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Odin s Court is a Maryland, USA band that was initially formed by Matt Brookins in 2001. For the first 2 years the band struggled to find their sound, playing covers and originals ranging from classic rock to modern metal and everything in between. It was during this time that John Abella joined the group. By 2003 a stable lineup and vision were in place, and Odin s Court release the self financed album Driven By Fate. Over the next 3 years the band would go through 3 more lineup changes, eventually releasing another CD and a DVD (both self financed) and concurrently establishing a stable, cohesive unit that has been maintained to this day.
Odin s Court has been known to perform energetic live shows, and in 2004, the band s live sound was taken to the next level by adding Rick Pierpont and Savino Palumbo. The band has primarily gigged in the mid-Atlantic region; however, they have played festivals, mini-tours, and one-off shows in other areas such as NYC, Atlanta, Boston, and San Francisco. Odin s Court has shared the stage with many classic and modern greats, including Symphony X, Spock s Beard, King s X, Kamelot, Steve Whiteman (Kix, Funny Money), Sonata Arctica, Helloween, Jon Oliva s Pain, Zero Hour, Crimson Glory, Circle II Circle, Devin Townsend, Enchant, and more.
In 2004, Brookins began writing songs and working on the concept for their latest effort Deathanity, an ambitious album dealing with the effects mankind s actions are having on the planet. Joined in 2005 by Craig Jackson, another enthusiastic composer, the songs and ideas were further developed and perfected. Brookins created words and fictitious dictionary entries with inspired album art for each song, further contributing to the organic feel.
Deathanity displays why Odin s Court is difficult to fit into a genre; ambience, dynamics, and soul are combined with complexity, groove, and energy in a song oriented structure, to create a unique, surreal landscape. Including a configuration similar to that of the classic Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon, Deathanity utilizes saxophone and backing female vocalists, and includes a palate scattered with spoken vocal clips and vast ranging sound effects. Special guest vocalists include Tom Englund (Evergrey) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica).
Odin s Court draws from legendary inspirations like Pink Floyd, Boston, Queen, Rush, Metallica, Yes, Iron Maiden, and Journey as well as more modern bands such as Devin Townsend, Chroma Key, OSI, Porcupine Tree, Type O Negative, Dream Theater, and Tool. Composers Beethoven, Mozart, Yanni, and Bach also serve as inspiration in their music.
Deathanity is the latest effort from Odin s Court, a Maryland, USA band. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by band architect Matt Brookins at D2C Studios between January 2007 and March 2008. Deathanity is an ambitious concept album dealing with the effects mankind s actions are having on the planet. Alternate views are offered through the use of instrumentation, lyrics, sound effects, and various vocal clips. Ambience, dynamics, and soul are combined with complexity, groove, and energy in a song oriented structure, to create a unique, surreal landscape. Each song, dealing with a different theme, is accompanied by a newly created word and definition in the album art. Special guest vocalists include Tom Englund (Evergrey) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica). Other guests include Bill Green on tenor sax and Nicki Brookins, Elena Hall, and Suzanne Warner on backing vocals. Odin s Court, comprised of Matt Brookins (Vocals, Guitars), John Abella (Drums, Percussion), Savino Palumbo (Keyboards), Craig Jackson (Bass), and Rick Pierpont (Guitar), draws from classic inspirations such as Pink Floyd, Boston, Queen, Rush, Metallica, Yes, and Journey as well as more modern bands such as Devin Townsend, Chroma
If Deathanity of the group Odin's Court is a measure of what they have done in the past, their previous CD's must be very good indeed. This concept album is about the very sad state of our planet. Each track conveys an aspect of this global death. BTW, the titles of their songs are mostly neologism. The jacket cover leaves no doubt about the message. We see what seems to be vultures circling a burning tree; an apt imagery to clearly show what is happening. They play a mix of metal (hard rock oriented more than death metal) and symphonic prog. I have found this album rather pleasing to listen to. Their music is at time complex with many changes of rhythms and tone. Matt Brookings has composed most of the tracks. It takes a few listen to appreciate it fully, but IMO it is worth it.
"Terracide" is the murder of the earth. In the beginning, it is a quiet piece full of nostalgia (and with good reasons). It made me think of certain pieces of Pendragon. It contains passages more intense. It is a very good introduction to this project.
"Volatilestial" is a piece more in the hard rock tradition. The singing is adequate, but no more. Is the air evaporating from earth or becoming to dense?
"Manifest Destiny" is a classic metal track with interesting twist. And what is our destiny? The keys are rather good. I like very much the melodic parts and the guitar solo.
"Oceanica Toxica", which is horrific to contemplate, but sadly true, begins with a folk melody. Then it gets heavier as the subject commands. It made me think a little of Iron Maiden. And I love the piano! This piece is one of my favourite.
"Mammonific", in ancient time Mammon was the god of money (or a demon in Spawn)Is our civilization still worshipping him? LOL. The answer is everywhere to see. It is a good rock tune with very pleasing melodic passages.
"Anmimaulic" made me think of Metallica or Iron Maiden. The guitars are playing in a classic metal rock mode and their duo solos are very good. The keys introduce an interesting mood. I like it very much. Animaulic, is it the technique of animal destruction?
"Esoterica" is another tune in the manner of metal rock which seems to be in continuity with the preceding one. This is a very solid tune with shredders guitar wrap in a melodic package. It has also a very nostalgic feel.
"Crownet" begins strongly and has a nice bass structure, more akin to jazz than rock. It contains many interesting twists.
"Obesite" begins as a quiet ballad and develop as a pop song. We heard what seems to be sax, but I'm not sure, since there is no mention of it on the bands credits.
"Ode to Joy" is a fun metal version of old Beethoven 9th symphony 4th movement! There is an ongoing love story between classical music and much of symphonic prog.
"Cosmosera" is certainly for me one of the most interesting and varied tune of the CD. It is certainly one of the best on this project. It made me think a little of Soft Machine or other Canterbury bands.
"Vasatificant" continues in that vein and closes very convincingly this original effort.
I surely recommend this CD. It is a great listen. I will certainly watch and hear what comes next with Odins Court. --Proggnosis
There is an amazing social consciousness that is getting larger and larger in the progressive rock music scene. Whether it s personal relationship issues or the environment, more and more bands are taking up the torch and speaking out about what s going on around us. And that s without question a good thing. Which brings me to the third release from the Maryland, USA band Odin s Court entitledDeathanity. The quintet know as Odin s Court formed back in 2001 and for this release features the traditional progressive rock instrument lineup. The band consists of Matt Brookins (vocals, guitar), John Abella (drums), Savino Palumbo (keyboards), Craig Jackson (bass) and Rick Pierpont (guitar).
With wide-ranging influences from Pink Floyd to Yes and Tool to Dream Theater there s a lot of varied music to take in. Stylistically the music of Odin s Court is hard edged progressive rock with equal moments of symphonic and metal. The first track Terracide (4:44) is essentially moody atmospherics with all kinds of voice clips of people talking about different aspects of mankind s actions on the planet, which then goes into a heavy prog-metalish riff to launch track two Volatilestial (7:30) before sliding nicely into a style that could easily pass for a heavy Pendragon track. Even with the much heavier third track Manifest Destiny (5:15) there are moments with a Pendragon feel, especially with the vocals. Many of the CD s 12 tracks slide into one another and the sound is lush, even thick with tones and notes. The guitars can be gut wrenchingly heavy one moment and then softly acoustic the next such as the beginnings of Oceanica Toxica (5:56). This track bounces back and forth between crunching guitars, softer acoustic sections, saw tooth synth lead lines, strange polyrhythm s and some fantastic power chord crescendos. This is one amazing piece of music. And so it goes. Deathanity is loaded with grand musical moments and majestic keyboards that provide layers of ambience and symphonic support to the musical proceedings. And throughout are the recurring voice clips of individuals talking about mankind s present and future condition. It gets mighty intense, but maintains a positive and upbeat tone. There s even a way-cool version of Ode to Joy (3:46).
It would be easy to just call this prog-metal but that would be a mistake although there s no question it will find plenty of listeners in that sub-genre of prog. But there is a lot more going on musically to hold the interest of symphonic prog fans as well. If you enjoy the music of the bands mentioned or even bands like Cairo, Shadow Gallery or MagellanOdin s Court is a disc you ll want to grab hold of. Deathanity works on many levels and undoubtedly will appeal to a wide cross section of progressive rock fans. It s a great release. --Jerry Lucky
Progressive Rockers ODIN'S COURT third full-length album, Deathanity , is inspired by the negative impact humanity has had on the environment. An ambitious theme perhaps, but certainly not one lacking in seemingly increasing fodder from the daily news.
Fortunately, what could have come across as a bit pretentious or overly preachy when aimed towards a heavy music audience does manage to work on some levels. Stylistically, their heavy Jazz-like influenced sound does remind me of Progressive Metal bands like SUSPYRE or MIND S EYE, but ODIN S COURT are also good at incorporating atmospheric textures and smooth choruses into their music. These choruses along with the almost Pop like melodies on songs such as Obesite thus remind one of groups like DEVIN TOWNSEND. Other surprises also turn up, in particular a cover of BEETHOVEN S Ode To Joy which sounds like it could have been taken from a TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album.
The bands music is quite lush and varied with additional instrumentation of piano, acoustic guitars, horns, and backing female vocals also used on many of the songs. In addition to featuring very good guitar playing (shared by Matt Brookins and Rick Pierpont), the solid bass work of Craig Jackson is also quite prominent on many tracks such as Esoterica . Vocalist Matt Brookins voice is rather soft and subdued in the mix and it s mainly when he unleashes raspy yells on tracks like Cosmosera or Animaulic that he adds a badly needed sense of energy to the music. Two high profile guest vocalists are also featured on a couple tracks, these being Tom Englund (EVERGREY) on Mammonific , and Tony Kakko, (SONATA ARCTICA) on Crownet . The latter being my favorite of the two songs mainly for it s more up-tempo feel. Other favorites included Volatilestial , for it's crunchy guitar work, tasty saxophone solo, and ethereal vocals, and also the song Manifest Destiny which begins with heavy guitar riffs and later features a trade-off of clean melodic singing and raspier angry vocals, before culminating in a loud Progressive jam.
Overall, although the songs on the album are fairly good, the inclusion of spoken word sound bites in between the songs (or worse in the middle of the tracks) doesn t seem to work all that well and is a bit of a disruption when I d rather just listen to the band's playing. Furthermore, with the album duration coming in at over an hour total, some of the longer and more repetitive parts can also start to get a little monotonous. Still, for what was initially a self-released work (they have since been signed to ProgRock records) it s a fairly solid effort and with a little more experience and perhaps more assertive vocals from Matt, they could really be onto something great. Definitely a band Prog-heads should watch out for. --Metal Observer
|3. Manifest Destiny|
|4. Oceanica Toxica|
|10. Ode to Joy|