Dantesco - Pagano Review
by Matt Hensch
It is such a shame to witness fantastic bands finding themselves overshadowed by trendy abominations like Cradle of Filth, mainly because they have shown the talent and have backed chatter with actual actions. Only being one entity in a caged society, Dantesco hails from the hills of Puerto Rico, and proudly adopts a traditional/epic frontier on heavy metal's sacred soil, but much unlike anything one could figure. It would be a grand atrocity to simply label Pagano another heavy metal CD, because the nucleus includes countless structures unbeknownst to individuals foreseeing more of the same. Dantesco has just a handful of organs in its amazing body: two testicles that are heavy as wrecking balls, and the biggest brain you could ever imagine.
If one word could describe Dantesco, it would be epic. Clearly, the band enjoys dabbling into deep, long tunes rocketing towards Black Sabbath-like musicianship while pressing a heavier, faster agenda during such experiences. Also, the riffs are creatively doom-influenced and certainly entertaining for their nature, causing things like bass playing and soloing to adjust freely. More importantly, Dantesco can make seven-minute tracks stay refreshing despite long durations, and that's really something worth mentioning, as many groups fail to do so. There's no doubt Pagano has a few qualities that sound rather cloned, but Dantesco molds and bends any redundancy into their own signature; even if a certain pattern appears unoriginal, they'll make it intelligently coded by ways of battle. Honestly, nothing can derail this record once it begins to flow in its genius rivers.
Amongst these pregnant atmospheres, Dantesco takes a topical stance on vocal demonstrations from an unusual source, leading to something so bizarre and head-turning, that it actually reshapes the listener's understanding of epic metal: operatic vocals. Erico La Bestia is the gentlemen's name, and his performance takes Dantesco beyond time with low, classy bellows that stride into the heart of awesomeness; there's no doubting he conquers everything within grasp. The immediate reaction is, of course, a bit confusing when considering how strange it all appears together, but the atypical influence slowly grows stronger and stronger as this record progresses, causing it to dazzle magnificently once settling in. An opera this is not, but a full-blown symphony crafted by obscure surrounding and smart additions; that's how Pagano makes it through the day.
Metal's infinite plain has many gems stuck beneath its surface, but this album is truly something many people will walk on by, for it is a diamond overshadowed by other shining rocks of the same nature. Truth be told, Pagano is quite an abnormal organism from head to toe, yet its done with a lot of intelligence and perseverance on every poetic level; thus, these gentlemen can easily excel at bending rules for their own development. Generally, Dantesco has one of the most original sounds I've ever heard, and dwelling in their unconventional atmosphere is truly an impressive spirit once hearing all nine offering placed against your unsuspecting cochlea. If you crave heavy/doom metal that takes the genre to new levels of brilliance, Pagano is a must-buy record.
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