Band Website: www.progdaedalus.it
Label: ProgRock Records/Galileo Records
Release Date: 2008
The Never Ending Illusion is the highly anticipated second CD release for Italian prog-metalersDaedalus. The band, having gone through a few personnel changes now consists of Davide Merletto (vocals), Andrea Torretta (guitars), Fabio Gremo (bass), Giuseppe Spano (keyboards) and Davide La Rosa (drums). Fans of harder-edged, crunchy guitar progressive rock are going to love this release.
What we have here are ten compositions most of which are in the five-to-six minute range but also a couple longer pieces of seven and nine-minute lengths. By all accounts this is a band that had matured greatly from their 2003 release Leading far From a Mistake. The Never Ending Illusion starts out with the short keyboard-dominated, arpeggio based “Waiting for the Dawn” [1:14], but from that point on the guitars tend to be the dominant lead instrument. That said, there are moments, such as three-minutes into the song “Life” [5:46] where the heavy guitars step back providing space for washes of keyboards or other times for a short piano solo, but by and large this is an album of solid guitar work. The full-time keyboard player is kept busy for the most part providing thick atmospheres just to keep up the six-string crunch. The vocals of Merletto are in English and can be quite restrained as in the opening of “Hopeless” [5:11] but they can also take on a very James LaBrie tone, both in terms of style and range. Sometimes the resemblance is remarkable. In fact if I was forced to point to a sonic reference point it would easily be Dream Theater. The tunes hold much in common with those guys. Having said that Daedalus can also put together a great sounding ballad. Check out the opening classical strains of “Cold Embrace” [5:24] with the vocals in the lower register, keyboard strings adding a little orchestrated touch. It’s a great diversion from their heavier side.
If you enjoy the music of band’s such as Dream Theater, with maybe a little Arena, but mostly DT then Daedalus is an easy recommendation. The Never Ending Illusion has every chance of being a classic prog-metal disc in the years to come. Fans of harder-edged prog will find much to enjoy and appreciate here.