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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: Odyssey - Voids


Increasingly in the postrock/metal scene, there have been rehashes of the Steve Vai-like instrumental, solo-filled albums that rely on a lot of weird chord progressions and time signatures out of this world, to keep an album without voice interesting. It has not always been easy listening, because some of these albums tend to drown in the skill part of making music and don’t have enough ‘soul’ so to say, to really hold attention for long enough.

Enter Odyssey, with their new effort Voids. It is indeed a progressive metal album without voice and just three members to fill the music. It is an action packed, fast paced bunch of songs with indeed a lot of the aforementioned clichés, perhaps. But this album is very well executed, nonetheless. It has the feel of freshness, it has the solos and the weird time signatures but there is more in there. Odyssey, while perhaps less known than some other bands in their genre, have managed to create a unique sound and create atmospheres in every song, making it hard to find fault with any of them, really. The balance between a well-established overall sound and the uniqueness of the individual songs is laudable.

The only comparison perhaps holding any merit is a sort of faster paced, less complex variant on the sort of songs Intronaut makes. That doesn’t do Odysssey justice by a long shot though; the progression from one musical theme to another is so seamless and well-executed that it is difficult to compare this to any other band at first glance. Suffice it to say that people who are into Animals as Leaders, Intronaut, Between the Buried and Me and others will all find something in this music, though perhaps all different things.

The sound created by Odyssey on Voids is very full and atmospheric, despite just consisting of three members. Perhaps this is also due to the fast pace and dense variety of styles they dive in and out of on their songs, but it makes for a very good album, in the end. Not just the crazy double-bass metal riffs, but also the atmospheric acoustic sounds on a song like Echoes. The next song, Before there were Eyes to See, goes straight into fast paced powerchord strumming under a pummeling double bass drum blasting open the song in a wall of sound.

All in all, Voids is a very interesting album combining a lot of the good stuff in progmetal these days. For some, perhaps, the solos are a bit too much and more guitarwankery than they can handle, and that is perhaps a fair objection to make to this album. For the rest there is not much at fault with this album, a tremendous effort from Odyssey!

Written by Frank van Drunen

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