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 -

International Guitar Month: Generation Axe (Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi)

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I was fortunate enough to cover a huge number of guitar heavy hitters in one fall swoop this week: Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi; all currently on the Generation Axe Tour. Five very different guitarists that cover Heavy Rock and Blues, to Neo-Classical Metal and Experiment Progressive. One thing is for damned sure: each man is at the top of their game and love playing the highest quantity of notes in the shortest period of time possible. As Bettencourt put it so succinctly: The promoters could not figure out how to pay all of these slingers and decided to pay each per note. No doubt, these gentlemen would come out on the winning end of that deal!

I think it is safe to say that everyone came to the show to see one or two of their favorite artists. That certainly holds true for me. I have seen Steve Vai quite a few times over the years and loved every show, Zakk Wylde with Black Label Society a couple of times which, of course, is always ear-splitting and fun, Nuno Bettencourt years and years ago with Extreme, Yngwie Malmsteen once in the mid-80’s (he was one of my primary motivators), but I have never seen Tosin Abasi or Animals As Leaders live, so I was especially excited to see this 8 string wonder shred the wood off of his fretboard. When it was all said and done, favorites mean nothing because the bar for this show was off the scale. It would become nit-picking or simply a matter of a subjective style and taste. Personally, I sat in the third row, center stage (Thank you so much, Scott!) and was moved, highly entertained and awed for three and a half hours. I love it all…

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State of the Art: Khemmis

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

This month’s State is Colorado!

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Named after an ancient, Egyptian city comes Khemmis from Denver, CO. Doom, while admittedly not my usual cup of tea, this band had me hooked from my first listen. So much more than just slow, ominous, sludge that I normally find boring after about two or three songs. Hell, Khemmis has a number of songs that are over six minutes each that never approach being monotonous and demand to be listened to again and again. I have literally worn out their debut album “Absolution” trying to codify their sound and musical direction in my head. *Please note that I am not “bashing” Doom and am attempting to broaden my Metal horizons here. Music is purely subjective and I have just never found a Doom band that has spoken to me like Khemmis has.

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Lord Almighty Kills It! (Show Review)

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I have been listening to Lord Almighty out of Boston at the advice of others on our staff for a couple of weeks now and was excited to find out that they were playing here in Jax. It is always nice to put a face to a name so I jumped at the chance to see these guys live. I was not to be disappointed!

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International Guitar Month: The Ultimate Guitar Experience (Revisited): Uli Jon Roth, Jennifer Batten and Andy Timmons

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In case you didn’t know, it’s International Guitar Month. So, what better time to buy your first guitar? Sites like thesoundjunky provide a list of guitars for all budgets, and you might want to have a look at it if you’re interested in getting yourself a new guitar. In the interest of our continuing coverage of International Guitar Month I attended the last stop on The Ultimate Guitar Experience Tour featuring guitarists David Klosinski, Andy Timmons, Jennifer Batten and Uli Jon Roth in Melbourne, FL. I also attended the second show on the tour in Orlando six weeks ago (please see The Ultimate Guitar Experience) which was my first article for Metal Nexus and what earned my spot on the staff. At the show in Orlando, I got to see the improvisational genius of Andy Timmons and Jennifer Batten due to difficulties with Uli’s band and their temporary work visas. While quite a treat for those of fortunate enough to attend, I wanted to see the show as intended by this guitar master.

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Odyssey’s Scene: An Interview with Chris Marsh, Promoter for Mayfest (21 May 2016)

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A very interesting, behind the scenes perspective on what it takes to put on a large show like Murderfly’s 5th Annual Mayfest.

Odyssey: Hi Chris! Very nice meeting you and glad to have you with us. I know you are very busy with Mayfest and appreciate you taking the time to tell us about the show.

So, tell us a little about yourself as a promoter, Chris Marsh Productions and your passion for Florida music.

Chris Marsh: Chris Marsh Productions was founded on providing the best shows possible with the best bands possible. I have been involved with the local music scene for 17+ years, I’ve toured, I’ve pushed road cases, worked large festivals, have used new music promoter software like Prism.fm, know all the tricks of the trade and have seen and done pretty much everything a true promoter should do, including driving the miles to promote this event.

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State of the Art: Cellador

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

This month’s State is Colorado!

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On this, the second week of our State of the Art: Colorado and in the vein of our coverage of International Guitar Month comes the resurgence of the band Cellador. The band was started in Omaha, NE in 2003 under the name Aposte by guitarist and vocalist Chris Petersen. By 2004 the band had been renamed and released their first, self-recorded demo EP “The Burning Blue”. The following year, they released “Leaving All Behind” which caught the attention of Metal Blade Records who signed Cellador and quickly released “Enter Deception” in 2006. This album was hailed by fans and critics alike, often comparing them to DragonForce and the like. By 2009 this stellar, established band had splintered due to differing interests and desired directions. With only a few original members left and an uncertain record contract, Cellador packed up and moved to Denver, CO, where they remain today, in search of a bigger stage for their musical inclinations. After a five year hiatus, interviewing potential band members to regrow the band, “Honor Forth” was finally released in 2011. This vaulted the band to new heights and put them on festivals, tours and shows with notable bands such as Trivium, All That Remains, Bullet For My Valentine, Marty Friedman, Queensryche, Hatchet, Exmortus, Huntress and many, many others. To date, they have extensively toured the United States, Mexico, Canada and even played the Loud Park Festival in Japan. Taking their time in the studio over the course of 2015 and early 2016, their much-anticipated new release is due out sometime in 2016. With a cohesive, new lineup and management, Cellador is ready to set the world alight once again!

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Joe Stump: Discourse With The Dark Lord

 

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Joe Stump: “The Dark Lord Rises” (2015)

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In our continuing coverage in honor of International Guitar Month, we have the distinct pleasure of presenting our interview with guitarist extraordinaire Joe Stump!

Hello Mr. Stump! I know you are extremely busy and really appreciate you taking the time to interview with me. It is a real privilege for me to get to speak with someone so inspirational and a personal idol! I have listened to you for many years and look forward to many more!

I would also like to thank you sharing so much of yourself through your music! Being around musicians all the time, I have a deep respect for you, knowing that it is a tough road that involves passion, drive, personal sacrifice and is all too often taken for granted. You have my utmost gratitude! – Odyssey

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International Guitar Month: VINNIE MOORE

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I was in high school the first time I heard Vinnie Moore’sMind’s Eye” and was immediately hooked; heart and soul. At the time I was playing bass in a local Thrash band but always loved all of the, then emerging, Neo-Classical guitarwork by other greats like Yngwie Malsteen, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Richie Blackmore, Tony MacAlpine and many others. Vinnie’s guitar playing struck me immediately and straight to my soul. I cannot quite place my finger on what made his music resonate so deeply but I still cannot shake his magical playing to this day. Blazing speed? Silky smooth “feel”? Perfect melodies? Emotional connection? All of these? Something else? I just don’t know. Regardless, I have probably listened to “Mind’s Eye” and “Time Odyssey” (this is actually where my pen name originated) literally thousands of times. They simply never get old and just feel like home to me. In my humble opinion, he defines “The Perfect Guitarist”. Continue reading

State of the Art: Source

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

This month’s State is Colorado!

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Starting this month’s State of the Art: Colorado off with one hydrogen bomb of a bang: Source. Right out of the gate, this triumvirate of fine musicians from Boulder confound with dazzling, atmospheric and technical Progressive Metal in the vein of other notably uncharacteristic Metal bands like Opeth, Tool and Porcupine Tree. So good, in fact, producer Scott Wilson described them as a supergroup shortly after meeting with them in the studio even though Source was formed only three years ago.

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