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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Review: Starbynary – Divina Commedia: Paradiso

Label: Art Gates Records

Date: November 13th, 2020

When you receive a promo CD whose band logo screams Stratovarius, then you just hope the music you will hear would be far from there because then we would be in trouble. Luckily, what is on the inside does not refer to what is on the inside, so let’s say any resemblance to real persons and events is accidental.

Starbynary is Italian band and somehow it is understandable they want to pay honor to extraordinary art richness which their country abounds in.

Everything around the project is so intelligent, so symbolic, so wise… The band name at first. Starbynary is a star system consisting of two stars orbiting around their common center of mass simply point to something at a higher level, something with deeper meaning than maybe we are used to. Translated to the normal language that majority of us understand: the whole project is a masterpiece of two persons. Guitarist Leo Giraldi and vocalist Joe Caggianelli are those two stars, the center of their music project, music universe, who unselfishly embraced into constellation three more stars: Luigi Accardo(keyboa rds), Alfonso Mocerino (drums) and Sebastiano Zanotto (bass).

“Divina Commedia: Paradiso” is the last chapter of the trilogy whose concept is inspired by majestic Dante Alighieri. Long Italian narrative poem is now immortalized in three Starbynary albums.

Since Dante wrote his Divine Comedy in twelve years, and published it a year before his death and at the other side Starbynary released three albums based on Divine Comedy in the past four years, that is the success, and let’s hope this will be no end of their career. Can you recognize the symbolism or analogy? 

Summarize the literary work of 14,233 lines in three albums and exact 34 songs is a masterpiece in itself.

From the start, not only about this album but the whole trilogy, as I already wrote, Starbynary made an intelligent move. One of the greatest works of world literature immortalized in metal music is more than enough to establish Starbynary as one of the top Italian bands, or even more. High class for sure. Depending on listeners perspective they can be a worldwide high class or local high class band, it really does not matter.

First of all, working on Divine Comedy seeks for literacy skills. You need to know how to adopt a poem and the language from the fourteenth century and bring it closer to the audience of present time who might have never heard or read Divine Comedy. It was mandatory literature in my high school, I believe in many others all over the world, but just in case in short lines. Divine Comedy is an imaginative vision of the afterlife and is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Starting from the year of our lord 2017, Starbynary delivered “Divina Commedia: Inferno” (2017, Revalve Records), “Divina Commedia: Purgatorio” (2019, Art Gates Records) and “Divina Commedia: Paradiso” (2020, Art Gates Records).

The next intelligent move is the language structure. English and Italian.

As in the original Dante’s poem, “Divina Commedia: Paradiso” is depicted as a series of concentric spheres surrounding the Earth. Starbynary translated Dante’s verses in eleven songs: “The Moon”, “Mercury”, “Venus”, “The Sun”, “Mars”, “Jupiter”, “Saturn”, “Stellae Fixae”, “Primum Mobile”, “The Empyrean” and “Stars”.

Musically speaking, we have five skilled and experienced Italian musicians who brought a lot of love to this project. Including classical music instruments, female vocals, mixed choir, as well as a children’s choir, Starbynary gave breadth to the whole project.

The overall structure of the albums is perfectly composed, the combination of “modern” and “classical” instruments is excellent, medium pace quite appropriate.

I have always believed that metal is classical music of the twentieth century, and now in the twenty-first listening among others Starbynary, I proved my theory right.