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ODYSSICE

Symphonic Prog • Netherlands


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Odyssice biography
This Dutch prog rock band is rooted in the late Eighties, the prime mover was guitar player Bastiaan Peeters and two American friends on drums and keyboards. In '87 ODYSSICE released their debut-demo "Track one", a fine blend of RUSH and CAMEL. The future looked bright when ODYSSICE even reached the national radio (the famous live rock-program Countdown Café) and they played on a prog rock festival in Belgium along with NOW, EASTERN WIND and fellow Dutchmen EGDON HEATH in '89. The line-up in those days was Bastiaan Peeters (guitar), Bart Kuhne (drums), Erik Aafjes (bass) and Andrae Hubbeling (keyboards). Unfortunately some members were not able to concentrate on the band. The band seemed to belong to the past but in '96 ODYSSICE made a mini-CD (four songs) entitled "Moondrive", it has strong echoes from CAMEL (melodic and Latimer-like guitarplay). Bastiaan recruited for this CD Jeroen van der Wiel on keyboards, Pascal van de Pol on bass and Bart Kuhne on drums.

In '97 ODYSSICE were invited to perform on the Dutch prog rock festival Progfarm. Drummer Menno Boomsma replaced Bart Kuhne, he was too busy with his work and skating (a typical Dutch sport). Their performance was a success and things started to grow for ODYSSICE. In 2000 ODYSSICE released the CD entitled "Impressions", a strong, 24-carat symphonic rock album with echoes from CAMEL but also some ethnic elements. It has very decent sales for an own production. In 2003 "Moondrive" was re-released as "Moondrive Plus" with two bonus tracks ("Losing Her" and "Powerloc") and some extra's. Meanwhile Pascal van de Pol is replaced by Gijs Koopman (ex-CLIFFHANGER) who's not only a very good (Rickenbacker) bass player but also skillful on keyboards and Moog Taurus bass pedals. The prog fans are eagerly waiting for a new ODYSSICE album in 2004.

The album "Impressions" is in the vein of the mini-CD "Moondrive" but with more mature and alternating compositions. Jeroen delivers a lush keyboard sound (piano, Mellotron - and Moogsamples) in some songs but the focus is on Bastiaan Peeter with his sensitive guitar play and the use of a guitar-synthesizer (spectacular - and surprising sounds). The progress of this band is emphasized by the integration of ethnic elements from Scotland, China and India, very beautiful and a proof that ODYSSICE is on the way to develop their own sound. I'm sure this album will please a lot of symphomaniacs!

: : : Eric Neuteboom, NETHERLANDS : : :

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MoondriveMoondrive
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Imports 2013
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ImpressionImpression
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Odyssice
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Secret ShowcaseSecret Showcase
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ODYSSICE discography


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ODYSSICE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.42 | 48 ratings
Impression
2000
3.87 | 41 ratings
Moondrive Plus
2003
3.68 | 120 ratings
Silence
2010

ODYSSICE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ODYSSICE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Secret Showcase - Live in Amsterdam
2013

ODYSSICE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ODYSSICE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.18 | 14 ratings
Moon Drive
1996

ODYSSICE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Impression  by ODYSSICE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.42 | 48 ratings

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Impression
Odyssice Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Another line-up change followed the release of Odyssice's first ever recording with Bart Kuehne leaving the group, being too busy with his work, replaced by future Trion drummer Menno Boomsma.Several gigs would follow, including one at the first ProgFarm event in Bakkeveen, along with warm critics, eventually putting the group on the Prog map.In January 2000 Odyssice recorded their first full-length work at Studio Nieuw Spitsbergen and later they signed a deal with Cyclops.Named ''Impression'', the album was finally released in November 2000.

Odyssice deliver their familiar style of melodic, instrumental Neo/Symphonic Prog with both short and long compositions, full of imaginative soundscapes, sensitive lines and atmospheric textures.Most of the pieces are guitar-driven, somewhere between the emotional CAMEL approach and a more fiery JADIS pallette with excellent electric solos and strong lead guitars, offering a variety of tempos and moods, ranging from rich, elaborate arrangements to thrilling, guitar-based melodies.Some of the pieces have a more pronounced keyboard vibe, just when bands of early-80's British Prog come to mind, based on flashy solos and soft piano preludes.The sound of the group is bombastic, grandiose and extremely melodic at the same time with orchestral overtones and a wide spectrum of emotional content, while, despite its modern production, ''Impression'' has enough retro resemblances to satisfy even fans of 70's Progressive Rock.The production is top-notch, typical of a Dutch Progressive Rock band of the genre, with a nice mix and clear changing between the instruments.

A must-have for all lovers of melodic Progressive Rock.Well-crafted musicianship all the way with beautiful guitar work and endless, striking melodies.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Silence by ODYSSICE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.68 | 120 ratings

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Silence
Odyssice Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

2 stars For a very weird reason, that I don't even know where it came from, I was really interested in this album when it came out and wanted to hear it really bad.

Odyssice is a band that pretty much got stuck on time, as many others, by the time of Pink Floyd's The Division Bell (1994)/PULSE (1995). And this is simply unexplicable.

This albums may have got some Prog faith back but in terms of quality they are far away from being masterpieces, and some of those sounds look so dated today.

That's exactly why I can't understand how bands like Odyssice can release albums like Silence (2011), almost 20 years later and having EXACTLY the same sounds of the 90's, fake sounds. Keyboards, drums, guitars, bass, you name it.

The band tries hard but in the end of the 50 minutes one can hardly remember anything.

If you do like that particular era I mentioned go for it with your eyes closed, but you have been warned,

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 Impression  by ODYSSICE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.42 | 48 ratings

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Impression
Odyssice Symphonic Prog

Review by BORA

3 stars Camel-lite? You bet!

Many correspondents liken this album to Camel and Rush. Well, I can definitely attest to the Camel bit, not sure about Rush, a band I don't really find irresistible, consequently I won't reflect on here.

A long time Camel fan of the Bardens-era, this piece reflects more on the post-Bardens, Latimer approach of searching for a direction. Kinda in-between two chairs, neither here, nor there. Either side of the "Nude" album.

I do apologize here as it seems that my words reflect more on Camel than on this band, but the reality is that those comparisons are near impossible to avoid. Very pleasing guitar work along the lines when Latimer was getting better and better, but an element is missing. It's called Peter Bardens.

The band plays well, but nothing really outstanding there.to support the excellent guitars. Admittedly, at first listen I wasn't overly impressed with this album. Second time around it started to grow on me. Third time it left me somewhat bored. And that's how it remains for now.

Credible guitar work with average back up leaves a potential masterpiece rather lame. 3.5 is due, but I'll have to round it down in this instance.

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 Moondrive Plus by ODYSSICE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.87 | 41 ratings

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Moondrive Plus
Odyssice Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Odyssice's first album, 'Moondrive', was originally released in 1996, comprising a 30 minute suite divided into five songs. This has now been remastered and reissued by Cyclops, along with bonus songs and a CD-ROM elements which comprises live videos, biogs etc (hence the 'Plus' of the title). Odyssice are an instrumental quartet and while drummer Menno Boomsa and bassist Pascal van de Pol keep it all together, there is no doubt that the melody stakes belong to keyboardist Jeroen van der Wiel and guitarist Bastiaan Peeters. While Jeroen trades licks with Bastiaan, he also does a fine job of providing a curtain of keyboards as a backdrop so that Bastiaan can provide Andy Latimer/David Gilmour/Gary Chandler -style lead lines against them.

Although there are no vocals they aren't missed just because there doesn't appear to be any room for them. This is extremely polished, with each musician knowing their place and working together to produce an album that is quite beautiful in some respects, and very interesting and enjoyable throughout. This isn't an album that is hard to listen to, the music flows and ebbs, but always with plenty of melody and a simple complexity. This isn't about playing music at the speed of light, or showing off as to how quickly things can be done but instead playing the music that suits the mood and the piece. An album for progheads who don't always want to be blown away or have to work at their listening pleasure.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

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 Impression  by ODYSSICE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.42 | 48 ratings

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Impression
Odyssice Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Ah good, an instrumental prog band from Holland. So I sighed, put it on, and then woke up. Odyssice have obviously been playing close attention to Jadis and Camel and have put together an album that may not have vocals but is no less for that. If I had to pick fault it would have to be with the version of "Flower Of Scotland" (which I notice Malcolm pointedly avoids in the press release).

Although the highlight for me and for many will be the guitar playing of Bastiaan Peters, special mention must be made of the keyboard playing of Jeroen van der Wiel who provides the perfect melodic counterpoint. While much of the album is fairly restrained, there are some powerful moments to be heard and the result is an album that is most pleasing to the ear. If this style of prog is appealing then this is a band worth discovering

Originally appeared in Feedback #62, May 01

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 Silence by ODYSSICE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.68 | 120 ratings

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Silence
Odyssice Symphonic Prog

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Not the most prolific of bands, Silence is only the third album from Dutchmen Odyssice since releasing their debut titled Impression in 2000. It would seem not a lot has changed in the Odyssice camp since then as Silence continues in that vein of melodic symphonic prog.

Odyssice are widely regarded as being similar to Camel, a view I wouldn't disagree with. This is too a large part down to guitarist Bastiaan Peeters soaring Andy Latimer style lead work but they also tread a similar path of easy on the ear melodic prog. This may lead some to find the band's sound a little dull and if Sleepytime Gorilla Museum are your thing, then unless you have wide ranging tastes Odyssice probably aren't for you.

Silence is however pretty good, well played and whilst their sound largely centre's around Peeters guitar work there's also a strong keyboard presence, less retro sounding than you might expect from a band like this. The seven instrumental compositions are all enjoyable enough but could do with a bit more variety with nothing standing out as exceptional to lift it above the average. I do enjoy Peeters lead work in particular though, the rest of the band laying a solid foundation as he soars away over the top, which he does throughout.

A good album then which could benefit if only they'd take the bull by the horns a bit and rock out a bit more, like even Camel do at times. This they do to a degree on final track Swank but it's a case of too little, too late. However, if it's not their thing then fair play to them.

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 Moon Drive by ODYSSICE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1996
3.18 | 14 ratings

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Moon Drive
Odyssice Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Dutch band formed in Utrecht in mid-80'd by guitarist Bastiaan Peeters.The demo ''Track one'' along with the band's energetic live performances helped them build a cult fame around the country,however musical diffrences along with line-up changes lead Odyssice falling into hiatus at the end of the decade.By mid-90's Peeters reformed the band with Jeroen van der Wiel on keyboards,Pascal van de Pol on bass along with his long-time bassist Bart Kuhne.This line-up recorded Odyssice's first work,the mini-CD ''Moondrive'' in 1997 on Legend Records.

The opening cut,the long ''Frustrations'' is a great blend of melodic Progressive Rock in the vein of JADIS with superb breaks,symphonic passages and great organ and synths throughout.The following ''And so am I'' is absolutely mindblowing.A sort of CAMEL meets MIKE OLDFIELD meets PINK FLOYD emotional symphonic beauty with excellent guitar work,among the best to be heard,creating fantastic soundscapes.''Different questions'' is another highlight with its CAMEL-esque opening notes and the fine synth solos of Van Der Wiel interplaying with Peeters guitars later.''The final decision'' continues in the same mood.Atmospheric melodic prog with crying guitars,mellow pianos and a very grandiose mood with superb solos throughout in the vein of FLAMBOROUGH HEAD.

The album was fortunately re-released some years later as ''Moondrive plus'' by Cyclops and deserves the highest of the recommendations.Extremely melodic, well-crafted and nicely- arranged Progressive Rock,especially recommended to fans of JADIS, FLAMBOROUGH HEAD, CHANCE, DOGMA and the likes.

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 Silence by ODYSSICE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.68 | 120 ratings

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Silence
Odyssice Symphonic Prog

Review by pussywillow

4 stars Tasty new offering from Dutch Progsters, Odyssice.

Seven excellent tracks of Camel-esque music, played by superb musicians. All nice n' long.

Be interesting to see what my brother makes of this one, seeing as he's a Camel fanatic....

It's all instrumental of course. Vocals would probably ruin a band like this, although maybe a FEW, and I mean a FEW, lyrics would have been nice. Suggest a Genesis style 'Los Endos' closing vocal next time chaps ?

There's something to savor on every track, including a bass solo that's rarely heard these days.

I was a bit worried about the last number, 'Swank' which could have been a horrible mispelling in it's own right let alone a bastardisation of the Gensis track 'Squonk' also from Trick of the Tail. It isn't, but it could well be a Hackett/Banks outtake.

If you like Camle/trick era Gensis, Also Eden, and similar you'll enjoy this.

Oh, and best of all, the band look like the bloke next door.

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 Impression  by ODYSSICE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.42 | 48 ratings

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Impression
Odyssice Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars ODYSSICE are an all-instrumental band from The Netherlands.The drummer / flute player also plays with TRION. I feel the over 70 minute length of this album is a negative but overall this is an enjoyable release. It's very melodic and pleasant.The liner notes are well done and they include a little blurb with some of the tracks.

'Scream" opens with nature sounds as synths and drums come and go reminding me briefly of "Xanadu". It starts to pick up around 1 1/2 minutes.This is both pleasant and enjoyable. A change before 4 1/2 minutes as the piano takes over then some tasteful guitar leads. "Lokapalas" opens with synths then it kicks in before a minute as the guitar and drums standout. Synths are back late to end it. "Senran" opens with piano before the drums then guitar join in. It's CAMEL-like around 2 minutes. "Children Of The Cloud" again starts with piano then guitar and drums arrive after a minute. Piano only returns as these contrasts continue. "Olympus" features lots of synths early then it kicks in then settles back again. I like the organ 2 minutes in. Catchy stuff.

"Impression" starts out with not a lot going on then we get some relaxed guitar after a minute. "Crusader" kicks in right away then settles back with piano 1 1/2 minutes in as contrasts continue. "Legend" is another favourite of mine. Sampled mellotron to open.This is a laid back tune with piano and light drums. A change after 2 1/2 minutes as guitar comes in from here to the end. Very enjoyable. "Anu radhapura" has a World- Music flavour at times and sampled mellotron to end it. "Flower Of Scotland" features picked guitar? and atmosphere. "In Your Eyes" is a mellow piece with piano and guitar leading. "A Prophets Dream" is more uptempo with guitar and pulsating synths. It does settle down nicely 3 1/2 minutes in.Then we get soaring guitar before 5 minutes to the end.

There are some really enjoyable moments on this album.

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 Silence by ODYSSICE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.68 | 120 ratings

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Silence
Odyssice Symphonic Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars This band picks up a 70s tradition of Dutch symphonic instrumental Prog, following in the footsteps of Trace and Finch so to speak. I must admit I'm not the biggest supporter of that scene. But I can't help it, I'm Belgian.

Kidding aside, this particular release from Odyssice manages to overcome the misgivings I usually have. They bring bright and mellow music but they make it work with their sweet sad melodies and nostalgic 80's sound with the big lush keyboards. The band delivers their compositions with well-crafted melodies and splendid lead guitar work that makes us almost forget Andy Latimer.

Well, not really 'forget' Latimer, rather 'remember', as this music is a tribute to the instrumentals from 1979-1984 Camel, reminding us of tracks like Pressure Points, Sasquatch, Ice, Drafted-Docks and so on. And take it from a skeptic, they do this style with so much skill and feeling that I am almost tempted to rate this as an excellent album.

Silence is a gorgeous album when I'm in the mood to dream along with romantic instrumental rock music. However, for me, a 4 star rating comes with a need for a more personal sound then the one band tribute that Odyssice does. But in the end, they do it very well and I can heartily recommend this album if you just want to enjoy good symphonic songwriting and execution. 3.5 stars.

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