(All Album Reviews by jkl2000)
Just thought I'd post a mini review of this Dutch band's CD, which I had purchased quite a while back but only this weekend had a chance to give a full, careful listen on headphones. I've been trying to go back and give some neglected purchases their due, and this was the winner this weekend.
Odyssice's Impression is on the Cyclops label, and was released in 2000. I know there are many out there to whom being on the Cyclops label is often the kiss of doom, which is why I decided to try to say a few kind words for this CD.
Overall, Impression would appeal to fans of Camel CDs such as Rajaz or Dust & Dreams. The album is all instrumental, which surprised me because there are notes for each song in the booklet, and they look a bit like lyrics. Most songs have to do with either some historical event, mythical event or location, etc. The lead guitar is very good, and while not on a par with Andy Latimer, is quite enjoyable. The solos are similar to Latimer's in that they are the featured voice for most tracks, and the solos are long and melodic.
The keyboards are effective and varied, and while there is the occasional obvious keyboard sound, overall they were moody and atmospheric without sounding totally familiar as can sometimes be the case. The bass and drums are certainly not exceptional, and the one real defect of the album was that bass, while being adequate, was sometimes poorly recorded so that you could hear some of the hand action on the bass, which for me is a bit of a turn off.
Where the album really shines, in addition to the guitar and atmospheric keys, is in the compositions. While never complex, they are always interesting. There's a good variety of track lengths. The shorter tracks never seem too short because they are interesting and stand on their own. Most important, the longer tracks (5 tracks are in the 7-10 minute range) never seem overly long. They are thoughtfully composed and arranged, and there's really not a single track that seems out of place, or that seems like filler.
Also important, the music really does seem to fit the titles and themes designated for each piece (and described in the liner notes) and I liked the range of topics they covered. This ranged from a depiction of Mount Olympus to the effects of the atom bomb on Japanese children. I felt these musicians had something to say or describe, and while it could easily have slid into triteness or cliche, it didn't. The band is very close to being in a league with bands like France's XII Alphonso.
Did I say mini-review? Anyway, I remember I'd read or heard something good about this CD somewhere, though I couldn't recall where. I liked the CD, so I thought I'd put another review out there just in case it sounds appealing to someone else, and to help the band out a bit. Along with a couple of Rye and Ginger Ales (don't ask me why...now it all comes clear!) it was a nice listen.