Band Website: http://www.facebook.com/Dulcineaband
Label: Spiral Records
Release Date: 2011
The last time I checked there weren’t too many prog bands in Malaysia. Well the world just got one. Called Dulcinea they’ve just released their sophomore disc entitled In The Shadow of the Sun. In lyrical content it follows up on their first release promoting a theme that music can be a very positive form of therapy. Formed in 2006 and taking their name from the novel Don Quixote, Dulcinea consists of Mathew Thomas (guitars), Jason Ng (bass, keyboards), Rashid Said (drums), Paul Yong (guitars) and Gerard Richards (vocals). The band has taken their musical sound in another direction here. While their first album focused more on electronics and a very experimental approach, here they’ve embraced the guitar and shifted everything into more of the prog-metal world.
In the Shadow of the Sun is a tight 44-minutes long and features ten tracks most of which are in the three or four-minute range. Only two are a little longer; one just over six and the other just over seven-minutes so don’t look for a lot of musical change-ups here. What you do get are some great heavy riffs that bounce around from one part of the song to the next. Arrangements do a lot to make the music sparkle. As you might expect with twin-guitarists there’s a lot of intensity in these tracks; keep in mind the subject matter and you can see why. Every-so-often the band will open it up and let the song breathe a bit, but even there you can expect a searing guitar solo not very far away. Keyboards are there every-so-often but take a back seat in the overall sound. As you might expect the length of the song will have some impact on its complexity and here the longer songs win out with just a little bit more going on seeing as the band has more room to play with their craft.
This being a sophomore effort, I think the band have acquitted themselves quite well, changing their musical approach significantly to create a set of tunes that project the emotional reality of the subject they were covering. While the overall result may be positive as one works through life, there are many intense trials along the way and Dulcinea project that in their music. In the Shadow of the Sun will have instant appeal to fans of harder edged rock and prog-metal. You may want to check them out.