The ever growing Italian prog metal scene seems to expand at an enormous rate, however if all the bands are as promising as Daedalus, then long may that continue. Coming together early in the previous decade, Daedalus had a little bit of a false start with their 2003 debut release Leading Far From A Mistake, although by the time that 2009's The Never Ending Illusion saw the light of day, the band had a settled line up and had recruited the help of Helloween and Masterplan man Roland Grapow who mixed the album as well as guiding the Daedalus sound. With album number three Motherland, Grapow again can be found mixing all the music, as well as adding a trademark guitar solo on the song "Underground". The band comprise the foursome of Davide Merletto on vocals, Andreas Torretta on guitars, Fabio Gremo on bass and Davide "Daz" La Rosa on drums, however no prog metal band can be complete without a keyboard player and in this case Elisa Montaldo guests on the album.
There's no disguising that Daedalus aren't trying to reinvent the wheel with Motherland, however that's not to say that their main course of Dream Theater and side of Vanden Plas isn't embellished with a helping of something altogether more theatrical, giving an Avantasia edge to the more expected prog metal fare. Whilst easily capable of upping the technicality level at the drop of time change, Daedalus are more interested in building killer riffs into thumping songs, although they do so in a way that allows room for the sprawling keyboards and roaming bass to ebb and flow, breaking up the hammer blows of guitar and the soaring voice of Merletto. The other clever little trick that this group of Italians are more than adept at is to bring some weighty lyrical themes into their music that whilst considered and well thought through, is never too overbearing. Although with ideas dominated by tales of modern societies inexorable decent in to chaos, if it is a little light relief you are after, then maybe best to look elsewhere. Musically though there are many high octane highlights, with the galloping "Undeground" and the more uplifting light and shade of "Until You're Here" offering a good snapshot of what this outfit can do.
Those waiting for the prog metal bubble to burst look to be hanging about in vain, with the genre continuing to grow new additions at an amazing rate and while bands like Daedalus maybe don't bring a huge amount of new ideas to the scene, there's no doubt that Motherland is a quality release none the less.
1. What A Challenging World
2. Your Lies
3. Until You're Here
4. Perspective Of The Moon
5. For Aye
8. Weather The Storm
10. A Tale
11. Empty Rooms
Added: August 6th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Gonzo Media
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