Released by: Power Prog Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Progressive Metal
Tiago Masseti (Vocals/Guitars)
Marcelo Pereira (Guitars)
Tomás Gonzaga (Bass)
Bruno Giordano (Drums)
Keeping The Dream Alive 02.
Like Darkness Rules The Night
Watch Me Rise
The Guts Of Hell
he Age Of Sadness
0Wings Of Destruction
About Life And Its Ending
The Grand Disguise
Brazilian band Daydream XI was formed in 2008 and released their first EP a year later. However, musicians took about 5 years to prepare and record the full-length release “The Grand Disguise” which which was released by Power Prog Records on September 27th, 2014. The music that the band plays requires a lot of time and efforts because a real good Progressive Metal should be technically flawless and well-composed containing many melodies and ultra-skilled instrumental parts. Musicians here are able to bridge all difficulties and create a worthy album which fulfills all requirements of Prog Metal. It is hard to avoid comparisons with Dream Theater in this case; however, they have influenced most Prog Metal bands. Daydream XI is not an exception and they have some impacts recalling them but I hear more influences of another US band, Symphony X. Brazilians also have many Power Metal elements in their music, especially with German act Masterplan.
The singer Tiago Masseti reminds me Jorn Lande, Russell Allen and Mats Leven, he has a really powerful voice with a wide range. I usually don’t like Dio-influenced vocals but Masseti is an exception and his work here absolutely satisfies me.
The other musicians are also adequate. Guitar parts are well done but the main surprise is an interesting and inventing bass and several bass solos are quite bright and exciting. Drums are quite good assigning constant rhythmical changes. Synthesizers are used at the background and the lack of keyboard solos is one of fewer flaws to me. Yes, there are many good guitar and even bass solos but Brazilians fail somewhat here to Prog Metal titans with their ultra-technical guitar-keyboard duels.
All of the songs are decent and have their own strong and impressive moments. I like the driven up-tempo Power Metal elements and enjoy the complicated musical structures and at times unexpected changes of the mood, they are impressive and the album does not become boring despite running 77 minutes long.
The opening track “Keeping the Dream Alive” presents dynamic Prog Power with some modern touches. I could highlight cool speed-ups and catchy melodic moments. Then comes “Like Darkness Rules the Night” which is slower and more Progressive with some Hard Rock touches but contains some really nice parts. The third track “Watch Me Rise” is fast, has more Power Metal influences and not too complex. The chorus is bright and melodic; I also enjoy shreddy harmonic guitar solos. It is an excellent number that demonstrate everything I like in Prog Power. “The Guts of Hell” is slightly weaker; it is driven, heavy and has good background arrangements.
“The Age of Sadness” starts with calm piano intro, however this is not a real ballad, it’s melodic and less heavy with some Prog Rock influences, which becomes more dynamic in the middle. Interesting and unordinary number, I like it. Some moments in “Wings of Destruction” reminds me Elegy, especially vocal melodies in chorus. But it is remarkable by bass solos that are quite good, I am glad that this band use bass guitar as a full-fledged instrument because it is uncommon even for Prog Metal bands. The main guitar riff in “About Life and its Ending” is something like Rage’s “Straight to Hell”. Not bad at all but possibly not so impressive as most of the other tracks.
The eighth song “Phoenix” is melodic and slightly up-tempo but it differs from others; it is unexcitingly bright and positive and has awesome melodic shred guitar solos in Romeo and Petrucci traditions. The singer uses higher vocals that also work well here. “Zero Days” is another decent song where I could mention interesting pre-chorus melody line. “Alone” is a ballad, it is sad, a bit atmospheric and contains some string arrangements and bluesy solo. This is the only song that does not impress me here, just an ordinary slow and calm number.
Contrary, the last title track “The Grand Disguise” is an extraordinary huge Epic which consists of many different parts. It is an excellent variable track with dozens tempo and melody changes, the real Progressive Metal Epic in the best traditions of such epics by Dream Theater and Symphony X (I could easily compare it with “The Divine Wings of Tragedy”), there are a lot of outstanding guitar solos and magnificent choruses, some parts are really fantastic and awesome. At last, it is not boring at all despite of more than 23 minutes. This is the best song here without any doubt and it is impressed me very much.
So Daydream XI is a new but a very promising name in Prog Metal scene. Their debut album is almost flawless; it is a solid and professionally made work. It is a must-have release and I am sure no Prog Power Metalheads will be disappointed.
Written by Egor “EG Power”