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Daphne - Daphne CD (album) cover

DAPHNE

Daphne

 

Crossover Prog

3.27 | 7 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Despite being promoted by one of the biggest Italian labels, Mellow Records, Daphne from Veneto remained pretty unknown, even if their music was pretty attractive.They comprised of singer/flutist Umberto Casadei, keyboardist Michele Contini, bassist Andy Juliani, guitarist Mauro Lentola and drummer Davide Zanetti and their sole, self-titled release came out in 1996.

And what better way to open the album than a beautiful and long progressive opus like the 17-min. ''Nascita''.This follows the vein of other similar Italians acts of the period like LETHE, LOTHLORIEN, GRIMALKIN and ANCESTRY, showing full respect to the best Italian Prog tradition and pushing the whole symphonic style a bit further, showering a melodic sound with some Fusion washes and early FRANCO BATTIATO synth experiments.Great and captivating music with nice interplays, featuring balanced electric guitars, synths, organ as well as some flute work, swirling around poetic, romantic and dramatic lyrical segments, delivering complex instrumentals and showing a great consistency.''Aprile'' follows a more Neo Prog/AOR vein with good flute work and synths in evidence, containing some great vocal parts and electric solos, pretty memorable and enjoyable stuff.Other tracks are more inconsistent with a mixture of Blues, Folk and Rock'n'Roll stylings and less interesting ideas or musical executions.But the heavy Symphonic/Fusion sound of ''Untitled Nro 1'' will set things back on track, containing strong Classical influences on the organ parts and complex breaks and moves, based on guitars and synthesizers with a more experimental middle part, based on sound effects.''Pio albergo trivulzio'' is a nice surprise of Fusion and Funk sounds with expressive and theatrical vocals, somewhere between PETER GABRIEL's solo works and compatriots AREA, fine instrumental work as a whole , despite some thin period sounds.The sensitive outro ''Ultimo crepuscolo'' offers a melodic, light Symphonic Rock with flute and piano as the leading instruments, poetic vocals and some bursting electric guitars in the more bombastic parts.

Hard to pinpoint the traces of Daphne's musicians later on. Drummer Davide Zanetti worked for some time with Serena Rock Band, led by ex-Nuvole di Paglia singer Franco Serena, and he collaborated again with Daphne's guitarist Mauro Lentola in a band called L.A. Rox.I do not know if singer Umberto Casadei became a writer, but there are a couple of novels credited to a man with the same name, which is not very common.

Daphne's sole album is a great tribute to the Italian Symphonic Rock sound, slightly updated and featuring also some unimpressive and less proggy pieces.But the prog material is no less than fantastic and the album can only be labeled as ''strongly recommended''...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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