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Daal - Destruktive Actions Affect Livings CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.98 | 147 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars One look at the fascinating and ominous computer illustrated sci-fi cover of Daal's second album `Destruktive Actions Affect Livings' should instantly tip listeners off that this work will be one for the fans of darker music! That's mostly true, but there's a lot more going on here than that. What makes the duo of Alfio Costa and Davide Guidoni so interesting is that beneath cold electronics and murky atmospheres, they incorporate elements of ambient music, psy-trance, gothic, classical and even brief touches of proper Italian prog and jazz to fascinating results. It's an album of beautiful contrasts, seamlessly moving back and forth between light and dark passages, eerie ambience, brooding heaviness and sedate thoughtful movements. Although I'm yet to work out if it's a proper concept album or not, most of the music flows together, one track blending with another. It's like the listener is moving through a futuristic apocalyptic world, or trying to escape a sinister scientific lab or haunted house, and each piece is a different room, a different encounter to escape through to gain your freedom and glimpse just a trace of hope on the other side.

`Redroom' makes for a haunting opening, fragmented radio transmissions and distorted electronics blur into an almost metallic droning ambience. The Mellotron fuelled `Anarchrist' sounds like Steven Wilson jamming throughout the darkest King Crimson moments, a brooding and impossibly morose slab of psy-trance with plodding bass, manic drumming, a straining guitar solo near the end and tip-toeing ghostly piano majesty to end on. The unpleasant and fascinating soundscape `Music from an Interlude' could almost have been taken from an album by fellow Italian band Antonius Rex, full of stomping footsteps and creaking doors over crashing cymbals, harsh thick electronics and a maddening electronic pulse. `Level 6666' features sweeping and confident classical piano over regal Mellotron in the manner of the vintage Italian progressive bands, and I love that while you're sinking to deep depths below with the unnerving gothic atmosphere, it also takes you to spiritual and hypnotic highs with use of a sitar.

The almost 17 minute absurdly titled `Dance of the Drastic Navals pt 2', a continuation of a piece from the debut album, maintains a maddening build-up of suffocating unease and unnerving intensity throughout. The only track to feature a proper vocal, Guglielmo's Mariotti's voice takes on a pleading and sadly romantic quality, with just a hint of obsession and unease - "I'd like to be the wind, lost in your hair, I'd be like fire. I'd like to be the blood inside you..." - so full of clawing lust and sweet desire. The music around it is a mix of creeping 70's Pink Floyd intensity (just listen to the glistening organ and booming cymbals straight off `Ummagumma' in the middle!), droning liquid ambience, intimidating electronic oscillations and a glorious, almost joyful violin/piano led finale. Simply beautiful.

The nightmarish `Cry Hologenic' is a fragile piano piece interspersed with very harsh cutting electronic drones. `Aglatarium' begins as a mostly downbeat jazzy piano and sax piece before dissolving into a psychedelic keyboard breakdown, and it would have sounded right at home on any of the daring Italian prog album of the 70's. The ten minute title track blends purring deeply ambient Tangerine Dream-like electronics, gentle programmed beats and faraway frantic sax with all sorts of daring RIO/Avant-garde experimentation. With a title like `Memories of Old Pictures', it's not surprising to find the album closer is a reflective and somber piece, full of lonely sax, piano and gloomy Mellotron with a chilling and howling electronic climax. The piece perfectly shows that despite the level of cold electronics the band frequently surrounds themselves with, they never lose touch of their humanity, actually something they balance perfectly throughout the entire album.

`Destruktive Actions Affects Livings' works beautifully as both a background listen and one worthy of your full listening attention, where you'll discover all sorts of rich subtleties and hidden secrets. Daal have a very unique interpretation of progressive rock, one that incorporates a wide range of influences without ever resorting to anything resembling clichés or imitation. It's a very modern sounding album that still respects progressive rock of the past while always moving forwards, and fans of electronic invention, heavy or gothic music and maybe even the more experimental Italian progressive artists will find much to enjoy here.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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