[Sensory Records – The Laser’s Edge, 2017]
Intro: Tasos Poimenidis
Translation: Alexandros Mantas
16 / 10 / 2017
Daydream XI are in business since 2009 and they come from Porto Alegre, Brazil. Despite the fact that they have been around the block nearly a decade, their only full-length album up until now is The Grand Disguise which was released in 2014 in digital form exclusively. It stirred some interest in the prog / power metal circles and as a result they landed a contract with Sensory Records. On the occasion of the release of The Circus of The Tattered and Torn they were included in the billing of the famous Prog Power USA which took place the last September in Atlanta of the USA where they gave a fiery performance. This year’s album strikes ambitious and chances are it will put them on the prog metal map.
All the fun of the circus
In this verifiably hell of a year for prog metal, comes the album of a poxy, so far, band from Brazil to make the statement that there is a new ambassador of prog power who not only serves it respectfully (to say the least), but it can also be taken into account as one of its most promising acts.
Listening to The Circus of the Tattered and Torn brings to mind a number of past bands. If we mean to sketch out the music of Daydream XI, we could say that the most recent Angra (minus the fast tempos), the unsung heroes of the 90s Elegy and Royal Hunt, Symphony X (stripped of their pyrotechnics and the classical-like compositions) and to a lesser extent Dream Theater and Shadow Gallery will come to mind. Influences that, on the one hand, are similar – sonically speaking- but on the other hand they are heterogeneous enough to imbue this similarity with diversity.
In this particular album there is a balance between skillful playing and quality songwriting. Nearly throughout the album, high technique is but a vehicle and serves the music and its direction and not the opposite, a phenomenon we have witnessed way too often in the past and it’s the proverbial trap in which many similar bands fall into. Tunes like Painted Smile, A Cup of Agony, Overhauling Wounds and the amazing 15-minute title-track are of high compositional standards which had gone missing for a little while now, as regards prog / power outings.
The voice of the guitarist / singer Tiago Masseti not only possesses the necessary tone and ability to transfix the listener, but it also, in my view, gives them an identity and distinguishes them. Personally speaking, I can’t recall any other singer reminiscent of him. Potent as needed with imaginative and very often catchy vocal lines, killer back-up vocals, eloquent and he really absorbs the listener with his performance. In Overhauling Wounds for instance he tries different approaches showcasing that he has a wide palette to draw from and is astute enough to choose wisely, to boot. Regarding his guitar duties, together with the other axeman Marcelo Pereira they carry out the rhythms parts as they should, not to mention the lead parts. The keyboards and acoustic guitars when called to arms embellish the compositions with added doses of diversity enhancing the final outcome. The amazing and tight rhythm section provides a solid basis for all of the above and shines in its own right in the tunes.
The conclusion is that we have to do with a very remarkable release which illustrates the potential of Daydream XI to address to a wider audience and they can do even better than that. I think there is room to develop further their distinct sound even though they have an identity of their own. Finally, I want to stress that the degree of satisfaction for fans of this kind of music will be higher than the mark below.
8 / 10
This is the second album from the Brazilian band from Porto Alegre. Their sophomore release is a dark concept progressive metal album with influences that come from symphonic and power metal. They have obviously improved their technical skills and each song here is played with mathematical preciseness. In a way, they remind me of Symphony X, but they are more progressive and more diverse in terms of songwriting. The vocalist, Tiago Masseti, really shines with his wide range and his emotional voice. The vocal harmonies are wonderful through the whole album. Almost all the songs are of the same quality but a big plus goes for Collector of Souls, where gospel and blues blend with prog metal and also the epic title-track: 15 minutes of progressive metal greatness with plenty of odd time signatures and changes in mood. This record is a very enjoyable listening experience and Daydream XI have made a big step forward on their way to the first league of progressive metal.
7.5 / 10