Odyssey

About Odyssey

I have had a life-long love of music, but from the first time I heard Kiss and Black Sabbath with my landlord's son in Nicholasville, KY in the mid 70's, I have been hooked on Hard Rock and Metal. While my tastes in music have done nothing but expand since then, Metal remains closest to my heart. In addition, I have played bass, still play guitar and have literally 1000's of CDs/MP3s, so my knowledge is long steeped and honest. I don't buy the whole splintered, sub-genres thing and choose to like bands and music based solely on individual merits. Obviously, this is always colored by my mood, what I need at any given point and time and what is generally pleasing to my ear. I also don't like to rip any music or band, instead having an open mind and ear for it all because I have a passion for it all. It is completely subjective and in a constant state of flux. Consider me a music "nerd" not a music "snob". As an extension of this love, I hope to share this passion with everyone here and learn from your passion as well! - Odyssey -

State of the Art: Pennsylvania – Chronostasis

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State* 

This month’s State is Pennsylvania!

So, with this week, our State of the Art: Pennsylvania series is comes to a close. So much good music to choose from and from a scene that is bursting at the seams with new ideas, creative concepts not heard anywhere else and a diversity that is nothing short of stunning. Finding interesting and engaging bands was never a problem but choosing among such a large swath of sounds did become a rather daunting task; and this week was no exception. I was down to three or four bands that fit my bill this week until I came upon Chronostasis. This is exactly what I was looking for. Once I got my chin out of my lap, bought their debut CD and got over my initial shock and awe, I got to work.

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Review of Night Demon’s Killer, Band Defining “Darkness Remains”

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Night Demon is:

Jarvis Leatherby: vocals and bass guitar

Armand John Anthony: guitar

Dusty Squires: drums

Night Demon has been a universal favorite among our staff members for quite some time now. When I was fortunate to see them for the first time with Anvil and Graveshadow last month (Review), I was simply blown away. I loved their music before, but after seeing them, Night Demon has damned near become an obsession that eventually landed us a copy of Darkness Remains, to be released April 21st, 2017 on the Century Media record label. Needless to say, this CD has been worn… the… hell… out!

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Review of the Incredible “Building Castles in Air” by Lucid Fly

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Lucid Fly is:

Nikki Layne – vocals
Doug Mecca – guitar

Aaron Ficca – drums

Often described as a dark and epic cross between Evanescence and A Perfect Circle, Lucid Fly has been together since 2001. Founded by vocalist Nikki Layne and guitarist Doug Mecca in Orlando, FL, the band found its name, interestingly, from a headline in the paper, reading: “Lucid Flies Into The Record Books” that documented the record breaking time in space by astronaut Shannon Lucid. Once cementing their staying power in the Orlando music scene and growing their fan base, Lucid Fly released their debut LP entitled Adapting to Gravity in 2005. With almost universal acceptance and mounting acclaim, Lucid Fly continued to play in and around FL, but they had their sights set on a bigger prize and moved to the West Coast. Once landing in L.A., drummer Aaron Fica, who had been touring with Macy Gray, was given an honorary spot behind the kit. As a follow up to their 2009 release of The Escape Stage, a three song EP entitled Stasis was released in 2015. As their fan base has continuously expanded and critical acclaim has come in droves, demand for new music thrust the band, once again, into the studio. Once their successful crowdfunding campaign that raised in upwards of $13K for what would become Building Castles in Air, Lucid Fly, were one of only seventeen bands invited by Mike Portnoy to play at the 2014 Progressive Nation at Sea event along with other noteworthy bands including Periphery, Haken, Riverside and many others. After great care and thoughtful songwriting, Building Castles in Air was recently released in November, 2016 and is deserving a prominent spot in any music fans’ collection. Continue reading

State of the Art: Pennsylvania – Tungsten

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Pennsylvania!

Week number three of our State of the Art: Pennsylvania series takes us back to Philadelphia where we find an extremely unusual band that pulls influences from all over the musical landscape: Metal, Psychedelia, Progressive Rock/Metal and everything in between to create a sound like no other. My spotlight band this week is Tungsten.

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Moonlight Prophecy Set to Release “Eternal Oblivion” on April 17th!

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Moonlight Prophecy is:

Lawrence Wallace: All instruments and composing
Mika Mage: bass

Being that we are covering the great state of Pennsylvania in our State of the Art series this month and it being International Guitar Month, I ran into a band in my search for talented, lesser known gems that I instantly fell in love with that needed to be covered outside of the normal Monday cycle and they have a brand new release set to drop on April 15th. From Philadelphia comes Moonlight Prophecy to abuse your ear drums with the, much anticipated, release of Eternal Oblivion!

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State of the Art: Pennsylvania – Gun Metal Gray

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Pennsylvania!

Week number two of the state that brought us bands like August Burns Red, Halestorm, Poison, Cinderella, Britney Fox, A Life Once Lost, Motionless in White brings us a kick ass Metal/Thrash band out of Pennsylvania’s capital of Harrisburg. Winning the QWIK Rock 105.9 Battle of the Bands at the Arena Bar and Grill in State College just a few weeks ago comes Gun Metal Gray.

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ANEWRAGE Redefines Themselves With “Life-Related Symptoms”

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ANEWRAGE is:

Axel Capurro Vocals/Guitars
Manuel Sanfilippo – Guitars/Backing Vocals
Simone Martin – Bass
Alessandro Ferrarese – Drums/Backing Vocals

Like our experiences with outstanding bands coming out of Greece comes yet another killer band out of Italy. Hailing from Milan, ANEWRAGE is a long standing band that describes themselves as a “powerful mix of Alternative Metal and PostGrunge”. While this may give a general feel for what they are after, I definitely hear influences of Progressive and djent throughout as well; giving them a broad sound that is completely identifiable as their own. In 2014, ANEWRAGE released ANR which vaulted them above the fray and allowed them to play with international, bucket-list bands like Gamma Ray, Freak Kitchen, Dreamshad, Destrage, among others. The teaser for album alone also left them finalists for the SXSW Design Award in Austin, TX for inclusion in projects like Pacific Rim, The Lego Movie, The Last of Us, etc. Their radio friendly sound has also earned them spots in the rotation for RockTV Italy and A One Ukrainian Rock TV Channel, where their singles “Ape’s Legacy” and “Nina” are still being played. After all of the aforementioned attention, ANEWRAGE was picked up by Scarlet Records last year where they recorded “Nina”, produced by Matteo Magni (Rhyme, Audrey, Mellowtoy) and included on the “ANRDeluxe Edition” re-release. Joining forces again with Metteo, ANEWRAGE is set to release their new album LifeRelated Symptoms on April 7th, 2017 (be sure to check out the band release of the entire album on their Spotify channel linked at the bottom!).

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State of the Art: Pennsylvania – Assayer

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Pennsylvania!

April takes our State of the Art series to Pennsylvania. One of the first thirteen colonies of the United States and becoming a state in 1681 and second to ratify the United States Constitution, Pennsylvania is bordered by Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario; being split in the center of the state by the Appalachian Mountains. Of the fifty states, Pennsylvania is the 33rd largest, 5th most populous (pop. 12,802,503) and is the 9th most densely populated. With its large population and density, Pennsylvania boasts the 5th highest gross state product of $644,000,000 and houses about fifty Fortune 500 companies. Named after William Penn, the state was originally organized as a Colony of New Sweden along with what is now Delaware. Pennsylvania covers some 46,055 square miles, 490 of which are covered by inland waters. While the capital is Harrisburg, I take you to the largest city of Philadelphia where we find one helluva destroyer band called Assayer. Continue reading

Review of Screamking’s “Tyranny of the Sea”

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Screamking is:

JoeScreamKingLawson – Lead Vocals
Rafael Hernandez – Guitar, Vocals
Clint Pagel – Bass, Vocals
Jason Michalik – Guitar, Vocals

Scott Rothchild – Drums

Artwork by Drake Mefestta

Screamking, from Michigan City, IN has been around for almost seven years now, having their first performance opening for legendary Metal gods, Anvil at Club Landing in South Bend, IN. Over the course of the next year the band spent diligently writing new material for what would become Evilibrium released in 2013, recorded at Divine Studios and spawning their first video for their “Deathwitch” single. Since its release, Screamking has continued to play with numerous notable acts like Anvil, DSG (David Shankle Group), Metal Church, Helstar and many, many others. Again, entering the Divine Studios in 2016, Screamking recorded Tyranny of the Sea, released at the beginning of March on their own Platinum Dungeon Entertainment label. Produced and mixed by guitarist Rafael Hernandez and vocalist Joe Lawson and mastered by Jon Scrip of Massive Mastering, the album hits extremely hard and sounds just as good as any A List band out there. No DIY sound from this killer band anywhere. Everything is balanced and expertly executed. In the end, this release simply cannot be picked apart. Great work from this, now veteran band!

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State Of The Art: Virginia – Trumpet the Harlot

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Virginia!

If you are a fan of the most extreme end of the Metal spectrum, Virginia has a plethora of formidable offerings. Doom, Death, Black and Thrash Metal bands absolutely abound from this month’s state. An interesting feature of Virginia Metal bands that arouse over the course of this month is that they tend to stay together for extended periods of time instead of splintering into other projects on a whim. Usually when searching there are a bevy of brand new bands with limited releases and few that have been together for more than a couple of years or longer. While this does not necessarily relegate to the quality of the music, a focused and fully developed sound can be tough to find from extremely young bands. My State of the Art spotlight falls into the former category, being at least seven years old. This week’s nod goes to Trumpet the Harlot.

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