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Odin's Court - Human Life In Motion CD (album) cover


Odin's Court

Progressive Metal

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3 stars With Human Life In Motion, American progressive metal act Odin's Court aim to take a look at the "human experience" through eleven tracks, each dealing with a different primary emotion. While still creating interesting compositions to go along with the heavy lyrical content, Odin's Court deliver American progressive rock/metal just as it should be - heavy riffs, melodic vocals, lush keyboards, and interesting instrumental runs dominate most of this album's playing time. Human Life In Motion's general lack of experimentation and originality makes it seem a bit irrelevant in today's prog metal scene, but Odin's Court deliver enough quality compositions and musicianship to make this a decent purchase for fans of the genre.

Human Life In Motion is generally a melodic and straightforward experience - no songs exceed the 6-minute mark, and most are conventionally structured with strong melodies. Of course, this isn't a major issue, but the conventional songwriting (while still very well-executed) does rub off as a bit unoriginal. Thankfully, Odin's Court is a group of extremely talented musicians and keep things interesting throughout Human Life In Motion's full playing time. The bass playing from Craig Jackson especially stands out to me - unlike most prog metal acts, Odin's Court manages to create interesting and memorable bass lines; surely a sign of their talent as songwriters and musicians!

Unfortunately, Human Life In Motion is also plagued by a fairly generic and lifeless production. Although it sounds competent, it lacks the emotional punch and professionalism that would benefit the album greatly. The drums sound especially flat and uninspired - it's a shame, really, because the drumming is actually quite good.

Although Human Life In Motion suffers from a few technical issues and it lacks a unique sound of its own, it's still a well-made prog metal album that fans of the genre should enjoy. Odin's Court is a group of talented musicians that, with just a few small improvements, could really make a large impact in the prog metal world. I'll be keeping a close eye on where these guys head in the future. As far as Human Life In Motion is concerned, I'd say a middle-of- the-road 3 stars are deserved. If you're okay with fairly conventional - yet still well-composed - progressive metal, the latest effort from Odin's Court is a very recommended purchase.

Report this review (#506947)
Posted Sunday, August 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Human Life In Motion' - Odin's Court (6/10)

Odin's Court may not be a band I have heard of before, but even by a quick glance at their discography, it is clear that they are an established act in progressive metal. Over four albums, this band has been making music together, and on this latest outing, 'Human Life In Motion' does go to show the act's tightness. However, Odin's Court has not yet solved some of the bigger issues that lie in their music, and while there is a great concept at work here, it gets somewhat lost in the execution.

LIke so many bands labelled under the progressive metal umbrella, Odin's Court can certainly play their instruments, although based on the music they have made on 'Human Life In Motion', they tend to lean towards the more emotional and melodic side of the genre. Emotions, in fact, are what this album is all about. Each track here is meant to bring out a different emotion or feeling in the listener, as is underlined by the subtext of each title. As a result, Odin's Court goes through a variety of moods in this album. The band also changes up their sound for each new song, which is a good thing to keep the music fresh, but sadly, no sound of the band is strong enough to leave a powerful impression. There are songs here that could do proud Pain of Salvation, and others that go for a more traditional prog sound of Marillion or Pendragon. The production is manageable, but restrains the music to a somewhat mechanical feel. The vocalist sounds quite a bit like the one from Pendragon, and while labelled as prog metal, Odin's Court are more common to go down a mellow route on this album than heaviness, although the moments where they do let loose with the distortion sound quite intense by comparison.

The instrumentation here is quite good, with some of the guitar harmonies being very beautiful. The award would have to go to the bass work however; although it is sometimes hard to hear in the mix, when I could hear what was happening with it, I was very impressed by the often technical licks he pulled off, sounding somewhat like the work of Tony Choy in Atheist. Comparisons aside, Odin's Court doesn't have a great sense of identity to them, even on this fourth album. I would not consider this a typical prog metal album, but rather a typical modern prog album. While the concept of highlighting an emotion for each song could have seen great things happen with it, I ironically do not feel a great deal with 'Human Life In Motion', despite some strong moments from the band here.

Report this review (#534443)
Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars US act ODIN'S COURT was formed back in 2002 and has been an active unit both in terms of recording material and performing live. "Human Life in Motion" is their fourth studio album to date, and was issued by the US label Progrock Records in May 2011.

"Human Life in Motion" is a well-constructed piece of progressive metal with frequent detours into the art rock universe. Variety in scope, approach and style are the common denominator for this production, and instrumentally there's plenty for the attentive listener to enjoy. The compositions aren't always that interesting overall however, and the delivery of lead vocalist Brookins appears to be something of a weakness, at least to my ears. If you like his voice and enjoy refined music switching back and forth between art rock and progressive metal in style you should find this disc to be a rather enjoyable one.

Report this review (#548531)
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars In 2011 Odin's Court released their fifth album and to say that they had moved on from the previous release is something of an understatement. This is a band that is highly drive, focussed on the job in hand, and know what just needs to be done to produce a great prog metal album. Rick Pierpoint is a stunning guitarist but he can be matched note for note by bassist Craig Jackson and they both mix and change their styles while at the same time providing incredible shred. Drummer John Abella is no slouch behind the kit, providing a dynamic backbone that allows the rest of the guys to keep moving on, while singer Matt Brookins is now in perfect harmony with what is going on musically.

I originally thought that it would take an external influence to pull this band in the right direction, but Matt stood up to the task and engineered, mixed and produced it himself. This is powerful prog metal that at times has more than the latter than the former, but never losing the melody and complexity. Whereas those into prog metal may be disappointed with the previous release, this is a killer and needs to be played loud. Very loud.

Report this review (#760256)
Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 | Review Permalink

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