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Daal - Dodecahedron CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.04 | 286 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
3 stars What to wear, what to wear....?

First of all, I'd like to apologise to Daal for the late review, but I have had my hands full the past couple of months. I received this album a cold winter morning, with the black and rather occult looking art work almost blinking at me with a frosty and wintery characteristic to it - as if nature and music secretly had been talking behind my back previously to this occasion. It felt right and preconceived in some weird way.

Daal consist of two fine gentlemen who play a gazillion different instruments. On here they've been assisted by various musicians that take care of bouzouki, cello, flute, electric guitars and some instruments I don't know anything about. Kehru?

What first struck me with Dodecahedron was it's brilliant usage of counter-pointing musical effects. There's a mirroring happening throughout the course of this album, that either comes through distinctive instruments playing up against each other or in the way an otherwise delicate and melodic instrument suddenly changes for something far more snarling and sharp.

King Crimson obviously made this brand of heavy and countering music, when they did Lizard and Larks' Tongues in Aspic, yet it's still rather seldom we come across modern bands who are capable of infusing hard and heavy over and undertones to music - without ever getting near a guitar amplifier and overt heavy metal riffing. Steven Wilson is one of the few who does this successfully currently, he knows how to make music intense and heavy without having to resort to pure metal. It's about feel and energy, and at times rather tumultuous rhythm patterns that again counter something on the other side of the fence. Just like this band actually....

Though Daal put their own spin on it - continuing to draw in inspirations from all over the place. You get quite a bit of fusion, though served up in a strangely metallic dressing that has a ninja like way of numbing your eardrums after the first half of the album. Then there's the ultra modern folk music that only seems to show its head in between the huge and theatrical parts of the album. Pling pling the strings go and suddenly you get hit with great big cascades of washing synths - and together these feel as one, even if they still have that countering effect, that most of this album is full of.

So why the 3,5 stars? Well, I feel I need to be sincere with these guys - after all they did go out of their way to send me a tangible version of the album. So here it goes: I am not really digging the way Dodecahedron was produced. It's a real shame in my humble opinion, because I have completely fallen for the music. If I may, then let me just get back to my earlier King Crimson parallel. I really do think, that part of why an album like Larks' Tongues worked so well, was due to the natural timbre of the instruments - the wooden and earthy texture within the music itself. Had the angular and demanding riffs been subjected to a more sterile production, thereby eradicating every little noise and imperfection - the music would've turned out anodyne and strangely flat. That's my take on it anyway, and I feel the same has happened with this album. The feel these guys are going for would be helped enormously with a more ascetic and raw approach to the production side of things.

There's so much diversity, sprinkling and somersaulting headturners of musical bliss hidden away within this record, I just think they would be far better represented in a different black tuxedo. Still 3.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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