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 –

CD Release Party for Stayne Thee Angel’s “Time and the Hourglass”

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I cannot think of a better way to spend Veterans Day than attending a show of rabidly patriotic bands brought together for the release of Stayne Thee Angel’s new CD Time and the Hourglass. At the last minute, I decided to review the show since I have been unable to attend many shows as of late. Held at one of my favorite local haunts here in Jacksonville, FL, Jack Rabbits, I got there a couple of hours early to hang out with my friends in Inner Demons, listen in on their sound check and meet the other bands, both of which I have seen a number of times and highly enjoy listening to; not to mention I was anxious to hear what Stayne Thee Angel had to offer with their new CD. Let’s just say this was one helluva good night!

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Ice Age’s “Breaking the Ice”: Debut, 30 Years in the Making

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Ice Age is:

Sabrina Kihlstrand – Lead vocals

Linnea Landstedt – Guitars

Viktoria Larsson – Bass

Andre Holmqvist – Drums

Remember that Big 4 show (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax) back in the day in Sweden where the show was dedicated to a band called Ice Age? I do and vaguely recall looking the band up, only to find a few songs floating around with a few demo bootlegs available. I dug them, but didn’t expend too much more effort once I heard the limited amount of what was available here in the US. Since then, the name has come up in passing a few times in the “whatever happened to…” context and I always wondered myself. Surprise! They’re back, and with a damned vengeance…

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Sparzanza is “Announcing the End”

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Sparzanza is:

Fredrik Weileby – Vocals
Calle Johannesson – Guitar
Magnus Eronen – Guitar
Anders Åberg – Drums
Johan Carlsson – Bass

 

Spawned in Karlstad, Sweden, Hard Rock/Metal outfit Sparzanza was formed by guitarists Calle and David Johannesson along with drummer Anders Aberg back in 1996. Soon after its inception, bass player Johan Carsson and vocalist Fedrik Wileby were added, allowing the band to release a number of demos, singles and EPs. By 2003, Sparzanza had two albums under their belts, “Angels of Vengeance” and “Into the Sewers” under the production of Rikard Löfgren, who becomes the honorary sixth member of the growing band. As their fan base grew, Banisher of the Light was released in 2007 and followed two years later with In Voodoo Veritas, just before replacing David Johannesson with guitarist Magnus Eronen. By 2012, Finland seized on Sparzanza’s musical offerings, allowing the band to relentlessly tour the country and earned a high frequency of spins on Finnish Rock radio. After releasing Folie à Cinq and Death is Certain, Life is Not in 2012 and “Circle” in 2014, Sparzanza began producing a number of well-received videos on their own YouTube channel and are allowed to play in China for the first time. After touring the world for some twenty years, Sparzanza released their first live album, Twenty Years of Sin in 2016.

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Entheos Prepares to Unleash Their “Dark Future”

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Entheos is:

Chaney Crabb – vocals

Navene Koperwis – drums

Evan Brewer – bass

Travis LeVrier – guitar

Huge fan of Entheos right here, so when we got the opportunity to review the new album Dark Future on Spinefarm Records and due out November 10, 2017, I staked claim on it within seconds of the promo email hitting our mailbox. I have been waiting to hear this thing since speaking with vocalist Chaney Crabb last year while touring in support of their last full length album, The Infinite Nothing. She stated that any new music was going to be “more weird” and “experimental” as time progresses. Thankfully, she and the rest of Entheos has made good on that promise with Dark Future. Continue reading

Isolated Antagonist Takes Us Into “Oblivion”

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Isolated Antagonist is:

Glen Mitchell – Aggressive vocals, lyricist, music

Nate Exx Gradowski – all instrumentation/music, clean vocals

Christian Olde Wolbers – (formerly of Fear Factory) bass

Isolated Antagonist (an inversion of the Artificial Intelligence acronym) has been in our stables for a couple of years now, supplying us with a steady supply of purist level Industrial Metal with roots solidly grounded in the original trail blazers of the genre like Fear Factory, Godflesh and Die Krupps with additional influences coming via Progressive Metal greats like Sepultura, Mnemic, Gary Numan, The Frontline Assembly, Brujeria, Queensryche (Geoff Tate era), Napalm Death, Strapping Young Lad and Devin Townsend. Started by Army Warrant Officer (CW3) Glen Mitchell (aggressive vocals, lyricist and music) and Nate Exx Gradowski (all instruments/music and clean vocals) as a musical outlet for vivid Sci-Fi Metal in 2014, they wasted no time releasing their first EP entitled Engineered Audio Hallucinations the same year. By 2016, Isolated Antagonist released their second full-length album called Affirmation of Entropy on the BluntFace record label. Originally set to be released around Halloween of last year as the ongoing Sci-Fi saga of humanity’s slide into a pseudo-Hell, Oblivion now has a set release date of November 20, 2017, with all pre-sales profits being donated to the DanaFarber Cancer Institute (Pre-Sales website) in the name of fallen soldier and friend, Melanie Crim, who Chief Mitchell served with. This alone is worth the price of entry. F*ck Cancer!

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Brilliant Rock & Soul Masters, Broken Stems, Reemerge With “Rest Assured”

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When bands talk to us, we always listen. You never know when something spectacular quickly becomes your next favorite band. If you don’t dig it, pass it along to another staff member. We all have diverse tastes and open minds for just about every form of Rock, Hard Rock and Metal. It is what we do and why there are never hit pieces here. We love and respect all of the fine musicians that we cross paths with. Such is the case when I received an email asking about coverage for a new Rock and Blues outfit from San Diego, CA. One listen to their brand new single: “Rest Assured” (see below) was all it took. Man, oh man! No need to pass this along. It gladly stays firmly in my stable. Before checking out their hot new single below, please let me introduce you to Broken Stems.

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Review of Meade Ave.’s Band Defining LP: “Stitching the Torn”

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Meade Ave. is:

AaronFURBY 2chainzPaoletta: Founder/Drummer
MatthewBISCUTPaoletta: Bass Guitar
GeorgeGHOLERodenas: Lead Vocals
GregSPEEDYScopinich (UOM): Lead Guitar

So, what happens when one of our favorite, established bands, voted the #1 Unsigned Band in Las Vegas, switches up vocalists, heads into the desert at the guest house at The Goddess Temple in Indian Springs, NV in December 2016 to record an album utilizing The Cave Recording Studio mobile rig and then uproots themselves to migrate back East to Pennsylvania? This kind of chaos has wrecked havoc on many a band over the years; shredding lesser groups and scattering members into other projects or simply giving up on an already “hard row to hoe” line in the music business. If anything, this has strengthened my boys in Meade Ave. and is brilliantly reflected in their upcoming release of Stitching the Torn, which we have been honored to hear first from founder, drummer and recording wizard, Aaron Paoletta. I had my grubby paws on the masters the minute Aaron got them back and have been enjoying this beast ever since. A huge “Thank you!” for the opportunity, my friend! Love you guys!

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New Source Album, Tour Stories and the Search for a New Drummer: An Interview With Ben Gleason

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Well, I have been absent for a while now, but I will always put in extra effort to make time for some of my favorite bands and people. Of course, my man from Source, Ben Gleason ranks among the top of these aforementioned groups, so when given the opportunity for another interview, I immediately jumped at it. Our story goes back a couple of years now when I was sideswiped and flattened by Source’s music during our State of the Art: Colorado series. Love at first listen, shall we say. Little did I know that my freshman article would spurn a great friendship with this uber-talented group of fine musicians that has been enormously valuable to me personally and professionally. After multiple interviews, show reviews, album reviews, naming their debut, Return to Nothing the Best Album of 2016 and recently crowning bass player Dan Crisafulli as one of our Kings of Strings, I am happy to bring you an inside look at the most current goings-on for a band I would rank as one of the best in the world. One listen to these guys and you will understand exactly what I am talking about. Be fortunate enough to meet them and you will love them even more. Curious? Want to learn more? Read on my friends…

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Review of Grasping at the Shadow’s “Nothing After Death”. Extreme Metal With An Unexpected Twist.

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Grasping at the Shadow is:

Dylan Holcomb – Vocals

Daniel Avalle – Guitar

Kimberly Hovencamp – Violin

Jon Kaufman – Drums

Every now and again, a band crosses our paths that is so new, so cool and so unique that they simply must be afforded a place among the best Metal has to offer, no matter how big or how small they are. Grasping at the Shadow is just such a band. Being introduced to them by showing up early for the Cavalera brothers “Return to Roots” tour late last year (Review), I got to behold this emerging band visually and sonically right out of the gate. No hearing the killer band and then trying to make the time to see them at a convenient live performance at some later date. Nothing like full emergence right from the start. Upon finding out that a new CD was on the way, I asked the fine folks in Grasping at the Shadow for first crack at a pre-release review and they graciously agreed, recently forwarding me the new tracks for Nothing After Death, due out June 16, 2017.

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State Of The Art: Oregon – Increate

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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 Oregon!

Like shooting fish in a barrel for this month’s State of the Art: Oregon series. No matter how extreme your Metal tastes, Oregon has something for you. Digging 80’s Pop Metal? Gotcha covered. More into old school Thrash and Power Metal? You got it. Think these are for wusses and desire to hit the extremes? There are more good Death and Black Metal bands in Oregon than you can shake a stick at. If there is one niche that stands out in the upper, West Coast, however, it is going to be Progressive Metal. Incidentally, this stands among my favorites, so this week let me introduce you to Increate.

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