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Odessa - Stazione Getsemani  CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.26 | 12 ratings

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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.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |


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