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Daal - Navels Falling Into A Living Origami CD (album) cover

NAVELS FALLING INTO A LIVING ORIGAMI

Daal

 

Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 137 ratings

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BrufordFreak
3 stars An album that is getting a fair amount of attention with most of the responses being glowing, it is interesting that this album was released simultaneously with the band's other 2018 album, the highly acclaimed Decalogue of Darkness--for which this reviewer issued a five star review. Navels is a completely different beast with one long, flowing collage of musical themes registering over 49 minutes in length and being given one single title--a whole-album prog epic.

1. "Navels Falling into a Living Origami" (49:27) opening with 90 seconds of ghostly whispers and crazed synth swashes and reverse-engineered swipes, the song shifts rather radically into a slowly soloing Mellotron and a slowly picked (later, briefly, strummed) two chords of an electrified acoustic guitar. I do not like the old, "poorly engineered" sound of either the guitar or the 'tron. It's kind of Moody Blues By the end of the fifth minute, this movement is finished, as noted by the bridge of chaotic cacophonous "crowd voices of clamoring metal trash" returned to from the end of the opening section. The following section is pure imitation of PINK FLOYD's opening section of the song "Wish You Were Here" from the 1974 album of the same name, but things evolve fairly quickly into the next section starting in the middle of the eighth minute after a brief bridge of astronauts-in-space chatter feels KING CRIMSONian--in a simplified XII ALFONSO/cinematic GOBLIN kind of way. In the middle of the 12th minute there is another cinematic shift into a section in which airy Middle Eastern sounding music like that of PETER GABRIEL's Passion: Soundtrack to the Film The Last Temptation of Christ plays. Hand drums and other percussives, synths, synth wooden flutes and violins flit and float around the soundscape. A swish-wash synth interlude in the sixteenth minute gives way to a chunky-bass-led more up-tempo section. At 17:00 we then take a turn through a radio static intersection before a slow electric piano-based section shows off some old, early synthesizer sounds similar to those heard in early TANGERINE DREAM albums. It's pretty if rather simple. At 19:40 there is another shift as Davide's cymbol play is teamed up with Alfio's ancient synth slow arpeggi. The nasal-sounding drones of Middle Eastern-sounding pipes or bagpipes take over the lead while a TD Berlin-School-like synthesizer 'sequence' establishes itself while, all the while, Davide plays a mix of rapid-hit, syncopated plastic-sounding and normal sounding toms (roto- or dragon-toms?). Is this their "On the Run" tribute? or "In the Air Tonight" blended with TD/Klaus Schulze? At the 24:00 mark everything stops and a new theme of ominous low-flying WWII bomber synth takes over the foundational sound before a weave of a repeating singular piano minor chord arpeggio, bass, Mellotron, and hand, kit, and programmed percussives slowly become intwined and interwoven. The presence of lead guitar comes and goes all the while the cheezy drum machine beat and buzz of the low flying dirigible hold fast. By the time the 28:00 mark comes, it is the dirigible saw synth that is alone holding it all together--until things begin to dissemble while an imitation ROBERT FRIPP guitar solo wanders around the sound field. Reverse synth notes, bubble noises, slow-picked electrified acoustic guitar, and Fripp pervade and then fade in the 36th minute as a two-sequence piano arpeggio takes over the forward movement. Kind of sounds like a take off on the "Tubular Bells" theme. Tensions rise as the key and chord used slowly shifts up in pitch, but then they've disappeared as a slowly soloing cello and synth arpeggio carry us into an electric guitar section that sounds like a variation on the adagio section of Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjez"--while piano chord progression and synth-generated and tuned percussives play an oddly discordant "oppositional support" beneath. Weird. At 35:30, a low-end Mellotron "chamber strings" chord-play section bridges us to a section of eerie, scary New Age synths and washes. Boy! the synth sounds used throughout this song are so dated! Makes me appreciate how far sound technology has come! More "On the Run"-like synth sequences and plastic percussives pick up at the 38-minute mark as they build into an old-video game (Atari Pong)-sounding "Popcorn." This, then gives way into a weird Schulze/Parsons-synth-backed "zither" section. Again, the simplicity of the music and solo is rather surprising with their very slow, simple, straightforward time signatures. This ends around the 43-minute mark when slowly-morphing synth-saw notes bridge us to a recapitulation of the song's second guitar-based section over which a highly processed male voice sings an impassioned psychedelic lyric while accompanied by some very nice COLIN TENCH-like soloing electric guitar. After the guitar solo, at the end of the 47th minute, more zither-like acoustic instruments are subtly added to the foundational weave for the final Nice melodies, harmonies, This is the best section of the song. The final 90 seconds sees us move into a multi-track Mellotron lead over the guitar foundation. An okay Crimsonian finish to a song that seems to quite minimally entertain. Though there are multiple themes and sections over the course of this 49 minute song, the overall pacing and complexity have very few dimensions to offer. (79/100)

All in all, Navels Falling into a Living Origami produces an overall negative taste to me because of its derivatives and it's surprising simplicity. Whether or not the album is intended as a tribute/homage to past masterpieces and their artists or as a seriously original composition, it fails for me. My reaction and continued response to this album is quite similar (but not nearly so violent) to the way I found myself convulsing in surprise and disgust at the blatant copying going on on another near-universally acclaimed album, the 1996 release from Swedish band EDGE OF SANITY called Crimson Glory. Whereas the music imitated on Crimson Glory was hard rock, metal, and heavy metal music from the 1970s and 1980s, at least the music here sounds as if it is imitative of mostly hallowed classics of Progressive Rock. Still, this album deserves, in my opinion, no more than three stars.

3.5 stars; a nice prog epic of vintage sounds and vintage derivation but nothing extraordinary, innovative, or so inviting as to prompt recurring return visits.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |

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