Daal - Decalogue Of Darkness / Navels Falling into a Living Origami - 2018



“... a must buy for all the lovers of the Mellotron ...”


Daal is a project of Davide Guidoni and Alfio Costa. Two musicians out of the Italian Prog Rock scene. Drummer Davide Guidoni has been working with bands like Taproban and Nuova Era (But the list is long). Alfio Costa worked with Prowlers and Colossus Project. Costa plays vintage keyboards and soft-synths. Daal surprise us with two new albums. The first one is the ten track album called “Decalogue of Darkness” and the second one “Navels Falling into a Living Origami” is an album with one long track. Well for sure the latter deserves the price for the most original album title.


Alfio Costa - Mellotron, Moog sub 37, piano, synth and samplers
Davide Guidoni - drums, acoustic percussion, noises and samplers, loops, soundscapes

Guests on Decalogue Of Darkness:
Ettore Salati - guitars; Bobo Aiolfi - basses 

Guests on Navels Falling into a Living Origami:
Simone Montrucchio - bass; Lorenzo Fasanelli - guitars; Salvatore Lazzara - Oud, guitars; Marcella Arganese - guitars; Guglielmo Mariotti - vocals; Mir Khista - violin


While immersing in their discography I found out that these two new albums are number 6 and number 7. Also the cover of their debut album (“Disorganicorigami” out of 2009) was very familiar to me. I found the original Mellow Records version of this debut album in my CD cabinet, just beside all the other interesting Prog releases from Italy. I did not hear album 2,3,4 and 5 so it is nonsense to compare album one with album six. On the other hand after listening to these two albums I am very happy that this project attracted my attention again. Both are great albums in their own way. Very different but also recognizable at the same time. But it are albums with different musical approaches.

“Decalogue of Darkness” is divided into ten chapters which are simply named “Chapter I” up to and including “Chapter X”. The overall sound of the album is vintage. The album is keyboard dominated ... I mean the keyboards are in the front of the mix. In particular the Mellotron plays the main role. You can find lovely Mellotron strings and very nice melodies on this album. Love the combination of the Mellotron strings and the delicate piano parts. Especially “Chapter II” is with more than 16 minutes one of the two long tracks (the other one is “Chapter X” which is more than 10 minutes) of this about that has a running time of more than 70 minutes. The long tracks are constructed around several soundscapes and melodies. Daal are combining beautiful melodies with more progressive and hectic parts in those long Chapters. The opening of “Chapter III” has that lovely Anekdoten vibe with those broad Mellotron string. The melodies of these parts are wonderful. One of the highlights for me. “Chapter IV” is also a Mellotron dominated beauty but it also includes nice guitar parts and great drumming. At some point I had to think of the old King Crimson albums. That has something to do with the sound of the strings. The slow “Chapter VI” has a beautiful and delicate piano opening with a jazzy guitar but soon the broad Mellotron strings are back. But in overall the character of the music stays on the mellow and relaxed side of the spectrum. The opening of “Chapter VII” with the piano and the percussion lines sounds like an Änglagård or Goblin song but the middle section of the song is more relaxed with beautiful Mellotron flutes. “Chapter IX” is also very interesting with it’s classical piano theme besides the Mellotron flute melodies. It is a lovely track and a kind of rest point before the second long track “Chapter X” closes this remarkable album. In the slow opening the piano stays in the lead. But halfway the track the strings are returning and you can enjoy a lovely and melodic guitar solo before the disturbing Goblin like Mellotron melodies take the upper hand. This final track is developing into one of the highlights of this remarkable album. A must buy for the lovers of the Mellotron.

“Navels Falling into a Living Origami” has a more modern Prog sound. The album is almost 50 minutes long and is a long musical journey through a diverse musical landscape. After the first part with the lush Mellotron strings and a more experimental part the music develops into a mix of Electronica with some Krause Schulze influences and a guitar part in the style of Pink Floyd ‘s masterpiece “Wish You Were Here”. Then the electronic landscape becomes more experimental before the next guest plays his guitar part. This long track is a melting pot of soundscapes and atmospheres. In the next part you can here some Asian influences through the violin of guest Mir Khista. The music on this album is more influenced by electronic and ambient music. In the next moment you get the feeling if you were floating through space. There are also delicate piano parts and some Neo Classical influences. Your reviewer is struggling to process the diversity of this long track. Synths are combined with acoustic percussion and sampled sounds. This music is for the open minded music lover. It is an intriguing piece of music which has often cinematic qualities.¬†


Personally I think that “Navels Falling into a Living Origami”, the album with the long track, is more difficult to digest for the main stream Prog lover. But if you open your mind the album will reveal it’s true beauty after several spins. Only in the last part you can find a part with some vocals. So in overall this album is one long instrumental soundscape in which you visit several musical worlds. “Decalogue of Darkness” with it’s ten Chapters is a must buy for all the lovers of the Mellotron and Symphonic Prog with a more vintage sound. You can find beautiful melodies on this album.

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - January 2019 -   - Agla Records