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: Nebraska – Fallen Reign

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

This month’s State is Nebraska!

On this week’s State of the Art spotlight of Metal from Nebraska, I would like to introduce a Progressive/Power Metal band that call Omaha home. Members include guitarist/vocalist Jody Kermoade, bass player Leigh Jamieson, drummer Andrew Pace and Rocky Pulley covering keyboards during live shows and will be featured on their forthcoming album. The band is Fallen Reign.

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Allegaeon’s Release of Their Second Rush Cover, “Animate”

Little did we know that Allegaeon, whose album Proponent for Sentience hit our lists for best of 2016 (check out our extensive review here), recorded not one, but two spectacular Rush covers! Those of us that heard “Subdivisions” immediately fell in love with their rendition of it and made it their most streamed song off of the aforementioned album. Celebrating today’s date, January 6, 2018, the date version of the band’s song “1.618”, Allegaeon have just cut loose with “Animate” worldwide on all of the digital music services. It can be sampled and bought at your favorite source here.

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Review of “Dark Matter” By Auditory Armory

Auditory Armory is:

April Rose – Vocals and Guitar
Oscar Garcia – Drums
Dennis Burns – Guitar
Justice Maynard – Bass

Dark Matter

Auditory Armory is a female fronted Alternative Metal band that manages to take the best of Hard Rock, Metal, Progressive Rock and even some Jazz and cleanly distills them into a sound that can only be identified as theirs. This is the advantage of taking on music with wide, curious and wandering eyes instead of within the confines of what is and what should be for any certain genre/sub-genre of music and the die-hard fans that constantly in-fight these categorizations to death. This has always been a pet peeve. Categories should be used simply as a way of describing a sound to someone that has not heard of the band, not as some confining boundary of what music should sound like. Imagine, if you will, a musical landscape where Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Gershwin, Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, The Beatles, Elvis, Hendrix, Yes, Rush, Michael Hedges, Pink Floyd, Eddie Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Judus Priest, The Big 4, Chuck Schuldiner, Pantera, Cannibal Corpse and Venom chose not to think outside of the box. Got it worked out? Not a pretty picture, huh? This is precisely the reason I actively search out and share bands that throw the whole “writing within a box” thing to the wind. Auditory Armory is, obviously, one such band that fits the mold of not fitting in one.

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Odyssey’s Top Ten Albums of 2017!

Best of 2017

Like every year, we have been inundated with tons of killer, new Metal in 2017. Thankfully, we here at Metal Nexus have the freedom to share what we personally liked over the course of the year. No sales numbers. No record label affiliation or pressure. No sub-genre infighting. No BS. Just an honest list of what struck us individually. Like past years, my list is as broad as my musical tastes and covers everything from instrumentals, to Tech Death, to Power Metal, to Thrash and even a top-notch Progressive Rock band. Hopefully, some of my favorites will become yours and will propagate the audience for each and every band listed below. I sincerely hope that 2018 brings bands and albums this good. Enjoy and continue expanding our Metal family!

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Sunshine & Bullets, “The Centauri Conspiracies Part 1 – The Awakening”

Sunshine & Bullets is:

Rich Keane, Jr. – Guitar/vocals

Amanda Hamers – Bass/vocals

Kyle Wolfram – Drums

Former members (bass) – Sam Brown, Chandler Cornell

The Centauri Conspiracies Part 1The Awakening

Just as the year passes from 2017 into the dawn of 2018 it seems appropriate to look backwards and forwards at the same time in preparation for Part 2 of The Centauri Conspiracies, due out in the early part of the year by one of Florida’s premiere and unique bands, Sunshine & Bullets. While the first album, The Centauri Conspiracies Part 1The Awakening was released about a year ago, it deserves a review to get those that have not heard of this incredible band before caught up and jonesing for the new release.

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A Not So Silent Night – 2017

Support local music. We keep saying that because bands of the future almost always start with a local fan base; the exceptions being, so called, super-groups or bands that are put together by someone already on a label. There is no shortage of bands busting their collective butts to get a name for themselves so that they can make what they love their career or simply as an outlet to share their musical perspective with a wider audience. The constantly evolving music business is tough, ultra-competitive and many times frustrating for “undiscovered” talent throughout the world. They work so hard and, many times, get so little in return outside of the pride of producing something from their souls that they can call their own. Support local, no matter where local is. Today I would like to share some local talent from all over Florida through our annual, A Not So Silent Night 2017 concert held at Mavericks Live in downtown Jacksonville, FL, showcasing some of our best Rock and Metal bands. Special thanks going out to Brian Woodward of Bleeding In Stereo for not only hosting, but putting us on their guest list. Always a good time brother!

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Positive Brilliance In Stayne Thee Angel’s “Time & the Hourglass”!

Stayne Thee Angel is:

Darren Good – Lead vocalist/Lyricist
Justin Watson – Guitar & Backing Vocals
FrankKnuckles” – Bass
BrianVicitimEyez” – Drums
George Whitaker Jr. – Guitar

Founded in 2010, Stayne Thee Angel is a modern Hard Rock/Metal outfit that hails from my home town of Jacksonville, FL. They have been around for quite some time and have had a number of personnel over the years, leaving founding member and vocalist Darren Good the last man of the original line up still standing. Thankfully, his tenacious and overtly positive spirit kept this ball rolling, because the maturity shown on Time & the Hourglass is nothing short of spectacular (more on this shortly). After discovering their infectious form of music at a number of local shows, I was immediately hooked. Their sound is an interesting amalgamation of 90s Grunge-esque Rock, Classic Hard Rock and Metal which speaks to an enormous swath of music fans. With the collective influences of NoFx, Rancid, No use for a Name, Bouncing Souls, Mark Tremonti, John Fogarty, John Cooper and Brad Noah, it becomes very clear that finding a pigeonhole to stick Stayne Thee Angel in is damned near impossible though. Add to this grounded, intelligent, honest and positive lyrical themes that permeate their music and you have a winning combination that continues to gain traction wherever they play. Hell, I have seen them play with everything from Classic Rock bands to cover bands; all the way to Thrash bands and they fit equally well with all of them. Truly a testament to their broad sound and killer song writing style. Their first EP, entitled Change has been well received locally, but Time & the Hourglass is sure to thrust their fan-base onto a much wider plane. Let me explain…

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

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

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”

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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