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ODESSA

Crossover Prog • Italy


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Odessa biography
Formed in 1998 by Lorenzo GIOVAGNOLI (vocals and keyboards), ODESSA was completed with three of prog's finest musicians on guitar, bass, and drums. The band presents original compositions as well as covers. The music is deeply rooted in the history of Italian progressive rock. Of particular interest is Lorenzo's voice singing in Italian with a strong voice, very similar to the great Demetrio STRATOS, the late singer for AREA.

"Stazione Getsemani" has a variety of approaches, which are all interesting. Perhaps the most interesting is the very bluesy keyboard solo done on Hammond organ, with the guitar, bass, and drums playing support to their melodies. This album is a definite AREA influence to ODESSA's sound. A band that must be followed with maximum attention in the future.

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ODESSA discography


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

3.21 | 9 ratings
Stazione Getsemani
1999
2.81 | 10 ratings
The Final Day
2009

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

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ODESSA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Stazione Getsemani  by ODESSA album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.21 | 9 ratings

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Stazione Getsemani
Odessa Crossover Prog

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars It is perhaps understandable that some newcomers to ProgArchives would commit the abominable heresy of thinking that every Italian band in the database is listed in RPI, despite the fact that less than 50% are in this subgenre. One Italian band that doesn't fit in RPI is Odessa. Their 1999 debut album 'Stazione Getsemani' has obvious links to RPI - it includes cover versions of 'Caronte' by The Trip and 'Alzo un Muro Elettrico' by Il Rovescio della Medaglia ' - but overall it's a kind retro-prog that draws inspiration from the likes of Deep Purple, if a bit more lightweight.

Odessa's 2009 sophomore album has received a few reviews but this one has been greeted with a wall of silence so far, and our resident camel has even ignored it. So what are you guys missing? Well it features plenty of wah wah and nu-metal guitar riffs, and guest musician Gianluca Milanese of Aria Palea adds some flute on a few tracks. However, keyboards are the main weapons here and there's some formidable Hammond, synthesizer and piano interplay. 'Orizzonte Anima' is based around some great synth-work while 'La Sfera' is noteworthy for its Leslie effect on the Hammond.

Unfortunately, Lorenzo Giovagnoli's keyboard virtuosity isn't matched by his singing on this album. Apparently his vocals suffered here because of a severe allergic reaction that required treatment with antihistamines during the recording sessions. For example, during the atmospheric intro to 'L'Incontro (Stratosfera, l'Angelo)' his voice sounds like the howling of a wounded animal in the rain forest. Okay, Area's Demetrio Stratos is a major influence on his singing style but Lorenzo just seems a bit inhibited to really pull this off, probably due to that allergy.

Odessa always endeavour to be faithful to prog of the seventies and 'Lotta per il Doninio' in particular carries echoes of Uriah Heep but these guys are probably at their best on the aforementioned Trip cover. From Greek mythology, Charon (Caronte) was the ferryman who carried the dead across the Styx and who today is still regarded as a synonym for death. Guitar and keys go wild on this track, like an invisible battle that might have been fought between Aeneas and Cerberus had the Cumaean Sibyl neglected to drug the monstrous watchdog's sops. Awesome!

Fans of Hammond-based heavy prog, e.g. Abiogenesi and A Piedi Nudi, might want to give this a listen.

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 The Final Day by ODESSA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.81 | 10 ratings

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The Final Day
Odessa Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

2 stars Screamy prog-italiano by my opinion, using many elements that should be otherwise successful, but as it is now, it fails. Somehow, somewhere, but it fails. Not only that it tears my ears, it's also unnecessary wild and lacks stability, sounds like bunch of sounds done in wild tempo. Where's the beauty of RPI, where is dignity, all that is left here is dervish dance. However, sometimes it's not so bad, like in first Final Day track, even there's in general weird feeling I have about all this. I heard few RPI of this year and have to say that this genre is not in crisis. Should be crossover prog, I have to say, where is it ?

2(+), disappointment.

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 The Final Day by ODESSA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.81 | 10 ratings

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The Final Day
Odessa Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is ODESSA's second album, but it's been 10 years since their debut ! Some heaviness at times but there really is quite a bit of variety on this one. The vocals are probably the "make or break it" for most listeners i'm sure. He sings in a higher register and is almost shrill at times, like his vocals are straining. Vocals are in Italian mostly but two tracks are sung in English.

"Final Day" really got me excited the first time I heard the intro. I thought I had discovered a new favourite band. It's so melodic and heavy but when it settles 1 1/2 minutes in and piano, organ and vocals come in, suddenly the magic is gone for me.Thankfully it ends much like it started. Still a top three track for me. "Viene La Sera" is a good sounding song with prominant crisp drumming throughout. The guitar 3 1/2 minutes in is the highlight. "Taxi" is led by drums and vocals until it turns jazzy 3 1/2 minutes in. Not a fan of this one. "Compra" is uptempo with a variety of keyboards with vocals that seem yelled much of the time. It's ok.

"Cometa Rossa" is where the vocalist does his Demetrio Stratos impersonation. I remember saying "What ?" the first time I heard those familiar vocal melodies that Demetrio is famous for. This is an excellent track regardless and a top three for me. It gets heavier 2 minutes in. "Senza Fiato" is an instrumental and my other top three tune. Just an impressive instrumental display here as they let loose. It settles 2 minutes in with some nice guitar work to follow. "Piccolo Mio Sole" is laid back with reserved vocals. More passion a minute in. The guitar soars before 3 minutes. "Depeche Toi" is fairly heavy with lots going on. Guitar takes the lead and starts to light it up. A calm when vocals arrive. Great sound 3 minutes in. "Leila" opens with the focus on the vocals then it turns poppy. Yikes ! The contrasts continue. "Going South" is a powerful organ led tune to end it.

3 stars is the max I can give here, but I can see people really going crazy for this album.

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 The Final Day by ODESSA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.81 | 10 ratings

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The Final Day
Odessa Crossover Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

3 stars Toward The Final Day, ODESSA can exactly go on their heavy-rocked road!

Their after-10-years-silence second work The Final Day (il giorno del giudizio...the day of the judgment) has got the point of Italian hard progressive rock. I've heard they be influenced by early AREA so can get the picture, and listening the work could let me remind early Judas Priest. (Of course, heavy riff plus Lorenzo's high-toned voice might make me so.) Believe me, they have heavy guitars, bass and drum, and hard-edged keyboard with strongly falsetto voice as their keys of music style. About all of them I can't help remembering early 'progressive' Judas (not in their golden age as a hardrock band). Especially I'm always shocked and knocked with the fight and battle of keyboard and bass & percussion. With typical hard-rock bands, I think keyboard play tends to be a backward support, but ODESSA's keyboard can aggressively push and kick against the other instrumentals. For not only a hard rock but an Italian progressive one, they can run through their identity.

As mentioned above, their music style is basically hard and heavy. The first track Final Day should have absolutely their character itself, be a masterpiece. Sung in English and Italian flavour is a bit light but guitar and rhythm section are very heavy. Furthermore, it's not only a hard song. With a progressive high-toned voice solo at the center of the song, it can define them as a hard-progressive band I guess. Yea, about second track Viene La Sera, or seventh Piccolo Mio Sole, of course their ballads are...you should be blown away if you think their ballads are simple and kind. No, heavy and progressive phrases suddenly popped up should kick your heart and brain strongly. Cometa Rossa is a covered song originally shot by Area and they give a modern and heavier taste to this brilliant gem. And I have to recommend strongly this song...speedy and frequently-altered rhythm with keyboard and guitar is impressive on Senza Fiato, an instrumental song! Their skill and power can be established by the song I consider. Leila has a straight rock flavour and is easy to sing maybe. (Pardon me I can't sing in Italian... :-P) Last track Going South gets started with solemn synth sound and complex keyboard and rhythm section's fighting follows. Absolutely, this song is suitable for the end of the album!

In my honest opinion, they can be more progressive and more natural by singing in Italian, not in English...ah, their English is not so bad. Of all my impression together, this wonderful and full-of-dream work is one of new Italian rock ways I wanna say.

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