This is the same incredible Italian duo of Alfio Costa and Davide Guidoni that did “Destruktive Actions Affect Livings" which I reviewed here at Prognaut back in April of 2011. This, their 4th release, hosts a great lineup of guests and features notable lead guitar work from Ettore Salati. The songs are based on short stories mainly by Costa and Guidoni but also includes other contributions from what I understand were fans who the band invited to send in. The variety of themes work like a charm.
At first this sounded like a decidedly dark and somewhat sinister progressive space rock offering based on 12 tales, with underpinnings of heavy King Crimson (Red era) and early Present. But as a whole, there are plenty of moods and emotions represented here. It's very aural with sound effects (like dripping water, wind, footsteps, metal, ocean, birds), a large sum of instruments and great guests spots. This really takes the listener on a mysterious journey.
The first cut creates anticipation, then kills it with huge mellotron soaked and aggressive progressive rock in that VDGG period where all things were great. This is even better! Just an instant killer of an intro song. With a change of atmosphere on track 2 , I hear what reminds me of the beautiful celestial work of William Sheller's "Lux Aeterna" with the space cadet guitar and relaxing beat moving the music along. Track 3 picks up with more Crimson crunch with a contrasting piano/cello part not far off the zeuhl path. Very powerful!
There is much to love throughout. These artists are some heavy hitters. Ettore Salati really captures the intensity of Robert Fripp and masters like Pierre Vervloesem on guitar. The rotation of dark zeuhl like short embellishments, classical chamber rock and even some eastern flurries, makes this a very nice listen to say the least. Exotic touches like thumb piano, haunting voices, various strings, and electronic effects really go far to give varied imagery. You even get bits of what sounds like Lumley & Lancaster “Marscape”. From that comes a surprising and royal epic like he best soaring plunges that Andy Latimer (Camel) has served up. Just when you think you can peg this CD, it tosses you one more ingredient. A pastoral piece with flute follows that. Then they move back to a more Absolute Elsewhere ( I compared their “Destruktive Actions Affect Livings" release to this band as well) sound with a big universe atmosphere. Not very long before another Crimson/Heldon dressed composition is revealed.
Daal play a perfect balance of the heavy to the reserved. In the end, “Dodecahedron” turns out to be another great discovery. There is even an intimate romantic sax and piano piece with mellotron and flute. The release ends with a gorgeous piano, cello, and orchestra, building for yet another delicious epic, fused with a heavy Art Zoyd/Present, and altered with dreamy high impact intoxicating music like the best Camel/Latimer tear jerker. I love it all. I’m overly happy about how many great recordings I am finding in 2012 from so many countries. I feel like I have hit the lottery of music scores this year. Especially the last few months. Such a nice way to be ending this year. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on November 1st, 2012