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Rock Of Daedalus
Released: 2016, Underground Symphony
Italian Rainbow-influenced rockers Bastian, led by guitarist and lead song writer Sebastiano Conti, play an appropriately guitar-focused hard rock that occasionally borders on power metal. Within the band’s studio ranks you’ll find well-traveled metal veterans Michael Vescera (Loudness, Malmsteen, etc.) on vocals and John Macaluso (Riot, TNT, Malmsteen etc.) on drums.
ROCK OF DAEDALUS is the band’s second effort and is a feast for guitar lovers and fans of Deep Purple-styled hard rock. The album kicks off with the speedy chug of “Strange Thoughts”, a catchy, heavy cut that sets the stage for the remaining nine tracks. Conti’s guitar work is instantly impressive, and his chemistry with Vescera as a front man is readily apparent. Speaking of Vescera, at 53 years old (as of this album’s release), he still possesses an incredible range and high-pitched style. Other highlights include the Hendrix-inspired “Smokin’ Joe”, and thunderous “Terminators”. The album also features two ballads, but unfortunately only one, “Man of Light” is memorable.
The songs I’ve called out are certainly the most memorable, but unfortunately the album features a fair number of less-impressive tracks, many of which are dragged down by too-earnest, nearly twee (corny) lyrics. We’ve got songs about dreaming of being at the Woodstock Festival, the Terminator franchise, Dracula, boxer Smokin’ Joe Frazier, and the Pied Piper (!). It’s all delivered non-ironically by Vescera, but the cheesiness is a bit much at times.
That said, ROCK OF DAEDALUS is an effortlessly enjoyable album that I’ve found myself playing quite a lot. The album may be full of musical peaks and valleys, but the best songs are definitely worth sitting through the occasional clunker. Perhaps Bastian’s third album will be the proverbial charm but based on this effort, the band should definitely be checked out by fans of the aforementioned influences.
1. Strange Thoughts
2. The Pied Piper
5. Man of Light
6. Man in Black
7. 18 in Woodstock
8. Steel Heart
9. Smokin’ Joe
10. Wind Song
Michael Vescera: Vocals
Sebastiano Conti: Guitar
Corrado Giardina: Bass
John Macaluso: Drums
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