The wheel of the Devil. Ha! At last, I finally uncovered a means to invoke the Lightbringer, right?
But, nope. Meant by this is the Zoetrope, also called a Daedalum. A round device with slits that create the impression of moving images once actioned.
As the lore goes, the device saw the light of day in the 1800s. Patents by several crafty bastards followed quickly, all claiming glory for themselves. So, in essence, intellectual property disputes really are nothing new.
Now, the Italian band Revenenience named their debut album after the device. Early filmography in metal, that’s quite a novel approach. And this is what got our curiosity going to attempt a review.
On its very surface, Daedalum serves you with a mix of Gothic and Symphonic Metal with a slightly cinematic touch. One that navigates closely to early Within Temptation, Illuminata, some Epica, and – for sure – a lot of Lacuna Coil. Now, all that name-calling does surely not indicate a shameless act of copycat. But more to this subject later.
Deeper down, there is a much craftier side to the song structure than meets the ear during the first listen. And I daresay that this is what wins the day for them.
One of the main pillars of Daedalum is the discreet, but very skillful use of electronics. The keyboard contribution by Pasquale Barile really underlines the production well, without being overwhelming. The same goes for the synthesizers, even if some of that stuff sails dangerously close to the Pop Metal realm at times. In other words, Revenience neatly navigated around this black rock that the adepts of the sweetish soft metal mainstream like to shipwreck on all the time. If only just.
The strategically placed growls uttered by Simone Spolzino complement the overall tune, not the other way around as is often the case. And I really appreciate that they did not play the Beauty and the Beast game. At least not too much to be obnoxious. All of this complements the female vocalist Debora Ceneri quite well.
Now, whilst the jury is kind of out on that questionable intro, the band hits the fan with the second concoction Blown away by the Wind. Sounding like a mix between Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) and the smokiness of Carly Smithson (We Are The Fallen), Debora Ceneri really rocks the stage with a lot of variety and her truly elastic voice
On Shamble, she again projects a different flavor. The track sounds faintly reminiscent of Kate Bush way back in time. Not quite as high-pitched and intense, but some parts of that song constantly remind me of this very magic potion.
Yet, nothing is ever perfect, and there is an important snag to the record after all. Most of the tracks appear to be something that we kind of heard before. And indeed, Daedalum sails this metal ocean very near to this abyss, where the world breaks off and flows down the other side.
Stealing with pride is good, but have a care. Like all good things, this is best consumed in moderation. However, their predictability also bears refreshing innovation, which in a way got them a place on our review list in the first place.
So, did Daedalum deliver?
It sure did, and Revenience created a creditable debut. These are pros at work. You’ll find none of that tinny, somewhat overly brickwalled sound that many of the firstling soundscapes often produce. Good, complex songwriting, combined with a reasonable production take the album to an astonishing level.
It is also laudable that Revenience went right for a full length and did not lose themselves in a gazillion of demos and EPs. And they do this in a genre that many pronounced dead, yet many more are happily active in.
Daedalum excels in a crafty variety of the Symphonic Metal universe. And they do this in a style that has its firmly set tones and directions. This adds a refreshing touch to any of the tracks that are present on this record.
If they can come out from under the established players in this genre and continue with this innovative style of theirs, then they will have a bright future ahead of them.
We will be watching.
Ed’s note: This is a new edition of the old review of July 2016.
Get dat tune: