Dante - Saturnine

(CD 2010, 62:41, ProgRock Records PRR760)

The tracks:
  1- All My Life(12:12)
  2- Drifting(4:49)
  3- Last(6:18)
  4- Never Return(8:48)
  5- Maybe On A Day(3:55)
  6- Modal Acousma(7:33)
  7- Vanessa(19:00)

Dante Website        samples        Progrock Records

The German band Dante was founded in 2006 by keyboardist Markus Maichel and guitarist Markus Berger after they had attended a Dream Theater-concert. They were so impressed by this musical genre that they decided to start a band of their own using musical influences of Dream Theater, but other prog giants as well like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes and Porcupine Tree. Saturnine is their second album; it's a true and pure prog rock album with obvious DT-influences, but also Fish-like vocal parts. However, what bothers me most about Dante is that the band actually has no musical style of its own. I would rather call them copy cats of several prog rock bands and artists. Don't get me wrong, I like some of the tracks on this album, but I still hear those obvious influences too much.

The album opens with the rather good song All My Life featuring some heavy prog rock riffs, many orchestral passages and a nice, clean guitar solo. Another musical highlight is Last especially the keyboard and guitar duel in the middle-section is worth listening to. However, the best song is without doubt Vanessa, a true prog rock epic lasting for nineteen minutes and filled with lots of musical twists and turns, great musical parts and also some rather decent singing by Alexander Gohs. The rest of the songs are predictable and in addition I have to say that the production is too mediocre and lacks the necessary dynamics. So, I have mixed feelings about this album. I like a couple of songs, but most of the time I'm rather bored by Dante's music, especially during the awful ballad Maybe On A Day.

**+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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