Dakesis – Fractures

Band: Dakesis
Album: Fractures
Release Date: 28th March 2020
Record Label: Independent

I have known about Dakesis for a few years now, when they did a small UK tour with Sellsword. A progressive power metal band, Dakesis have upped their game an reputation, headlining the Hobgoblin New Blood stage in 2017, and running Power Metal Quest Fest, which will see its fourth incarnation at The Asylum, Birmingham, on 26th September. They also run Capsaarx Studios, and dedicate all of their time to the music industry. Dakesis kindly sent me a press pack for Fractures, unfortunately it is only now I am able to get around to taking a listen due to this COVID-19 situation (which I’m sure we’ll remember not-so-fondly in years to come).

Eos sets the atmosphere, with a variety of orchestral instruments. The flutes give it a Celtic feel. It’s a calming, gentle, instrumental introduction, with the drums picking up the pace a little towards the end. The audio sounds incredibly professional and I can see this high quality being held throughout the album.

Continuing straight on from the introduction, Ends of Time, Pt. 1 brings the epic metal feel that Dakesis is well known for. Gemma’s vocals as usual are completely on point. The track is fast paced and ready for some headbanging, and the guitars have an old school heavy metal feel. Ends of Time, Pt.2, quite fittingly, follows on, with a build up of atmosphere. This part has an extended intro, with some synth effects on the solo. I can definitely see Gemma commanding the stage as this is played live. It definitely has a progressive, heavy feel or bands such as Symphony X.

Overthrown has another triumphant entrance, ready for some fist pumping and headbanging. There are some beautiful, calmer interludes where you can really hear Gemma’s talent, and Amie’s amazing backing vocals. The prog is strong in this song, with several different instrumental sections all coming together in one track. Kairos hits hard and heavy, with orchestral elements over the guitar. The chorus definitely feels very power metal instrumentally.

Surrender Your Fears is the first single from Fractures, and almost has an Eastern feel to the guitars and orchestral elements, particularly with the melody. There feels like there is a slight hint of Sellsword in the vocal melodies, I can hear a bit of Meet Your Maker in there. There’s a long interlude which begins with tribal drums, strings, and flutes. It becomes more calming without so much hard hitting drum, and choral, lilting vocal melodies.

There’s a more sinister turn with Hold Forever, with war horns and drums. This definitely becomes a proggy track, and there’s not an easy 4/4 beat to headbang to. We also hear some prominent male backing vocals for the first time on this album. As the track goes on, we have a gentler section with overlapping vocals, and a swaying tempo. There is clearly emotion in this track. A piano introduction brings in Legacy in Memory, with Gemma’s gentle vocal. When strings come in, you can tell that this is the ballad of the album. Personally I’m not a fan of ballads, but I can tell that this has been well written and well performed. There is a small build up to the full band, but it is still definitely a ballad. The vocal composition towards the end is absolutely beautiful.

Finally, the title track brings the album to a spectacular close. Fractures is a 15 minute long epic, which takes you on a wild rollercoaster of a journey. Choral vocals and synth bring a fantasy feel to the introduction. There’s an almost electronica feel before very quickly the heavy guitars come in, and contrasting epic strings a little lower in the mix but still very much there. The Eastern feel comes back a little, and it slowly crescendos into a heavy, epic instrumental, before stripping right back down to piano. The sudden change in atmosphere is stark. There is a build back to the full band, with a slower tempo this time, though the heaviness is not lost. We strip right back down, before a triumphant build up back to the full band, with orchestral instruments taking the melody and finishing the track, and indeed. This track shows the range of Dakesis; both their instrumental and vocal talents.

This album takes you on a wild ride across a mystical land conjured up in the imagination as you listen to this masterpiece. I felt a little empty when I finished listening, it is extremely easy to get lost in this album, which is a very difficult thing to achieve, particularly on record. This feels like a massive step up from what they have produced before, and that was exceptional. The album sounds and feels full, it doesn’t seem like that there’s anything missing, which can sometimes happen with bands with so many elements.
I might have to reconsider whether I can make one of their rescheduled joint headline shows with Fury in April next year, it would involve lots of pennies!

Dakesis – Surrender Your Fears

Verdict: 9.5/10

Buy Dakesis music and merch: https://dakesis.bandcamp.com/
Listen to Dakesis on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6cLnsXprLpBnKlX5XDVCn9
Follow Dakesis on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dakesis/
Dakesis website: https://www.dakesis.com/
CapsaArx Studios: https://capsaarx.com/
Power Metal Quest Fest: https://powermetalquestfest.com/

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