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Syndone Odyssťas album cover
3.93 | 154 ratings | 8 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Invocazione alla musa (3:11)
2. Il tempo che non ho (5:32)
3. Focus (4:24)
4. Penelope (4:43)
5. Circe (2:30)
6. Ade (5:01)
7. Poseidon (2:20)
8. Nemesis (5:09)
9. La grande bouffe (4:52)
10. Eros & Thanatos (2:04)
11. Vento avverso (3:43)
12. EΛEYΘEPIA / Freedom (1:46)
13. Daimones (4:53)

Total Time 50:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Riccardo Ruggeri / lead vocals, lyrics
- Nik Comoglio / keyboards, composer & orchestration
- Francesco Pinetti / vibraphone, composer

- Pino Russo / acoustic guitar, oud
- Sara Marisa Chessa / harp
- John Hackett / flute (4)
- Luca Biggio / alto saxophone
- Paolo Porta / tenor saxophone
- Gianni Virone / baritone saxophone
- Gianluca Scipioni / trombone
- Marco Braito / trumpet
- Marco Pierobon / trumpet
- Stefano Ammannati / tuba
- Nilo Caracristi / French horn
- Federico Marchesano / bass
- Marco Minnemann / drums
- Labirinto String Orchestra
- Fabio Gurian / conductor

Releases information

Artwork: Lorenzo Alessandri

CD Fading Records ‎- FAD-012 (2014, Italy)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy SYNDONE Odyssťas Music

SYNDONE Odyssťas ratings distribution

(154 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

SYNDONE Odyssťas reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Five albums in almost twenty years isn't exactly moving at a fast rate, but it's a true sign of an artist slowly honing and perfecting their craft, not feeling the need to simply put out new product annually. Judging by the very impressive efforts on the latest Syndone album `Odyssťas', the slower work-rate has paid off beautifully. Despite a back catalogue of somewhat inconsistent yet promising previous works, the Syndone project, a trio comprised of vocalist Riccardo Ruggeri, keyboardist Nik Comoglio and vibraphone player Francesco Pinetti (not the usual prog trio set-up, eh?) finally delivers a truly memorable, thrilling album, their most defining release to date, and it's another triumph that keeps up the tradition of high quality recent RPI works.

An exclamation on the beautiful Mini LP CD sleeve proudly proclaims `No electric guitars!', and this will no doubt be familiar to fans of the early Queen albums, where Freddie and the boys would boast of `No synthesizers'! In that similarity lies a clue to a big influence to parts of this album, as frontman Riccardo Ruggeri has a definite theatrical purr very much modeled on the amazing Mr Mercury. He swoons, he woops, he croons...truly seductive, ravishing and full of that typically passionate delivery associated with endless classic RPI works. The rest of the main band is supported by guests playing flute (John `brother of Steve' Hackett), acoustic guitar (sublime work from Pino Russo) and Marco Minnemann's up-front drums, with Federico Marchesano's bass a constant highlight throughout, as well as some grand orchestration.

Just listen to how exquisitely Riccardo sings the classical guitar and piano ballad `Il Tempo Che Ne Ho', one of the most sweetly romantic and deeply moving pieces I've heard on an album, Italian prog or otherwise, all year. Riccardo perfectly controls his voice for maximum emotion, and it's an instant classic. The sweeping orchestration made me instantly think of Il Rovescio della Medaglia's `Contaminazione', and it has an impossibly dramatic climax. One of the must stunning tracks in all of 2014.

Elsewhere on the disc you get ripping vibraphone loaded jazz/fusion instrumental runs like the opener `Invocazione Alla Musa' (bristling with cool Hammond), `Circe' (lovely spiraling piano and frantic drumming) and `Eayoepia', all very much in the manner of 70's Pierre Moerlin's Gong albums. `Poseidon' and `Eros and Thanatos' are bombastic E.L.P/Triumvirat Hammond organ driven bombastic workouts, and `Focus' is a horn-led hard rocker with screeching, dangerous wild vocals. `Penelope' is a lonely late-night piano reflection with a sorrowful vocal but moments of real prettiness, and it's very much in the manner of an early Queen solo Freddie piece such as `You Take My Breath Away'. There's full-on vintage flavoured symphonic prog workouts like `Ade' and `Nemesis', and all these different styles come together in the finale `Daimones', a triumphant theme with lovely shimmering electric piano and positive Genesis-styled synth themes.

Highly recommended for fans of Seventies Queen and the most over-the-top classical and theatrical inspired Italian prog works, it will be exciting to see just how Syndone attempt to top this new personal standard on their next release. It's also very refreshing to hear an album not resort to dark and gloom, instead favouring plenty of life, energy and joy, and the band are full of inspiration and passion, Riccardo soaring high with the best vocals to appear on an Italian prog album all year. These factors help make `Odyssťas' one of the most varied, lavish and tasty RPI releases of 2014!

Four and a half stars.

Review by Progulator
5 stars Two years back, Syndone took the Progulator staffs' ears by storm with La bella e la bestia, a superb release featuring smart and original melodic composition, insanely good production values, and a secret weapon of a vocalist whose flexibility is such to where he sneakily pulled off the role of three characters, one of which was female, in a way that had us all thinking that they were different singers. Needless to say, Odysseas has been a highly anticipated release for us this year. Did it meet my expectations? Yes it did. Quite frankly, it blew them away.

What impresses me so much about this band is that they were able to follow up their last album with something that sounds quite different, totally fresh, and pull it off so gracefully. Of course we see many similar elements before such as the jazz sections, but there is quite a bit here which makes this album sound like a unique and contained piece of music. First off, I would like to point out the Latin influences that seem to weave in and out of the record and the use of acoustic guitar such as on the quasi-flamenco inspired intro to Penelope, the classical guitar opening to "Il tempo che non ho," and the dark intro to "Nemesis," featuring loads of syncopated vibraphone, lever harp interjections, and an incredible chorus. "Nemesis" isn't the only song to make great use of vibes. In fact, I would say that another piece of the puzzle that lends this album its own sound is the heavy use of vibraphone throughout record, featuring the playing of Francesco Pinetti and oftentimes showcasing the jazzier or more playful lines of the record. "Invocazione alla Musa" gives this to us right off the bat as well as do the instrumental sections of "Eros & Thanatos." The former really shows that Syndone knows how to choose an album opener that'll suck you in immediately. This bouncy piece in 7/8 starts us right off with loads of fun, combining catchy rhythmic vibraphone playing with basslines that seriously groove. "Eros & Thanatos," though a short piece, certainly delivers the goods. The lead-in from the previous track, "La grande bouffe," is so seamless that I didn't even realize it was a new song except for the fact that I saw the numbers change on my CD player. The transition from dirty Hammond riffs and pulverizing bass to playful vibes and finally to an ominous vocal section over heavy and layered composition makes this piece a fantastic close to this quadra-song-cycle that started off with "Poseidon." Add Marco Minneman's perfect drumming to pieces like this and "Circe" (where his grooves are absolutely rockin, tasty, jazzy, and punch at all the right accents) and there's literally nothing on this record I could even fathom complaining about.

With all that said, in the end what makes Odysseas really tick is that it has the feel of lyrical art songs, which is not something you find often in a prog record. Yes, it is a rock album, but so many of of the tracks, especially those with vocals seem to fit well with the art song tradition and even shy away from rock. While this might sound scary to some, this is actually what I consider to be key to the album. Riccardo Ruggeri's vocal interpretations are to die for, and he seems to shine the most when doing highly melodic and passionate pieces where he is given lots of room to interpret the lyrics in a slew of ways. This is evident from the first vocal track of the album, "Il tempo che non ho" which capitalizes on on the combination of classical style guitar and vocals which later on develop into a piano piece before a big strings outro. Towards the end of the album when you get to "Vento avverso" it becomes clear that the melodies of this song serve as a kind of main theme for the album; the track opens up with a gorgeous strings rendition of the theme's from "Il tempo" before moving into the same vocal line we heard as before. This time the arrangement is different with the song replacing the guitar part from the other piece in favor of a piano arrangement which gives this even more of an art song feel. The vocals are passionately stunning, undulating from brave to meek while the interplay of synth and piano deliver a meaningful close to the song. "Penelope" is another piece that is certainly worthy of mention, featuring an intro of wailing flamenco style vocals which quickly moves into a melodic and romantic piano solo that is breathes beautiful tension, phrasing, and dynamic. As the vocals come in the mood gets brighter and Ruggeri really shows his prowess as a singer through masterful use of full voice, head voice, and falsetto ranges in this classical influenced piece. And if you're looking for something that 'll really blow your mind, you don't need to go any futher than Ruggeri's use of his high range between 1:50 and 2:12 of "Ade." You'll have to hear it to believe it, it's that unreal.

Despite the release of Odysseas early on in 2014, Comoglio and Pinetti prove themselves to be among the best prog composers of the year and have absolutely nailed it when it comes to choosing the right musicians to deliver it, whether that's Ruggeri (a full time member of the band) or Minneman, Marchesano and a slew of hired guns. If you know me and my reviews you'll know that I consider the current Italian scene to be among the best of the prog world at the moment. Odysseas confirms Syndone as one of the leading bands in a scene that is already setting a high bar.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars The drums!!

Some very polished (well produced) RPI with a story (Odysseus) and some music made most interesting for its full synth sound and the presence of tuned percussion (Francesco Pinetti on vibraphone) and horns throughout. The impassioned vocals unfortunately feel a little over-the-top (melodramatic) due, I am sure, to the fact that they are sung in Italian?which I do not understand. The music is sometimes jazzy, sometimes Broadway-esque, sometimes classical in its presentation. Perfect RPI. It is always well-polished and cleanly performed. For those of you enamored of the vocal talents of La Coscienza di Zeno's Alessio Calandriello you will be well pleased with the ambitious offerings of Syndone's Riccardo Ruggeri. Considering that Syndone was a one time solo project of Nik Comoglio, you have to say that he's come a long way?and has gotten very good at finding great sidemen and guests for his projects (including drummer Marco Minnemann and flutist John Hackett).

Favorite songs: "Il tempo che non ho" (5:33) (9/10) and the finale, "Daimones" (4:54) (9/10).

Overall this is admirably solid, well-conceived, and beautifully realized music. Definitely four stars. Maybe worth more.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Italian project SYNDONE was formed by composer and keyboardist Nik Comoglio back in the late '80s, but following two initial albums in the early '90s this project took an extended hiatus. A few years back the project revived however, and from 2010 and onwards three more full-length albums have seen the light of day. "Odysseas" is the most recent of these, released by the Italian label Altrock's Fading imprint in early 2014.

Quirky, sophisticated symphonic progressive rock with a strong and characteristic vintage sound is what Syndone had created on their fifth studio album "Odysseas". With a liberal amount of high-quality guest musicians, this album should be an enjoyable affair for just about anyone with an affection for the more demanding variety of this type of progressive rock, and in particular for those who have a soft spot for Italian-language lead vocals.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I've had this album for some time, but never listened to it : it was among a big bunch of CDs that came in at the same time and, for some reason, it got shelved and forgotten until quite recently. Now, I can try to make up for the neglect I've shown. Syndone is Nik Comoglio (keys, arrangeme ... (read more)

Report this review (#1380070) | Posted by MELNIBON… | Monday, March 9, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Progressive rock has over the years proved that it knows how to be "hit and miss," in terms of new releases. Many times bands have come along with great songs, great ideas, great musicians, but poor execution. These bands are completely indiscernible from other bands, and frequently draw compa ... (read more)

Report this review (#1303639) | Posted by JohnNicholson | Wednesday, November 12, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Now I am returning to the Italian world where I have encountered the band "Syndone" which has recorded five records from 1992 to 2014. This year came the fifth album "Odyssťas" which, when I watch the five covers rapidly, has the most artistic look. It feels both old and fantastic and I especial ... (read more)

Report this review (#1291805) | Posted by DrŲmmarenAdrian | Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Syndone is one of the best reality of Italian Prog. They comes out from various experiences and their leader Nik Comoglio is one of the well prepared musicians of the whole panorama of Prog. It's a worth description because their sound deserves attention worldwide and it's a pity the fact that ... (read more)

Report this review (#1206530) | Posted by MAURY | Monday, July 7, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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