“Dodecahedron” is the fourth album by Daal and was released in 2012 on the independent label Agla Records. The project is always led by drummer David Guidoni and keyboardist Alfio Costa and this time the guest musicians who joined the party are Ettore Salati (guitars), Luca Scherani (bouzouki), Roberto “Bobo” Aiolfi (bass), Alessandro Papotto (sax, flute, clarinet), Vincenzo Zitello (Celtic harp, flute), Marcella Arganese (classical guitar), Chiara Alberti (cello) and Sylvia Trabucco (violin).
|Davide Guidoni and Alfio Costa|
The album features twelve instrumental tracks that were built upon words and the sound is more compact, richer than in the past. The tracks have no title but every one is linked to a short story that you can read in the enclosed poster. In fact, this is a kind of conceptual work: Davide Guidoni and Alfio Costa wrote some short stories, then asked their fans to send them other short stories, chose the better ones and composed the music trying to capture the spirit of the words and their emotional content. In my opinion the result is surprisingly good, the musicians reached their goal and delivered twelve charming, evocative pieces drenched in emotion.
The opener was inspired by a disquieting story of madness and solitude, “Bianco” (White), by an unknown author. The interaction between the piano and the other instruments marks the contrast between an external, apparent calm and inner the feelings of inquietude and fear of the protagonist while threatening shadows are approaching... “My words have no voice any more, my soul has no light and my thoughts melt into the oblivion of this room with padded white walls...”. Next comes the track inspired by “Sclerotics Days”, by Davide Masciavé. Here malady is compared to an uninvited guest that haunts you, invisible and ever present. Sadness is all over the place, your enemy hides in the dark while your senses frequently confound night and day, dreams and nightmares. A sick, obscure moon lights your way...
The third track was inspired by “La suora nera” (The black nun) by Alfio Costa. The dreams of a little child turn into a nightmare and the Devil comes in disguised, hidden by religious symbols. There are autumnal colours and sinister shadows, a hard rock incipit, a classical inspired passage with piano and violin, another tense, dark section followed by a pastoral one, then the rhythm rises again with a Martial bolero pace. Well, a wonderful track full of nuances and surprises! The following track was inspired by “La bambola di lana” (The doll of wool) a sad, evocative story by another anonymous author where you can see the trauma of the loss of the parents through the innocent eyes of a little children. Here Death appears as a dreadful swarm of moths devastating the house.
The fifth track was inspired by “L'ultimo incontro” (The last randez-vous), a short story by Mauro Marino describing the agony of a man who is not ready to die, not yet! He asks for a last breath of life, a last ray of sun while sax notes soar like desperate prayers in the wind. The sixth track was inspired by “Dodecahedron”, a Gothic story by Davide Guidoni about a haunted country house. The music is excellent, it flows away like the soundtrack of a horror film and features a guitar solo that could recall David Gilmour.
The seventh track was inspired by “La Torre” (The tower) by Daniela Cologgi and features Celtic influences and an atmosphere full of mystery. It describes the tower of a medieval castle and the tragic flight of some women haunted by its ghosts. The following track was inspired by “Il bambino e il sogno” (The child and the dream) by Marco D'Andrea, a short story dealing with the fears and the dreams of a child. The music underlines the contrast between dark and light, dream and reality. The child opens the window, the dream is frightened by a scarecrow and melts at dawn...
The ninth track was inspired by “I Can Not Let Go...”, a story by Galina Azarenkova about the “thick but echoing emptiness” that the slow agony of a dying man provokes in his wife. The music begins with a sudden surge of rage, then many changes in mood and rhythm follow. Next comes the track inspired by “The Moon Is Pale Tonight” by Miroslav Gasko that depicts a wooden house on a hill where crazy musicians play, then poets who write their poems with their tears and a lonely child unable to live outside his dreams...
The eleventh track is taken from “I Left For Home” by Drew May that describes a cathartic listening experience. The mood is dreamy, almost hypnotic... After a hard day we meet a man on his way home, he looks forward to listen to his beloved music losing the concept of reality, at least for a short time... The last track was inspired by “Il padre che vedevo distante” (The father I used to feel far) by Daniele Cutali. A man sees in a dream his late father. Father and son never got along with each other but now the dead father comes just to say “Thank you” and appears to his son nearer than ever before. The music here features strong classical influences and a very suggestive mood.
After more than seventy minutes of music and emotions the album comes to an end. There are no weak moments nor fillers, everything works. Bravi!
Daal: Dodecahedron (2012). Other opinions:
Conor Fynes: The music is full of potential, but the album seems content to wander, and 'window shop' through a variety of sounds, without picking one and developing it long enough to create something truly magical... (read the complete review HERE).