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Daedalean Complex > The Rise of Icarus > Reviews
Daedalean Complex - The Rise of Icarus

You have to fall to rise - 84%

gasmask_colostomy, December 2nd, 2021

If you know a little about Greek myth, you’ll remember that Icarus was the son of Daedalus who attempted to fly across the sea with his father by sticking feathers onto his arms with wax. I’m pretty sure Daedalean Complex know about that or they wouldn’t have chosen the name for their band, but I was a bit surprised to see their third album named The Rise of Icarus. Of course, the end of the myth is that Icarus flies too close to the sun, the wax on his arms melts, and he falls to his death in the sea, which suggests pretty convincingly that no future rise will take place. Then again, I can’t be the only listener impressed with the Canadian band’s progress from flimsy industrial rock roots to full-blown symphonic extreme metal, so I don’t begrudge them using their own “son of Daedalus” kind of title. Besides, this is the juncture where I feel these guys came into their own, dispensing with a lot of the industrial and electronic stuff they had incorporated before and focusing in on full-blooded extreme metal without losing a hooky edge. The fact that keyboardist Daedalus also takes on the vocals and the album speaks conceptually of the mythological background all makes so much sense.

I’d target Dimmu Borgir between about 2003-7 for a reference here, since the vocals hit that deep crackly pocket similar to Shagrath, while this musically combines bombast and pretty high energy brutality at times. However, unlike the preceding Daedalean Complex albums, the influences no longer seem so obvious. That means that the mid-paced sections with keys could either arrive as punchy, rhythmic verses or deliver chorus or bridge in a soulful clean vocal that gives me the vibe of metalcore but none of the misery. ‘The Darkest Path’ emerges as a kind of melodic number in this regard. However, most songs engross with full power, drumkit used dangerously to propel the new-look twin guitar line-up as they surge into bitter blastfests like ‘A Shattered Icon’ and ‘Divide and Conquer’. Whatever you may think about symphonic metal, it can always startle with its heaviness.

My enjoyment hinges around Daedalean Complex doing things that they wouldn’t have dreamed of before, such as elevating ‘Echoes of Your Voice’ with an extended guitar solo, dropping a sudden technical bass fill during ‘Breaking the Chains’, and fitting the programmed drums back into ‘Divide and Conquer’ to set up a new riff. Even the intro is excellently worked, building atmosphere and then concluding with a striking voiceover that preludes the story told during the other 7 tracks. Of course, all these small touches would mean little without solid basic ideas, so having a vigorous production, a good sense of momentum, and plenty of variety for 36 minutes rank as important too. If anything, The Rise of Icarus actually leaves me wanting a bit more, since the closing ‘Ariadne’s Thread’ forsakes the heavier approach elsewhere to reflect with a kind of electronic ballad that sees Lindsay Schoolcraft back for another guest performance. ‘Chrysalis’ looks like a redone song from the debut, though it goes to show that the difference between that and this third album is night and day. Daedalean Complex truly left a mark with this one.