Dav Dralleon – H O L Y W R A T H (2019)

What if technology had risen to the rank of mythology giving rise to new divinities? From these virtual Gehenna would be born the French prophet DAV DRALLEON, with its own cinematic and also cinematographic approach of his vision of Darksynth. Our Architect gives us with H O L Y W R A T H his new breviary which is, besides being the nightmare of unbreakable space, a concept album narrating a society under the yoke of a cyberpunk and dystopian « theomachinacracy ».

First and foremost, do not take DAV DRALLEON as a Darksynth artist who is going to send rhythmic like crazy but will rather aim his writing towards something more atmospheric ‒ like MANIAC 2121 and its very theatrical Synthwave tack ‒ which put their music in a more narrative than musical perspective. Here we find an assumed and well-made playing on sounds and ambiances, as pointed out by the heavy notes of T H U N D E R A G E or A L T E R E D E A T H that punctuate a latent suspense before sending a synthetic concrete block, the scales changes of W O L V E S Q U A D depending on the point of view of the protagonist, or the oppressive atmosphere of H E L R A I D E R created by the use of subtle drones.

This is where the talent of DAV DRALLEON comes in. By setting up an audio landscape, the artist integrates an entire universe around it and, above all, makes it living and evolving. It is enough to try to dissect each sound, each effect, to realize the complexity of a songwriting which nevertheless form a smooth and coherent whole. Each note was not placed by chance and is part of an element from a story that we get caught up in the game of trying to imagining the scenario behind it.

Thus W O L V E S Q U A D takes us to follow a security squad ‒ like Section 9 ‒ in which the action is progressing crescendo, to the point where the imaginary associates the music with a scene in motion thanks to these modulations. This was without expecting the guitar coming out of nowhere, like the famous long-awaited cavalry, crushing everything in its path but with class. An instrument generally quite poorly exploited in the Synthwave but when its potential is used intelligently, it can lead to epic passages as is shown by Eternal Sentinel of MARAUDEUR. Moreover, the religious choruses of V A U L T O V D O O M narrate the process of initialization and execution of the « Black Knight », some kind of Avatar God booted in machina-vult.exe mode and unleashing Chaos in the name of a dogma formatted in a complex and organised world.

A few lengthy parts on atmospheric episodes will punctuate the narrative and we regret a contrario some short passages when come more nervous paces, which will collapse at the most untimely time. D E T H K A L L is the title that will retain the most metalheads, both its main keyboard and explosive finale will cause headbang, but how frustrating they are because it will be over even before we could assimilate the erratic rhythm. It is undoubtedly an assumed choice from the composer, in which the mere listening of the cover of Mortal Kombat shows that DAV DRALLEON can release a title made for the dancefloor.

Unlike his debut album D E P T H S, DAV DRALLEON goes much further in his songwriting and think beyond a simple gathering of several tracks by adding cohesion and continuity between them. Through this sophomore, the writing goes beyond the simple musical stage and goes along with a universe in movement, which lives and evolves, in which we are reduced to being spectator and blind. By surpassing the notion of concept album, H O L Y W R A T H is a solid audio book in its coherence, where the tracks are smooth and the diverse sounds used intelligently; and by its consistency with a rich and varied musical base in which everything is at a precise and thought place.

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