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Starbynary – Divina Commedia - Paradiso Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 10 November 2020, 7:59 AM

STARBYNARY is a project created by two old friends. Joe Caggianelli, after a long experience, as singer of DERDIAN, calls his old friend Leo Giraldi and decides to create "Starbynary" together, this project should mark a turning point into the musical career of both. The name Starbynary comes from the concept of astronomy that describes "a star system consisting of two stars orbiting around their common center of mass" it means that this project is a brainchild of two persons that put all themselves into the music of Starbynary as "center of mass". Their latest release, titled “Divina Commedia: Parasido” contains eleven tracks.

“The Moon” leads off the album, opening with a dexterous and charming piano run. From there, voices appear out of nowhere. A high scream leads to the familiar gallop of Power Metal. There are also some commanding Progressive Metal elements here as well. A keyboard solo is just what was needed here, and the song has some Classical chord progressions as well. “Mercury” opens with some light keys and background ambiance. The main riff drops and it’s hard and heavy, as the bass guitar moves the song along. They really pack in quite an amount of sonority here. Some of the vocals are sung in native Italian. The vocal harmonies really shine here, as Caggianelli soars high, and without difficulty. Accardo establishes himself as one heck of a keyboardist, and Salati's guitar work is also phenomenal.

“Venus” opens with piano notes, leading to some baritone vocals at first that stretch into the tenor range fairly quickly thereafter. Listen carefully, and you will also hear the drum prowess of Mocerino. Some female vocals make an appearance in this tender song as well. “The Sun” opens with a jovial riff and some energy in the guitar riff. It turns dark, then back to the light. These guys really know how to create exceptional music. The melodies and harmonies shine unabashedly. “Mars” begins with strings, flute and spoke word. There are then equal passages of heavy and aggressive music, with softer passages, all done with those Classical chord progressions, making me wonder if any of the band members have been trained in Classical music.

“Jupiter” opens with a dazzling keyboard solo and a faster moving pace. I love that you can hear the bass guitar notes audibly. Many good bands really don’t know how to use their bass player, but they let Zanotto roam freely here, and he plays some really great parts. All of the songs on the album have a tender touch to them, and this is no exception. “Saturn” strikes hard out of the gate, with a full-on staccato attack, and keys in support. Another fantastic keyboard solo is laid down, as the drums gallop at close to full speed. One thing that this band is not short on, is talent. Some more female vocals mix in here as well.

“Stellae Fixae” opens with ominous piano notes. The main riff drops and they are off. Guitar, drums and bass play together in this synergy that is quite tight, and there is the perfect amount of keyboards here in support, but not taking over the album. The female vocals are tender but man can she negotiate her vocals into the upper ranges with ease. “Primum Mobile” is close to seven minutes in length, and an instrumental song…opening with pensive strings and flute, and a slightly depressing sound. The main riff is also somewhat melancholy in nature, as keys fly high above the landscape. The boys do a little bit of stretching out here musically, showcasing their talents. Respective key and guitar solos absolutely bury the competition.

“Empyrean” opens with charming piano notes and spoken word. This pensive song tugs at your emotions of not feeling good enough, and other hidden things that you do not like about yourself. But, there are tones of hope as well. “Stars” closes the album, at over eight-minutes in length. It opens with operatic vocals, done with nice harmonies. Then, the riff hits and guitar obliterate everything with their skillful runs. It moves forward gracefully, then takes a pause for a wonderful piano passage, followed by another fantastic guitar solo, as it heads for a crescendo.

Overall, this was one attractive ride through the universe of STARBYNARY. On their fourth studio album, and the third in the “Divina Commedia” series, STARBYNARY leaves no doubt of their instrumental prowess, crafty songwriting, and they develop a tale here that just envelopes you into their world. They are five of some of the most talented musicians out there, and they cut loose at times, and absolutely blow you away, but are more interested in weaving the details of their tale, or quest if you will, than showcasing their talents as musicians. This has to be very hard to do when you are as talented as they are.  This album is exceptional and so well put together. Give it a few listens, and you will find more nuances every time!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Moon
2. Mercury
3. Venus
4. The Sun
5. Mars
6. Jupiter
7. Saturn
8. Stellae Fixae
9. Primum Mobile
10. The Empyrean
11. Stars
Joe Caggianelli – Vocals
Ralph Salati – Guitars
Luigi Accardo – Keyboards
Alfonso Mocerino – Drums
Sebastiano Zanotto – Bass
Record Label: Art Gates Records


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Edited 05 February 2023

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