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Syndone - Odyssťas CD (album) cover

ODYSS…AS

Syndone

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.92 | 139 ratings

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JohnNicholson
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 comparisons to other, more popular, or bigger bands within the same genre. While it's fine to wear your influences proudly, some artists, particularly in the progressive rock genre, let their influences define them, rather than carving out their own special sound that will set them apart. Rarely does a band come around that can take a sound that's been around for decades and turn in into something fresh and exciting. Syndone, and their fifth studio album "Odysseas" have a lot to prove with their third release since their reunion in 2010. Syndone formed in 1989 by Nik Comoglio, and they released two albums ("Spleen" in 1991 and "Inca" in 1993) before they split. The question that arises here is: does the band fall into old or new territory? The answer is not simple, as it contains a little bit of both.

The first thing that any listener will notice after one listen to this record is that it is quite eclectic, with plenty of different influences and elements that form the sound of "Odysseas." Inspired by Homer's classic epic "The Odyssey," Syndone's most recent effort offers a great deal of classic (symphonic) progressive rock driven by synthesisers, Hammond organ, great orchestral parts, sentient vocals by Riccardo Ruggeri, and top-notch drumming of renowned Marco Minnemann.

In certain parts, Nik Comoglio uses piano as an instrument of choice simply because it adds something different. He choses to stick with pure ebony and ivory, fluctuating from major to minır and creating a vibe that sound as much as prog as it sounds classical. While Marco Minnemann is the most known name on the album, the band succeeds to overshadow his fantastic playing with their own.

The vocals by Riccardo Ruggeri do seem extremely difficulty to understand and predict, not because of the fact that he sings in Italian, but because his performance is often quite hard to follow what makes the album more interesting. He rarely uses long sustained notes or sings higher than a certain volume which sounds mid-range. Instead, he uses his voice as an instrument of sorts, letting it blend into the music, particularly with piano and keyboards (synths), to create an eclipsing sound overall. The confluence of his vocals with piano or synths creates a dismal landscape, but also something beautiful, being that he is obviously an incredibly talented and experienced vocalist.

"Odysseas" makes an effort to set itself into the modern-day progressive rock scene while retaining the connection with its over 20-year long career. While the album is certainly a breath of fresh air for a genre that seems to be made up of artists that all sound the same or play off each other, the band still have a little more refinement before being accepted by a drowse prog rock community.

JohnNicholson | 4/5 |

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