Daal – Daedalus

Posted: 220522

Review Erik Neuteboom

DAAL is a highly acclaimed Italian and experienced Italian duo: drummer Davide Guidoni played in bands like Tapobran, Nuova Era and Ozone Player and keyboardist Alfio Costa in bands like Tillion and Dark Session, and the Colossus Project. Between 2009 and 2014 DAAL released five studio albums, two box sets and three singles. Four years later DAAL surprised the world of progrock with the release of two albums within 2019: first Navels Falling Into A Living Origami (a part of completely re-arranged published material, and a part of material completely unpublished, pretty experimental)  and then Decalogue Of Darkness (with ex-The Watch guitar player Ettore Salati, the music often evokes Anekdoten, very compelling and lots of tension). And now, anno 2022, this new DAAL album featuring Alfio Costa (keyboards and noises), Ettore Salati (electric guitars), Bobo Aiolfi (fretless basses) and Davide Guidoni (acoustic - and electronic drums and percussion, keyboards and noises). I am still delighted about their previous effort so I was curious or DAAL would continue to deliver this kind of exciting prog.

Journey Through the Spiral Mind Part 1 (14:10) : This epic composition starts atmospheric including lots of sounds, at some moments a bit cacophonic. Then the music turns into dreamy with tender work on piano and guitar, blended with sensitive electric guitar. Suddenly a sumptuous outburst, Hammond joins, back to tender piano and howling guitar, then again a sumptuous outburst with Hammond and fiery guitar. This is ‘trademark DAAL’, the contrasting climates and the tension in the music. Halfway the music shifts to a more experimental atmosphere, with percussive sounds, and  soaring organ with distortion, now psychedelic Pink Floyd comes to my mind, pretty compelling. In the second part a slow rhythm with sensitive electric guitar, soon joined by majestic Mellotron violins (like early King Crimson but also Anekdoten), goose bumps as a Tron-maniac! The final part delivers tender piano, howling guitar and Mellotron cello.

Icarus Dreams (7:30) : This track alternate between bombastic up-tempo prog with rock guitar and synthesizr flights, and more experimental parts with with percussive sounds, a growling bass, tight drum beats and soft Mellotron violins. Finally the music turns into a slow rhythm with intense Mellotron violins and guitar play, simply wonderful.

Painting Wings (9:22) : After a dreamy and hypnotizing climate with electric piano DAAL delivers a bombastic eruption with omnipresent powerful Hammond and tight drums, then Mellotron violins join, this is Vintage Keyboard Heaven! In the second part back to dreamy and hypnotizing with a psychedelic and experimental touch, topped with a spacey Theremin sound.

Labyrinth 66 Part 1 & 2 (13:07) : This epic composition opens with a wide range of sounds, then a slow rhythm with a tight beat, soft Mellotron violins and hypnotizing keyboard runs, the climate is close to psychedelic. Next the distinctive sound of the Mellotron flute, a prelude to an accellaration with repetetive guitar runs (like Eighties King Crimson), Mellotron violins join, blended with powerful bass play. Now Ettori Salati starts a long and moving electric guitar solo, embellished with intense Mellotron violins, goose bumps, again! The final part features hypnotizing piano runs and a tight rhythm-section with soaring keyboards, Mellotron violins join, and in the end delicate piano work.

In My Time of Shadow (6:30) : First a dreamy atmosphere with  beautiful piano play, moving electric guitar and soaring Mellotron violins. Then a slowly build-up, very compelling guitar solo with howling runs, and the use of slide and sustain, in the best tradition of Ettore his hero Steve Hackett. The final part delivers a sonic landscape.

Journey Through the Spiral Mind Part 2 (7:51) : A distorted guitar intro is followed by a slow rhythm with bombastic Mellotron violins and Hammond organ. To me it sounds as an inspired tribute to Seventies symphonic rock, like early King Crimson but also the legendary Italian Museo Rosenbach, very compelling and I love it! Again that DAAL trademark, the tension between mellow and sumptuous parts, topped with Hammond, and Mellotron, first the flute section and in the end the majestic violin-section, slowly fading away, wow.

What an interesting music: on one hand obviously inspired by legendary prog bands like King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Museo Rosenbach, but on the other hand DAAL add captivating own musical ideas, more experimental and psychedelic coloured. Prog to discover, highly recommended!