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Starbynary - Divina Commedia - Purgatorio

Divina Commedia - Purgatorio
by Jack Harding at 01 July 2019, 5:10 PM

Sometimes it is easy to spot merit in brief moments, yet, whilst admiring the portrait as a whole, still be disappointed. As with language, it is not just the individual words that convey the meaning, but the way in which they are arranged. Poor syntax in just about any medium can take even the brightest sparks, and dim them greatly, sapping them of all power. STARBYNARY are a clear example of this, showing great potential and talent, only to destroy any good will with their arrangements.

Moments of greatness do appear in this record; this must be made clear. The first four minutes of “In The Smoke” are genuinely fantastic, and occasional riffs in songs like “Blindness” and “On The Shores Of Purgatory,” show genuine songwriting chops. However, when creating these songs it feels as if separate elements have been randomly stitched together with no rhyme or reason. Tracks “Miserere,” “Underneath The Stones,” and “Walking Into Fire” all have odd shifts into sections that just do not gel. This just breaks any illusion and breaks the listener out of any engagement. Parts here are not placed, they are thrown carelessly. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the use of piano and keyboards on this record. Beautiful solo piano sections on “Eden” and “Stars” prove that this is a pain ability with sheer talent, but talent for the classical. Whenever the piano is included within the Rock ensemble, it feels aimless and without point. Riffing in “Underneath The Stones” is drowned out by keys, and countless synth solo sounds are so cliched and cheesy that they destroy all engagement! It is as if the keyboard player watched a 20 second clip of Jordan Rudess messing around, and based every single solo off of that. These synth solos (and to be honest, the guitar solos as well) are just mindless arpeggios. This is your warm-up exercise, not your composition for a solo!

The greatest problem this record faces however, are the drums. Never before have I heard such an out of place drummer. Whenever a possibly good riff or epic chorus arises, the drummer seems to fight his hardest to kill any sense of groove. Flowing sections feel too fast, and some fast sections are made to feel too slow. This is a band that covets the genre-hopping, but being mediocre in all genres is not better than being great in just one. In addition, if you are going to switch styles within songs, all members must be capable, or it just leads to sonic conflict, resulting in messy songwriting.

This record is not a complete failure. As with all my reviews, I wish it to be made clear that there indeed is some real potential here. There are countless moments that, if viewed on their own or arranged by others, could be record sellers. However, this record is a disorganised, but average, mess. This is the sort of middle of the road Prog record that the scene is plagued with, but surely mediocrity is better than an abomination?

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. On The Shores Of Purgatory
2. Miserere
3. Underneath The Stones
4. Blindness
5. In The Smoke
6. Running And Screaming
7. Laying Bound
8. The Suffering
9. Walking Into Fire
10. Eden
11. Stars
12. Ary (Bonus Track)
Joe Caggianelli - Vocals
Leo Giraldi - Guitars
Luigi Accardo - Keyboards
Alfonso Mocerino - Drums
Sebastiano Zanotto - Bass Guitar
Record Label: Art Gates Records


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Edited 16 October 2019

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