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(66:34, Progrock Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Terracide 4:43 2. Volatilestial 7:30 3. Manifest Destiny 5:14 4. Oceanica Toxica 5:55 5. Mammonific 5:14 6. Animaulic 7:49 7. Esoterica 6:06 8. Crownet 5:01 9. Obesite 6:18 10. Ode to Joy 3:46 11. Cosmosera 6:12 12. Vastificant 2:46 LINEUP: Matt Brookins vocals; guitar Rick Pierpont guitars Craig Jackson bass John Abella percussion Savino Palumbo keyboards
Prolusion. Based in Maryland, USA, ODINS COURT was formed in 2002 and had released two studio albums prior to their latest production; their second album in particular got the band much positive attention. This led to the outfit being signed by the US label Progrock Records, which issued their third album "Deathanity" in 2008.
Analysis. "Deathanity" is a creation that has a lot going for it, to the extent that many into progressive music will regard it as a production highly worthy of investigation. For starters, it's a clear cut concept album, with a focus on environmental issues and humanity's constant abuse of the planet Earth. Most of the songs are interlocking affairs, tied together by means of one composition continuing straight into the next either directly through musical patterns or by the use of cinematic sound segments binding two tracks together. Releases of this kind have a stable following, and as concepts go, this one is probably a tad better than the average, focusing on real issues rather than producing a theme or story set in a realm of fantasy. The musical foundation for this band is to be found within the realm of progressive metal. Loud guitars dominate throughout, staccato, arrhythmic riff patterns and complex guitar-driven moves all being common features also. There's a great deal of variation to the utilization of this instrument; quite often we're served drawn-out power chords too, and another feature repeated throughout this production are electric guitars underscored by acoustic ones. Odin's Court does have an adventurous approach to the art of music, and aren't satisfied with exploring purebred progressive metal. Symphonic elements is another feature you will find in most of the compositions, in the guise of segments with mellow melodic guitars, symphonic-tinged keyboards and piano fleshing out the main melody line, and extensive use of atmospheric guitar soloing. Another facet of this creation are jazz-tinged segments, sometimes mixing influences from that genre with metal and at other times inserting more purist jazzy parts into the compositions. There are many good intentions to this album, and an approach to the art of music that is rather intriguing. However, some elements highly inspire me. First of these are sudden changes in pace and direction. More often than not the compositions have a multitude of these, and personally I really enjoy when there are many dramatic alterations in style within one single composition. The only somewhat negative factor for me are the vocals which somehow aren't quite to my personal liking. Without being able to pinpoint it, there's something about the delivery which grates a bit. This could be due to the mix, though, and I get the impression that too many elements are placed too high in the mix, which makes these songs rather taxing and challenging to listen to in a concentrated manner. These elements are reflections of personal taste though, and are points of view others may feel differently about.
Conclusion. "Deathanity" is an intriguing release in many aspects and should be of interest to people looking for adventurous and challenging progressive metal with eclectic leanings. The band has a somewhat unique approach to their chosen style of music and should be a welcome acquaintance for fans of progressive metal looking for a different approach to this genre.
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