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Dakrya – Crime Scene                                     9/10

By Jill Hughes Kirtland

Dakrya - Crime SceneWe enter the  hallway of mirrors to unveil a musical adventure of quirky instrumental sounds and over the top theatrical female vocals. It reminds me of a circus ride or a carnival. It is dark like a Tim Burton movie. Whatever it brings to mind, Greek band Dakrya takes you on a journey you didn’t know you were signing up for when you popped that CD in.  Progressive?  Absolutely.  They are definitely breaking the boundaries with this one.

If I was to compare this band to any out there, it would be their Sensory Records labelmates Diablo Swing Orchestra. Although Dakrya doesn’t use swing music as its underlying element or over the top operatic vocals, the quirkiness of the band most closely resembles D:S:O. The vocals remind me of the type of theatrics you hear in a Broadway production.

The album’s song titles spell out a story about a group of people who are taking over a city and controlling the minds of others. The police are trying to unveil evidence in this Crime Scene. Opener “The Charlatans” creates a nice backdrop to a carnival ride with its fun xylophone-like synths. “Blind Man’s Bluff” takes us “round and round” in a dark crunchy metal song. “Scaremongering” is a nice tango to the next chapter of the story building up the fear in town.  The music unfolds the story in a beautiful soundscape of symphonic layers. Vocals are shared by Christina Kalantzi, Thomais Chatzigianni, and George Droulias.

My personal favorites on this album are “Camoflauge” which includes a saxophone, and “Phantasmogoria” with its dark bass lines and the vocal lines that go back and forth between male and female. It instills fear in you. Have they got you yet?   “Dramatis Personae” has a beautiful melodic piano intro and then drives into a heavy metal riff.  There is hardly a chance to get bored here.

The freak show is concluded with “A Dreadful SideScene” which reminds me of a real chill progressive rock tune sans vocals. Not exactly how I expected such an epic album to end but it helped clean your palette. That was a very fun ride, and I can only imagine how incredible a live production of this album Crime Scene would be.

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