of sounds and atmospheres that once characterized the music of King Crimson, this 49 minute one track album slithers into a more psychedelic realm that showcases a definite cinematographic style, something Pink Floyd would do if they relied on the mellotron as their main weapon of choice. That being said , the duo of master keyboardist Alfio Costa and drum king Davide Guidoni shake the arrangements up by adding dense orchestrations, all sorts of sound effects as well as some solid Gilmourian guitar soloing courtesy of a trio of guitarists.

So you never quite know what to expect next, a constant, unending sonic adventure full of twists and turns, clashing serene with uncomfortable, always on edge. Like a palace of a 100 rooms, each opened door offers new dimensions': strange vocalizations, officious percussives, sublime pastoral soundscapes, buzzing waspy synthesizer lines, bruising bass from Simone Montrucchio, very clever 60's styled TV music (at the 18.30 mark), whistling synth spirals that whoosh into the firmament, I mean its all there.

Things can get quite experimental at times, very free-spirited until the drums kick some orderly direction into the mass, though Davide is way more polyrhythmic than Nick Mason. The mellotron does make numerous incursions, providing that surly and agonized touch that makes it such a legendary icon. At the 26 minute mark especially, the simple beat thuds alongside the sad piano motifs, the glistening guitar pearls wedged between murky clouds of uncertainty, urging a sense of incredible journey, dripping water notwithstanding. A lost violin scours the horizon, strings attached to its very soul until a Spanish guitar seeks to emulate Concerto for Aranjuez, a wholly unexpected ornament to an all-ready gorgeous soundscape. Shifting light obscured by clouds, thunder rattling beyond, wind whistling through leaves and branches and rivulets of gurgling sounds. Like a soundtrack to a travelogue, the music evokes Nordic forests, Asian deserts, lush jungle, searing skyscrapers, alpine behemoths and green valleys. The final segment audaciously includes a brief vocal , courtesy of Guglielmo Mariotti, also known for his bruising Rickenbaker bass playing on other albums, thus adding a semblance of gentle accessibility to the entire proceedings.

Daal has been dishing out great music over the last decade, the two 2018 releases simply crown this band as the current prog leaders in exciting modern musical manifestations.

5 Japanese belly buttons

 Decalogue Of Darkness by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.31 | 86 ratings

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Decalogue Of Darkness
Daal Eclectic Prog

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

 Decalogue Of Darkness by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.31 | 86 ratings

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Decalogue Of Darkness
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 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--medival-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 Hxan) 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.

 Navels Falling Into A Living Origami by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.29 | 66 ratings

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Navels Falling Into A Living Origami
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars DAAL is the project of two established Italian prog musicians, Davide Guidoni (drums, percussion, soundscapes) and Alfio Costa (keyboards, piano, Mellotron). I've had the privilege to review their albums from 2012 onwards. Recently Daal released two albums. The other one is called Decalogue of Darkness, an instrumental suite divided in ten parts. Navels Falling into a Living Origami -- wow, what a title -- contains only one singular piece of music (49:27) in which the duo is accompanied by a bunch of guest musicians adding guitars, oud, bass, violin, and even a vocal section in the final minutes of the composition.

It's the third time I'm listening to the music as I write. On the very first listening I was deeply impressed and thought we're having a unique modern prog masterpiece here, an exciting, ambientish musical journey full of details and an intriguing spaceyness comparable to Pink Floyd and electronic-oriented artists such as Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream. It's experimental, but not at all difficult to get into, at least for an advanced prog listener. On my second listening that soon followed the first one, I also had occasional feelings of "so, where's the next breath-taking turn?" Of course it's too early yet to say whether this music will 'grow on you' or will it lose some of its initial charm. But my guess is that by the time you have learned the hurriless nature of it and stopped expecting to be continuously blown away by dynamic changes, you already have formed a certain meaningful connection to the piece. The fact that there are no movement divisions on the disc underlines how one has to take it: as a whole, free-pulsating flow, preferably with meditative-like concentration. If you're doing lots of other things simultaneously, you're bound to lose the 'plot' here and there.

I'll pick some key moments along the way. The acoustic guitar & Mellotron duet following the rather atonal intro sounds great. Around the 6th minute comes very Floydian electric guitar (played by Lorenzo Fasanelli), reminiscent of the early parts of 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond', then there are some astronaut's voices. The more rhythmic section comes and goes. At 12:17 enters the violin (Mir Khista), the music dwelling into Eastern-influenced slow meditativeness. The listener can just float there, seeing individual inner movies. Again, things get slightly more intense for a while, but soon you're back into outer space with slow and delicate piano melody and bright synth decorations. This is among my favourite parts, some minutes before the exact half-way.

And so on for nearly 50 minutes. Sure, it demands a lot from the listener, and since quite often the music lingers on and on before the next dynamic change (which can be pretty delicate too; it's not what you'd call a 'rollercoaster prog-ride'), there may be some tired moments along the way. But what's most important, instead of just building layer upon layer of various musical ideas, the musicians leave a lot of space for the emotional impact, which of course is very subjective thing. Roughly six minutes from the finish begins the acoustically oriented, mellow final section featuring multi-layered vocals of Guglielmo Mariotti. Being deeply psychedelic it doesn't seem out of place in the whole. I'm not very far from giving this work the full rating. Perhaps I'd prefer slightly bigger dynamic shifts and also some faster sections among the ambience. Nevertheless, Navels Falling into a Living Origami is a unique piece of art to be dived into, with all your mind and heart!

 Navels Falling Into A Living Origami by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.29 | 66 ratings

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Navels Falling Into A Living Origami
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars The musical duo known as DAAL from Bergamo, Italy has returned four long years after their last album "Dances Of The Drastic Navels" captured the prog rock world's attention and unleashed another dose of their unique blend of progressive space rock and electronica laced soundscapes with experimental touches. Davide Guidoni and Alfio Costa have outdid themselves this time around by not only releasing one new album in 2018 but by releasing TWO! Each with their own style and explorations into different arenas of sound which they have been creating for well over a decade now. Along with the more vintage sounding "Decadlogue Of Darkness" is this unique 50 minute one track suite NAVELS FALLING INTO A LIVING ORIGAMI which not only shows how very much DAAL love NAVELS and ORIGAMI judging from past album titles but how brilliantly these guys weave musical magic into an extended continuous listening experience.

Of the two new albums, NAVELS FALLING INTO A LIVING ORIGAMI is the more experimental of the two and contains not only new material but implements sounds from the past that have been edited, rearranged and retrained to perform completely new musical tricks. While Costa is in the house with his usual plethora of keyboard, piano and mellotron sounds and Guidoni handles drums, percussion, loops and soundscapes, there are an additional six musicians, three of which contribute guitar alone, along with a bass, violin and a Chinese instrument called the ehru, DAAL deliver another outstanding soundtrack to a fantasy world that takes a whole parade of sounds that twist and turn in myriad directions and extend into a huge epic sounding smorgasbord of space rock yumminess. While always finding a way to expand the space rock and progressive electronic realms, NAVELS FALLING INTO A LIVING ORIGAMI finds this band tackling their most ambitious album to date.

This one is really hard to describe. It's sort of a free flowing journey through a multitude of styles and moods. While it starts out as an ominous electronic maelstrom of sound it quickly shape shifts into Pink Floydian inspired space rock and pleasant classically inspired soundscapes that rely less on the rock universe and more on the progressive electronic styled motifs that wouldn't sound out of place on a Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze album. However, despite the obvious influences that DAAL always incorporates into their far reaching musical approach, this one meanderings idiosyncratically in a seemingly random fashion through different arenas which spend a while playing out and then moving on to something even more dynamic without missing a beat. Examples include times such as beautiful classical piano runs suddenly burst into heavy rock oriented grooves with bombastic percussion only to cede into an almost lullaby inspired lushness accompanied by a thunderstorm.

While it seems impossible that DAAL could be more experimental than they have offered in the past, that should not be a scary thing as all the proper DAAL-isms are completely in tact just merely augmented and extended into a greater manifestation of musical mojo. All the space rock and electronic wizardry is abundant and perfectly executed in this outstanding example of a near 50 minute musical equivalent to a dream sequence that mostly floats along in instrumental free form glory but does include a short segment with vocals sung by Guglielmo Mariotti at the 45 minute mark which ushers out in a gentle acoustic guitar strummed finale. This is my favorite DAAL album so far and that comes after the band really having a strong series of albums that came before. The band is obviously not content on complacency once again strives to expand their sounds into ever greater horizons. This is highly recommended for prog lovers who love those lengthy epic sprawlers that evoke not only the greats of the past but find ways to progress into the future. NAVELS FALLING INTO A LIVING ORIGAMI is a perfect album in every way.

 Decalogue Of Darkness by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.31 | 86 ratings

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Decalogue Of Darkness
Daal Eclectic Prog

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.

Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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