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Odyssice - Silence CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 130 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It is not an easy thing to achieve to make an instrumental album which speaks to you. Odyssice, a Dutch symphonic band, have done just that with Silence, another in a growing list which will compete for the album of the year.

As with all great instrumental albums, the musicianship is excellent. Indeed, as a lover of Camel, Steve Hackett, Pink Floyd, and Mike Oldfield especially, it is a huge compliment from me to state that the playing here is on a par with these fine artists.

The guitar work of Bastiaan Peeters is quite incredible, and I wonder just how on earth I had never heard of him before listening to this album. He deserves a great deal more attention and praise, and I would hope that this album will provide that launch.

Peter Kosterman, on bass, achieves that very difficult feat of using the instrument in a lead manner, in much the same way as Reingold and Trewavas from the modern era do, or Squire did in classic times. On the second track, Momento, his is the sound which leads the rest of the band around him.

Jeroen Van der Wiel provides the keyboards, which, at times, are very reminiscent of Tony Banks, and, in the best symphonic tradition, they swirl and soar.

Menno Boomsma completes the quartet. He provides competent drumming (no more, I'm afraid), but also chips in with flute.

It is difficult to describe where this band get their influences from. No, actually, it would be better to state that I find this refreshingly original. For example, Chinese Whispers has shades of Oldfield and Hackett about it, but only in the sense of the atmosphere it creates, which can be disturbingly dark and intense. For an example of how good lead guitar and bass can be in tandem, look no further than this track, which contains an incredibly haunting lead.

The emotion that is drawn out of Colours of Silence really is stunning, and I wonder just what life event occurred when this was written in order to produce such a moving track. Exceptionally intense, this is the highlight of the album for me. It also provides the finest drumming of the album, with a very complex time signature very well performed.

Flags Without A Heart has an acoustic interplay between guitar, bass, and piano, which set a dreamy, melancholic mood, one that is dedicated to former oppressed nations, before the track resonates with an electric guitar solo that is standout, with the band coming together to create a modern symphonic masterpiece.

There is no track below five and a half minutes on the album, so to describe Continental Motion as the standout "epic" is probably a bit misleading, but it is the lengthiest track here, and features some very deft, original, keyboard work interspersed with some more moving guitar work by Peeters. It also has in between all of this an extremely interesting new age passage, which I hope will feature strongly in any future work the band produces. It closes with perhaps the strongest nod to classic symphonic prog with keyboards and guitar which would not have sounded out of place on later Genesis epic tracks such as Fading Lights.

The closer, Swank, reminds me very strongly of Floyd in their Gilmour era pomp, and is a good atmospheric way to close the album.

This is a very good album, and one that I would strongly recommend to all members of the site. I award it a very strong four stars.

lazland | 4/5 |


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