German progressive metal band Dante returns with a even more impressive set of songs. Just like their debut “The Inner Circle”, their new album “Saturnine” exceeds my expectations within the progressive metal genre. While most like to imitate bands like Dream Theater, Dante thinks outside the box. Now signed with ProgRock Records, they’ll get distribution more so than on their debut.
Starting out the album is, “All My Life” (12:14) which has elements of modern metal, progressive metal and even ballad all wrapped into one amazing track. It’s the perfect opener because it shows the listener where they’re going to taken but it’s not a typical structured song.
“Drifting” (4:51) a beautiful piano ballad which is one of the more typical progressive metal songs but with a end result that is well crafted.
“Last” (6:12) follows with a modern metal style that reminds me of how I felt when I first heard the genre a little over a decade ago. It just solidifies that Dante is part of the new breed of progressive metal that hopefully will sway more bands to be more original sounding.
“Never Return” (8:50) has a Fates Warning quality to it, circa A Pleasant Shade Of Grey but not as dark sounding. This song alone is amazing, so much as to serve as an example of the band’s talent.
“Maybe One Day” (3:57) is a dark and moody sounding ballad with softly done vocals. It stays in a moody setting from start to finish. The also shows how delicate the band can get instrumentation wise. It’s also the shortest track on the album.
“Model Acousma” (7:35) is the sole instrumental track on the album that shows different styles within the genre, some going towards a fusion feel throughout. The band is in top form here.
“Vanessa” (19:00) is the epic of the album and closes the album perfectly. It has a soundtrack vibe to it, almost like something heard over the end credits of a film. It segues into a piano/vocal section with heart felt sung lyrics. Soon after, the song gets heavier yet melodic feel which again sounds closer to Fates Warning.
Dante reminds me of a Puerto Rican band, Times Forgotten. As both think outside the box while retaining roots in progressive metal. If you’re a fan of bands that don’t clone popular bands to get an audience or enjoy the afore mentioned bands, then you’ll enjoy Dante’s “Saturnine”. This is simply highly recommended progressive music here!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on July 30th, 2010