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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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Echoes Of Falling StarsEchoes Of Falling Stars
Agla Records
$19.99
Dodecahedron by Daal (2012-08-03)Dodecahedron by Daal (2012-08-03)
Agla Records
$60.19
$48.15 (used)
Dances Of The Drastic Navels by Daal (2014-08-03)Dances Of The Drastic Navels by Daal (2014-08-03)
Agla Records
$76.96
Destruktive Actions Affect Livings by Daal (2011-05-04)Destruktive Actions Affect Livings by Daal (2011-05-04)
Agla Records
$62.96
DisorganiciorigamiDisorganiciorigami
Mellow 2009
$28.16
Dances Of The Drastic NavelsDances Of The Drastic Navels
Ma. Ra. Cash Records 2015
$23.64
$21.84 (used)
DisorganicorigamiDisorganicorigami
Mellow Records
$19.99
DodecahedronDodecahedron
Agla Records
$19.99
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DAAL discography


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

3.67 | 87 ratings
Disorganicorigami
2009
3.98 | 123 ratings
Destruktive Actions Affect Livings
2011
4.21 | 104 ratings
Echoes Of Falling Stars
2011
4.05 | 239 ratings
Dodecahedron
2012
4.03 | 184 ratings
Dances Of The Drastic Navels
2014
4.91 | 3 ratings
Navels Falling into a Living Origami
2018
4.05 | 3 ratings
Decalogue of Darkness
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 | 17 ratings
Destruktive Actions affect Livings limited edition boxset
2011
4.55 | 22 ratings
Dodecahedron (Limited Edition Boxset)
2012

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

4.48 | 27 ratings
Echoes
2012
4.44 | 30 ratings
The Call of the Witches
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Decalogue of Darkness - Chapter I
2018

DAAL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Navels Falling into a Living Origami by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.91 | 3 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
4.05 | 3 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.

 Dances Of The Drastic Navels by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.03 | 184 ratings

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Dances Of The Drastic Navels
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Italian project DAAL was formed in 2008 by Davide Guidoni (drums) and Alfio Costa (keyboards), with the latter the main creative force of this venture. In addition to contributing to various project albums they have also been actively recording and releasing studio albums ever since their debut album "Disorganicorigami" appeared in 2009, with five full-length studio recordings to their name so far. "Dances of the Drastic Navels", the most recent of these, was released by the Italian label Agla Records at the end of 2014.

"Dances of the Drastic Navels" is an album that has its foundation in a hard to define variety of progressive rock, featuring plenty of careful electronic flavoring and occasional visits into a more purebred variety of electronic progressive music, an eclectic blend of styles and approaches, where the main recurring element is that the music tends to stay on the dark side of things as far as moods and atmospheres are concerned. I'd suggest that those who find Trey Gunn's various excursions to be of general interest might want to have a go at this one as well, and otherwise, those who enjoy King Crimson just as much as Tangerine Dream might perhaps also be a crowd that will find this production intriguing.

 Dodecahedron by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.05 | 239 ratings

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Dodecahedron
Daal Eclectic Prog

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

5 stars On their fourth full release the duo known as DAAL (DA-vide Guidoni and AL-fio Costa) deliver an impressive eclectic electronic smorgasbord of sonic weirdness once again only this time instead of different track names, they take the title of the album DODECAHEDRON and simply make XII different tracks, each taking you on a different trip through the psyche and subliminal universe of mellotron dream worlds enriched with every sonic possibility you can think of and then some. The Pink Floyd influences are omnipresent as usual but DAAL have a masterful way of making these sound unique and different enough never to stray even close to classic album plagiarism. Once again there is an entire ensemble of guest musicians on board incorporating all the usual suspects of rock instruments (guitar, bass, drums) as well as the exotic ones such as the Greek bouzouki, bardic harp and two that i have never heard of called itchemba and kehru, which are dried pumpkins that are made into stringed instruments.

The music flows brilliantly from one DODECAHEDRON movement to the other with some tracks rocking out with Floydian guitar solos while others delivering silky and smooth lush string sections accompanied by brilliant piano riffs. The melodic flow often has slight dissonant counterpoints to add a nice salty taste to the sweetness. I would say this album is more melodic and contains less frantic time sig changes than other releases. There is much more emphasis on atmosphere and a nice leisurely ride down a river of electronic sounds and atmospheric changes much like clouds drifting in the sky changing subtly into something entirely different. With this music the cello led string sections can morph into a tribal drumming with jazzy sax combo with nice atmospheric synths and then off to something else entirely. This is also an entirely instrumental affair which allows the band to flutter off like a butterfly anyway the wind blows. The only thing that comes to mind for comparison is a progressive rock equivalent of Shpongle.

I have listened to this album in many ways and on different stereo systems just to compare. I have listened completely focused on every detail and i have listened while preoccupied with something else banishing it to background music and i have come to the same conclusion either way. This album somehow manages to sound great as active and passive music on higher quality sound systems and even on my crappy car system. There is a fundamental basis in melodic development that keeps it interesting and lots of bells and whistles to add lots of extra yumminess to the whole thing. Once again DAAL deliver the eclectic progressive rock and electronic goods keeping me thoroughly entertained. This is one of those albums that is nebulous enough to sound different depending on mood and setting. This is definitely one for the musical wanderer. One for the restless listener who likes a lot of unpredictability in their world. One full of excogitative fecundity keeping the listener wondering just which sonic bloom will sustain into maturity or simply fizzle out into the great void. Welcome to tripper's paradise!

 Dances Of The Drastic Navels by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.03 | 184 ratings

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Dances Of The Drastic Navels
Daal Eclectic Prog

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

4 stars After the fruitful years of 2012 when DAAL released not only a full album but also an EP they took a couple years to hone the latest chapter of their musical world into DANCES OF THE DRASTIC NAVELS. The past several years has seen the duo of DA-vide Guidoni and AL-fio Costa (with guest musicians) make some waves in the progressive music universe and on this 2014 release they continue their propensity to follow in the wake of space rock giants Pink Floyd mixed with healthy doses of Klaus Schulze type progressive electronica.

While most DAAL albums take their sweet time to usher in the more energetic phases of a track, the opener "Malleus Maleficarum" has none of that predictability. We get some energetic rock kickin' the album off from the start with keyboards adding the mood building touch that eventually slows down to include a spooky theremin sound settling in a dark and chilling mood. The music continues its ebb and flow of spacey mellow passages and rockin' outbursts with piano accompanied by a guitar solo but about the 4:40 mark changes back into a spacey progressive electronic segment reminding once again of "Dark Side Of The Moon." This pattern continues building segments and climaxing and then abruptly transitioning into something new. DAAL have become very good at this Frankenstein approach of sonic seamstressy and keeps it all feeling very natural.

The second track "Elektra" takes the opposite approach and begins with a more expected slow spacey build up eventually being accompanied by some energetic tribal drumming and slow synth run offering contrast. It turns into a fun bounciness in proggy time signatures that lasts for over seven minutes but offers up enough variety to keep the whole thing interesting.

Another propensity DAAL has mastered is the melodramatic piano riffs as heard on the third track "Lilith" that wouldn't sound out of place as a TV soap opera theme bringing the US soap "The Young And The Restless" to mind. Some may find this a bit cheesy but i find the sweet and syrupy riff actually works well once all the counterpoints are added to expand its melodic possibilities into different directions. The slow addition of layers of instruments brings a veritable post rock feel to many of the tracks on DANCES OF THE NAVELS with "Lilith" being at the shortest track that lasts just long enough before becoming stale.

The longest and most varied behemoth on this album is the title track and begins with a steam train kinda chugga chugga rhythm overlaid with an unrelated vocal track and spacey synth line. Kinda has a Faust feel as it brings a collage type effect into play. All the disjointed and unrelated parts exude a strange tension that makes one ponder what's ready to unleash at any moment. Finally we get "Dark Side" Floydian bass accompanied by some tinkling piano and then adds some serious rock guitar. At 23:50 the track takes plenty of time to develop a plethora of passages that tend to alternate more the subdued mellowness to establish and re- establish the hooks while the harder sounds tend to allow the music to drift more into chaos before being jolted back to the main melodramatic piano again. Once again the post rock formula is well exhibited with building tensions constantly exploiting new layers of sounds like a violin segment that really brings acts like Godspeed! You Black Emperor To Mind."

Unfortunately i find DAAL's albums to be excellent but there always seems to be a song that rubs me the wrong way. In this case it's the finale "Inside You" which seems a little too tame to be in the company of such progressive beasts. Not that it's a bad song or anything but it just isn't a great one either and although i can understand the intent for it to be a sanity check after such frenetic instrumental prowess, i just find it is lackluster and skippable.

There is a feeling at this point that DAAL may be rehashing their sounds a bit and that they might be in danger of becoming stagnate as there really isn't a lot to distinguish this album from the others but the arrangements are interesting and DAAL has really tapped into some fusion possibilities that haven't been developed to this extent. Except for the last track i find this music to be captivating and thoroughly intriguing. I do hope they find a way to up the ante on future releases but at this stage i don't feel they've thoroughly exhausted the compositional possibilities of the style they have created. An excellent album filled with DAAL-lisciousness but falls a bit short from being a masterpiece.

 Echoes Of Falling Stars by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.21 | 104 ratings

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Echoes Of Falling Stars
Daal Eclectic Prog

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

4 stars ECHOES OF FALLING STARS was one of two releases by DAAL in 2011 and i'm not sure which came first but in this installment in the DAAL universe we get another bona fide adventure in to the eclectic and surreal sonicscapes of DA-vide Guidoni and AL-fio Costa plus an army of guest musicians adding all kinds of delicious musical flavors. Unlike most of their all instrumental releases this album has three out of the four tracks containing vocals. While the first lengthy meandering-through-the-prog-universe track only has one segment of vocals beginning around the nine minute mark, the third track is completely a vocal track as well as the Pink Floyd cover of "Echoes."

My favorite tracks by DAAL are the instrumental ones and as a result this was my least favorite album upon the first few listens, but ECHOES OF FALLING STARS has grown on me after many more spins. This album is not totally unlike the others. The general gist for the tracks is a beautifully melodic piano riff that incorporates a plethora of progressive electronic embellishments with the odd drumming patterns and occasional accompaniments of vocals, violin, guitar, bass and oud.

The first track takes us thru prog heaven and back with a constant meandering that ratchets up the intensity to a satisfying climax. The second track "Static Stars," the only total instrumental actually incorporates that cool synth sound found on Rush's "Xanadu" and is the first time i've heard another band use it. The track sounds nothing like that one otherwise but does offer a satisfying electronic sound frenzy that melodically marches on and reminds me of a lava flow of music where some sounds ooze slowly across the soundscape and others quickly skip across the slower melodic developments. It is quite the addictive leapfrogging sonic frenzy.

"Undertow" which has nothing to do with any Tool album was quite the surprise since i find DAAL's vocal songs to be hit or miss. This one hits the bullseye with a beautifully illustrious piano riff, totally cool electronic embellishments and the right on vocal additions of Hamadi Trabelsi. A great sounding Floydian sonicscape that actually ushers in quite well one of the few Pink Floyd covers that i deem excellent, namely "Echoes" of which defines the theme of the album. DAAL is one of the very few bands with the finesse and chops to successfully pull off a Pink Floyd track. They not only are faithful to the original but up the ante by upping the spaciness without anything feeling forced. Another brilliant release from this totally eclectic and unique musical outfit.

 Dances Of The Drastic Navels by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.03 | 184 ratings

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Dances Of The Drastic Navels
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by perillo

5 stars Some of the important names Italian Progressive Rock is now basing on are artists that with perseverance and hard work have aquired a style recognizable to "our" kind of vanguard. Alfio Costa: we find him on keyboards in many projects like Prowlers , Tilion , Colossus Project , in collaborations with Malaavia , Ars Nova , The Samurai Of Prog just to name a few , and with David Guidoni on percussion (great drummer and art graphic, as well) created this lucky project called Daal . " Dances Of The Drastic Navels " is the fifth embodiment of the studio after the success of " Dodecahedron " released in 2012. The album consists of five tracks and is published in a cardboard box as always curated by Davide Guidoni . The recorded sounds are contaminated with halos of darkness, to create an always intriguing and surprising atmosphere. On the record, they work with support of friends like Ettore Salati guitars , known within the Prog environment as active in many projects in this regard ( The Watch , Alex Carpani , Archangel , The RedZen , SoulenginE etc. etc. ) , Bobo Aiolfi on bass guitar also with the Prowlers , Letizia Riccardi on violin , Tirill MONH voice in " Inside Out " and Guglielmo Mariotti ( voice ) . The title of the first track " Malleus Maleficarum " is already a prediction of what the listener is going to find out. The music is composed by Costa with a big support of Guidoni for what is about the intro and the sounds that remind to a heavy style of Goblin or Antonius Rex . Remarkable the central part of the song , when the atmosphere subside for a Psychedelia with stretches of Pink Floyd reminiscence. " Elektra ( An Evening With ... ) " is a variant of electronic and instrumental , enhanced by the percussion of Guidoni . The track, anyway firmly rock-styled, is dedicated to a friend of theirs who died on a tragic night . " Lilith " is a sort of lullaby inspired by a drawing found carved on a tree by Alfio . Hypnotic and haunting , bases much emphasis on the notes draining from Costa's piano. A composition as exciting and profound as few can conceive. With the title track "The Dance Of The Drastic Navels" we find the classic Daal sounds, those that were able to hit the listener's attention gradually since 2009. The few lyrics in the work are still the continuation of the topic of the first album; they tell the story of a man of the future who falls in love with a witch half-woman and half-robot, able to turn that man into a personal toy of hers. The track spreads Nordic atmospheres, very close to the Swedish Prog and some King Crimson's; these given by the darkness of the passages, especially characterized by the sound of mellotron. By the mddle of the track, electronic sounds take over, as usual, a Daal's trump card. The album closes with "Inside You", originally composed to be the conclusion of the just heard suite but, instead, left to live of own life. The song (because that's just what it is) is sung by the beautiful voice of Norwegian Tirill Mohn and is enhanced by the "nostalgic" violin played by Letizia Riccardi. The piece alone is worth the price of the CD, as is often said in these cases, seal worthy of the job. The Daal do what they feel like doing, not paying attention to styles or trends, changing though always being themselves! "Dances Of The Drastic Navels" is a journey to be undertaken with no inhibitions, no fear, just setting the spirit free to find out, in the darkness hidden among the sun rays, what seems to be a new road... Daal, now a name and a guarantee.
 Dances Of The Drastic Navels by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.03 | 184 ratings

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Dances Of The Drastic Navels
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by p_nomade

5 stars I confess I was surprised by Daal because the album had been introduced as generically progressive but from the first notes of the Malleus Maleficarum, it is clear that this record must be understood in a broad sense. The final result of the efforts is a product a with very deep contamination: primarily electronic and ambient, creating a very special cd. We could loosely describe it as a combination of all Tool with Tangerine Dream, grafted on a basis that is undoubtedly progressive but is disrupted, changed, hidden even by Industrial insertions that make it potentially attractive both for standing progsters and for audiences that pass with ease from the Pink Floyd to Balletto di Bronzo. The main feature of Dances of the Drastic Navels is that it is liquid, suspended, always laying somewhere between dream and reality through the judicious use of electronic effects and those percussive elements (cleverly inserted inside a musical texture); the mesh always seems very wide but actually built to drive through a difficult to be followed path that carries within oneself; it's the theme of Elektra, introduced by a dark landscape which then gives way to a dark piece, between the tribal and the disturbing, that I find very successful. In The Dance of the Drastic Navels we find a piece from the strong electroprog, unsettling and disturbing, a suite that starts in an almost relaxed way and then accelerates and evolves into something even vaguely black and not some relaxing, worthy of attention. Inside You closes the work offering a tribute atmospheres ranging from poignant passages most typically prog; the yield fabulous voice Tirill Mohn (former White Willow) Dances of the Drastic Navels is hard-to-swim; we must move ourselves setting our minds free to give personal interpretation within the sound and emotional sensations that the musical constructions of Daal are able to offer. Hard to be approached but without expecting something rigidly framed in a scheme and within a specific genre. and nowadays this is probably a quality itself.

 The Call of the Witches by DAAL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.44 | 30 ratings

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The Call of the Witches
Daal Eclectic Prog

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

5 stars Yes!!!!! This is my favorite musical output from DAAL so far. I have listened to each and every release and this is the one that scratches all my psychedelic, electric and progressive itches the most and doesn't diminish the experience by throwing in a track in that doesn't seem to fit. THE CALL OF THE WITCHES was released in 2012, the same year as "Dodecahedron." I am not entirely sure which was released first, however this four track EP also found its way into the "Dodecahedron Limited Boxed Set" as the second disc. This release is kind of a leftovers package with two tracks appearing on the Colossus Projects by Musea Records and two more that are just a mystery as to why they are here and nowhere else!

"The Call Of Cthulu" comes from "The Stories Of H.P. Lovecraft: A Synphonic Collection." This is one of the first DAAL tracks that i ever heard and grabbed me by the tail and plunged me into their strange, eerie and spooky soundscapes. I was immediately hooked and had to get MORE! I started with the Lovecraft compilation and then moved on to everything else. The intro of this track kinda reminds me of the newer version of the Dr Who theme song by Murry Gold with its classical piano tinklings and mid-tempo march. The track immediately sets the mysterious and spookiness with its brooding moogs and strange proggified time sigs. The music takes its time to build to a full frenzied hard rockin' segment and then trades off with the tinkling piano and fluttering echoing synthesizers again. By the time we get to the end we get more hard rock with some seriously ragin' synth runs that despite the added aggression remain dark and lugubrious like a cloud that has parked itself over the sun and refuses to budge. The sense of tension and dread like the the monstrous Cthulu with its octopus head and a face with a mass of feelers could lunge its prodigious claws at you at any moment and pull you down into the abyss from whence you shall never return is unrelenting.

"Nosferatu" opens with some bizarre electronic vocals and some dark lugubrious synth action that sounds like ghostly apparitions circling above you announcing the arrival of the dreaded vampire who wants to suck your blood and all your life force so he can perpetuate his immortality. The slow and brooding tempo with ghostly swishing electronic whizzing is all you hear in the beginning but the track eventually breaks into some much needed drumming relief that ushers in a church organ that instantly conjures up images of Dracula and werewolf infested forests deep in the Transylvanian wilderness. The organ is loud and bombastic and sounds like it will literally blow the steeples and worshipping edifices right off of their very foundations.

"Witches" comes from the Colossus Project "Decameron: Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part 1." The spooky synth attack begins this creepy number that sounds like a swarm of dead souls screaming in the ethers. It makes me think of all the dead witches who were tormented and burned at the stake during the crusades. The trippy and startling vortex of sound then morphs into a nice piano riff that sounds classically inspired but in a Celtic folk style of playing. I swear i expect Loreena McKennitt to pop out of the woods and start singing a baleful tune about witch abuse. Meanwhile the sounds of a synthesized theremin are in the background creating a nice undulating layer to the mix.

Finally we get to "Echoes From The Shore" which begins with birds and a thunderstorm afoot. This piece is a true piece of musical surreality as it is mostly a soundscape that feels like a dream that drifts in and out of the subconscious mixing in all kinds of ambient effects that only occasionally include a piano or synth run that pierces the meandering sounds to remind you that this is indeed a musical album. After about six minutes of this eleven minute strangeness we finally get some percussion which is a nice steady drum pattern that ushers in a nice groovy Floydian bass line that is accompanied by a parade of fluttering sounds. Some sound like Tuvan throat singers, some like flowing water, some just plain weird.

Everything about this one works for me! Each of these tracks is DAAL at their very best. They infuse all the mood shifting elements and ambience and add all the right ingredients at the right time. The brevity of this EP is also a plus because of the heaviness of this strange trip into their world, it truly is an intense listen for the entire run and then a welcome relief that it ends when it does. I really hope we get more EPs like between their albums because although i really love every DAAL album, this one has all the elements concentrated into what i love the most about their sound. 5 huge stars!!!!!

 Dances Of The Drastic Navels by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.03 | 184 ratings

BUY
Dances Of The Drastic Navels
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Alfio Costa's brainchild from 2014 has fallen short of the previous release with which I am familiar, 2012's Dodecahedron. From first listen to this my twenty-somethingth I have felt the same: that something is lacking, something causes this mix of very different songs to fall short. To be sure, Dodecahedron left me with very high expectations. Maybe this is the whole problem, but I think not. I think it's more. Some intangible zing or emotion or excitability is missing. It is competent but flat, professional but lacking freshness or innovation.

1. "Malleus Malleficarum" (10:17) is a driving, trip-hoppy instrumental that sounds like it could have been taken straight off of the Dodecahedron album. Tension and drama are all-pervasive, setting up for psychological "fight scenes" in the fifth minute as played out by electric lead guitar, spacey synth incidentals and percussion. The music slowly rebuilds as a slide guitar solo plays before piano arpeggios enter and try to soothe us. Then, at 7:48, the original hard-driving section bursts back onto the scene to play out almost till the eerie spacey end. Unfortunately there is nothing in this song that catches hold of me and makes me want to come back. (7/10)

2. "Elektra (an evening with?)" (7:42) opens with some Frippertronics playing over a succession of several sustained low synth chords. At 1:30 another synth enters and ten seconds later a programmed world drum sequence. Then at 2:33 the listener is jarred awake by two strokes of a guitar/bass power chord. A new sequence of power chords is established with synths and drums in support to set up a bluesy Gilmour-esque guitar solo. By the five minute mark this has stopped and some spacey synth sounds wash over the otherwise empty soundscape. In the seventh minute the Frippertronics have returned along with bass, drums and piano. Awesome section! Continues to the ending piano notes. (8/10)

3. "Lilith" (4:15) is a decent cinematic ambient Math Rock kind of song. Built from a base of piano and acoustic guitar arpeggios, tuned and untuned percussives and bass, synth, and electric guitar chords are added, little by little, with the usual climb toward peak and climax, then again in a different and less dynamic way. Well done, if nothing particularly extraordinary. (8/10)

4. "The Dance of the Drastic Navels" (23:50) is an epic suite that lacks anything new or extraordinary. It kind of plods along and puts forward several synth sounds and computer programmed "instruments" that, to these ears, sound awkward and even cheesy or cheap. (I know from all of the keyboards my brother has collected over the years that not every keyboard nor is every computer sound created equally.) The most interesting part of the song is the 'psychological breakdown' of the piano player near the very end! (7/10)

5. "Inside You" (5:20) is the highlight of the album due to the extraordinary vocal contribution of Prog Folk singer Tirill Mohn. Unfortunately this song is constructed with very, very basic elements: first verse with slow piano chords for accompaniment, second with the 'gentle crash' arrival of cello, fretless bass, drums and acoustic guitar. The "C" section's cello solo is gorgeous but none so gorgeous as any whisper, "Ahh" or word from the angelic Tirlll. The song tries to end strong but? It is a beautiful and memorable song but not anything that will keep one coming back in order to unravel its hidden secrets. (9/10)

After 2012's solid Dodecahedron I had high expectations for their next release but this, unfortunately, feels like DAAL by the numbers; it's missing passion and fire.

3.5 star effort rated down.

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

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