DAEDALUS – The Never Ending Illusion

DAEDALUS - The Never Ending Illusion
  • 8/10
    DAEDALUS - The Never Ending Illusion - 8/10


ProgRock Records
Release date: January 13, 2009

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Italian Progressive Metalers of Daedalus started writing songs out of inspiration from bands like Queen, Arena, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden and Rush. They released their debut album Leading Far From A Mistake in 2003 and six years later they’re back with the sequel. Since their previous release they’ve replaced their vocalist and their guitarist, and they’ve got Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween, Masterplan) to mix the album.

For The Never Ending Illusion Daedalus wanted to expand their sound and got some professional classical musicians to play on the album. This is very evident on “Cold Embrace” where a French horn and a double bass are very central. It’s a nice and slow track where those two instruments really bring something extra to Daedalus’ music. The last part of the song sees a beautiful ending with a passionate lead guitar, courtesy of Andrea Torretta and a female vocalist doubling it. There are some clever key changes here and the result is great.

It’s interesting to hear how keyboardist Giuseppe Spanò makes use of a lot of different sounds from his keyboard. On “Cold Embrace” he sticks to the string-like sound, while on “Perfect Smile” he switches between a typical prog-sounding lead sound for the lead parts, some organ sounds for other parts of the song, and a Super Mario Bros-like (Nintendo 8-bit game) sound for doubling the lead guitar. Spanò really gets to show different sides of his talented self on this record. Not only can he play the technical stuff, but he adds the crucial extra elements to Daedalus that really builds a solid foundation for the music.

Andrea Torretta’s riffing is great, spotless and binding for the music. He also has some great guitar solos. The solo on “Life” is more a beautiful and melodic experience than a crazy too-many-notes solo. On the title track he does some great close-to-Jazz playing before entering a mind-blowing fast mode where the notes are played at a great speed, and he manages to combine most of these elements on the obligatory instrumental song “Horizons In A Box.”

Vocalist Davide Merletto has a great voice, and at times he sounds a bit like Andre Matos (ex-Shaaman). He manages both low-pitch and high-pitch tones, but at times he can’t hide the fact that English isn’t his mother tongue. Most of the time his pronunciation of words are great, but a few times he slips and does a little Italian-English pronunciation and it can be a bit annoying if you’re one of those that tend to focus on details like this. If you manage to see past this, there are a lot of great parts of Merletto’s performance to enjoy. He sings really passionate, and songs like the title track and “Perfect Smile” sees some of his best performances on this record.

The artwork by Mark Wilkinson (Marillion, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden) really captures the lyrical message of the album. All of the songs on The Never Ending Illusion deals with different ways of being concerned with the dualism between reality and dreams and illusions. In a way, you can see The Never Ending Illusion as a concept album. All of the songs deal with the same concept, and the lyrics draw a red line between the songs; starting at the everyday life, moving on to the feeling that something exists beyond the common aspects of our lives, before ending with a contemplation of one’s own dreams, that ends the circle. Also, many of the songs merge into each other, making the transition between the songs almost unnoticeable. In other words, this is an album you need to hear from start to end.

The Never Ending Illusion is an album where all the songs last for more than five minutes, so if you’re only into short songs, this probably won’t be the album for you. But if that’s the case then you’d probably rather listen to Pop instead of Metal, right?

If you’re one of those who wants a little bit more than the usual Power/Prog bands can provide these days, then you should buy The Never Ending Illusion. The album is varied and will probably be enjoyed by most Metal Fans, but it has a lot of great elements that may need a spin or two to appreciate. Hopefully it won’t be as much as six years to the release of the next Daedalus album.

Daedalus is

Davide Merletto – Vocals
Andrea Torretta – Guitars
Fabio Gremo – Bass
Giuseppe Spanò – Keyboards
Davide La Rosa – Drums


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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