I’ve heard this band for the first time a couple of years ago, and it was love at the first sight… I am a fan, and maybe because of that, it was very hard for me to start writing this review. The album November Red, by Dante, has sounded many times on my speakers, and even though I know exactly what it inspires on me; there are so many things in my head and in my heart, that I’m not sure if there are words in English (or in any other human language) that achieve to describe the magnitude of my awe and joy to hear the whole album. An album that inevitably transmits the love and devotion of the band in each composition, proving their skills, passion, rich influences and interpretative quality.
Dante is a progressive metal band from Germany formed in 2006 by keyboardist Markus Maichel, guitarist Markus Berger, drummer Christian Eichlinger and vocalist Alexander Goehs. Years later guitarist Markus A. Badder also joined the band. They have consolidated their style and individuality from the start when in 2008 they released “The Inner Circle” and conquered the audience with their powerful and refreshing sound. Now, being signed to Massacre Records, Dante return with their third album, an album that ranks them like one of the greatest German bands in the current progressive scene with a renewed sound, heavy and dynamic.
The first track Birds Of Passage (Caught In A Dream) explodes without warning, very catchy and energizing. The way that Dante manages to mix guitars and keyboards in a homogeneous and entertaining whole is simply masterful, a delicious and eclectic musical structure shows great care and dedication in the composition and the lyrics. Then The Lone and Level Sands, starts with a very special ambiance that awakes the senses, a brutal riff, in which the guitars give to some shorts disturbing silences the chance to shine. Goehs’ voice appears with its characteristic and peculiar style, a dirty grit, powerful, natural and fascinating, a heavy prog song, that keeps bouncing off the ears and doesn’t give your mind a break, the solo forces you to taste it and the entire song is, at least, compelling and addictive. (You can hear the song here)
I must confess that Beautifully Broken is the best piano ballad I’ve heard recently. A unique interpretative style that has already been shown by Dante in the previous albums with songs like “The Giving” and “Maybe One Day”. With a soulful performance; quality, pure emotion, fragility, polished clarity are what comes to my mind. The melody of the voice accurately reflects the flow of emotions in the human brain, sometimes silent, sometimes flowing in torrents, and a female voice also is camouflaged as a ray of light in the darkness. Vocal harmonies appear just in the right measure. The piano embraces this rain of emotions and wraps them in a melancholic and beautiful dance.
The fourth track, The Day That Bled, (for which, I must say, the lady is drooling all over!!!) is undoubtedly the most progressive track on this album, deep sounds, epic guitar riffs combined with a dark and captivating vocal melody, irresistibly provocative, the song takes over your head, mind, body, soul and heart and stays there forever, bouncing. A modern prog masterpiece is my verdict. Then Shores of Time appears, a song structurally very interesting and captivating. Old school way, the song flows between sharpened riffs and haunting drums, voice melody, guitars, everything, inevitably brought me back some classic rock and metal songs in my head, all perfectly mixed and amalgamated in a rhythmic synchrony. Allan, the penultimate track on the album, develops gradually and though it’s a bit slower, keeps your heart alert while listening. Thoughtful and smart lyrics, as all the lyrics of the album.
The track that gives a name to the album, November Red (In Praise of Dreams) closes this journey masterfully, with atmospheric keyboards, strong guitars, and refined technique of all its members. Power, talent and passion. An album that could easily be classified as a masterpiece, able to satisfy even the most reluctant palate, and cleverly created, piece by piece, to achieve the most sublime balance between heaviness, fragility, power and magic.
Unique… Essential…. Unforgettable… Myriads of eargasms touring your entire body and blowing your mind.
Buy the album here!
The guitar player and former member of Dante, Markus Berger, passed away last January 5th. Lady Obscure’s team, through this review, wants to express their admiration, respect and sincere condolences to the band, friends and family of the guitarist. We know there are no words that can ease the pain and grief of his loss. Sadness also occupies the hearts and minds of the ones that without knowing him have the honor to enjoy his musical harvest. But we have the consolation that death does not have the power to remove Markus from us, on the contrary, it keeps and immortalized him in the memory. Markus, as the brave man and great musician, will live forever in the hearts and minds of each of us through his music and his legacy, indelibly tattooed with fire in our hearts!