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Old June 28th, 2011, 06:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Human Life in Motion Album Reviews

This thread will be dedicated to reviews of the new album Human Life in Motion. We will post reviews as we learn about them.

Please feel free to post your own reviews as well!
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Old June 28th, 2011, 06:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Music in Belgium Review. 4 out of 4 stars!

Original in French:

Quote:
Comme son nom ne l’indique pas, Odin’s Court est un groupe américain formé en 2001 et comme son nom pourrait pourtant le laisser supposer, il ne s’agit pas de pagan metal scandinave, mais bien de rock progressif à tendance métal. Avec « Human life in motion », Odin’s Court réalise aujourd’hui son 4e album, qui fait suite au très bon « Deathanity », paru en 2008. Odin’s Court a déjà partagé l’affiche avec beaucoup de groupes connus tels que Symphony X, Spock’s Beard, King’s X, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Helloween, Jon Oliva’s Pain, Zero Hour, Crimson Glory, Circle II Circle, Devin Townsend, Enchant, et bien d’autres, ce qui vous donne une idée de la cour dans laquelle est introduite le groupe.

Basé sur un concept (un regard introspectif vers l’expérience humaine) imaginé par le chanteur, guitariste et claviériste Matt Brookins, l’album a été entièrement composé par ce dernier et le bassiste Craig Jackson. C’est aussi Brookins qui a enregistré, mixé et produit « Human life in motion », et ce avec brio.

Odin’s Court puise son inspiration du côté de Pink Floyd, Boston, Queen ou Journey pour ce qui est des influences classiques et de Devin Townsend, Type O Negative, OSI, Porcupine Tree ou Tool pour celles plus modernes. Mais si ces influences se retrouvent en effet en filigrane un peu partout, Odin's Court n’en propose pas moins une musique avec une identité propre à défaut d’être originale. Ainsi « Affect us (Affectus) » qui ouvre l’album, condense des colorations Journey, Boston, Porcupine Tree et Tool pour en faire un titre bien enlevé avec des parties de chant très convaincantes et travaillées.

« Then there here again » et « Silent Revolution » démontrent un savoir-faire évident et aborde les rythmes syncopés avec une facilité manifeste. Les soli du guitariste Rick Pierpont sont de qualité, tout comme ceux de son compère Brookins, qui signe aussi avec panache tous les arrangements vocaux, lesquels sont une part importante de la personnalité sonore de Odin’s Court. Le bassiste Craig Jackson n’est pas en reste, écoutez-le dans l’intro de « Can’t forgive me », en parfaite symbiose avec le batteur John Abella. Quant aux claviers et piano de Savino Palumbo, ce n’est que du pur bonheur. Hélas, notre homme vient d’annoncer qu’il quittait Odin’s Court pour se consacrer à une carrière jazz, réduisant ainsi le groupe à 4 membres, Brookins reprenant les parties de claviers pour le moment.

« Blacktop Southbound » alterne des tempi moyen et plus lent et propose une belle finale partagée entre guitare acoustique et piano. « Red Glow dreaming » est dans la même veine, mais plus travaillé et doté d’un autre très chouette solo de Pierpont. « The echo of chaos » adopte un ton résolument métal et est proche de Tool et Devin Townsend, avec une rythmique puissante sans être lourde. Une structure en crescendo soft soutient « Leaving Chicago », qui laisse la part belle à la guitare, acoustique et électrique, sur fond de piano.

« Human life in motion » se révèle être un album qui se rapproche plus d’un style hard rock FM mélodique complexe que d’un prog métal à la Porcupine Tree, les 11 titres affichant une durée respective allant de 4 à 5 minutes, dans un style plus accessible et catchy que son prédécesseur « Deathanity », comme l’illustre parfaitement le titre « Blue line », qui pourrait être du Styx de très grande qualité. Un très bon album donc, qui devrait élargir l’audience du groupe sans renier pour autant son identité prog métal que l’on retrouve par exemple dans « Can’t forgive me », lequel suit immédiatement le précité « Blue line » dans l’album.

English Translation (Google):

Quote:
As its name does not indicate, Odin's Court is an American band formed in 2001 and as its name might suggest yet, he's not Scandinavian pagan metal, but progressive rock tendencies metal. With "Human life in motion," Odin's Court today makes his 4th album, following the very good " Deathanity , "published in 2008. Odin's Court has already shared the stage with many famous bands such as Symphony X, Spock's Beard, King's X, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Helloween, Jon Oliva's Pain, Zero Hour, Crimson Glory, Circle II Circle, Devin Townsend, Enchant, and many others, which gives you an idea of the court in which the group is introduced.

Based on a concept (an introspective into the human experience) designed by the singer, guitarist and keyboardist Matt Brookins, the album was composed entirely by him and bassist Craig Jackson. It is also Brookins who recorded, mixed and produced "Human life in motion," and it brilliantly.

Odin's Court draws inspiration from the side of Pink Floyd, Boston, Queen and Journey in terms of classical influences and Devin Townsend, Type O Negative, OSI, Porcupine Tree or Tool for those more modern. But if these influences are found in fact implicitly throughout, Odin's Court did not offer less music with its own identity if not original. And "Affect us (affectus)" opens the album condenses colorations Journey, Boston, Porcupine Tree and Tool into a well-off as with parts of songs and worked very compelling.

"Then There here again" and "Silent Revolution" show a clear expertise and addresses the syncopated rhythms with apparent ease. The solos of guitarist Rick Pierpont are quality, like those of his friend Brookins, who also signed with panache all vocal arrangements, which are an important part of the personality sound Odin's Court. Bassist Craig Jackson is no exception, hear it in the intro to 'Can not forgive me, "in perfect harmony with drummer John Abella. As for keyboards and piano Savino Palumbo, this is just pure happiness. Alas, the man announced he was leaving Odin's Court to devote himself to a jazz career, reducing the group to four members, Brookins containing the keyboard parts for now.

"Southbound Blacktop" alternates between slow and medium tempos and provides a nice finish split between acoustic guitar and piano. "Dreaming Red Glow" is in the same vein, but more and worked with another very nice solo Pierpont. " The echo of chaos "takes a resolute tone metal and is close to Tool and Devin Townsend with a powerful rhythmic without being heavy. Structure supports soft crescendo "Leaving Chicago", which makes great guitar, acoustic and electric piano background.

"Human life in motion" appears to be an album that is closer in style melodic hard rock FM complex as a prog metal to Porcupine Tree, the 11 tracks with a respective duration of 4 to 5 minutes in a style more accessible and catchy than its predecessor "Deathanity" as a perfect illustration of the title "Blue Line", which could be of high quality Styx. So a very good album that should broaden the audience for the group without denying his identity as prog metal that is found for example in 'Can not forgive me, "which immediately follows the aforementioned" Blue line "in the album.
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Last edited by OdinsCourt : June 28th, 2011 at 06:06 PM.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 06:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Flight of Pegasus

Original in Greek:

Quote:
Φαντάζει απίθανο το αμερικανικό συγκρότημα να έλαβε την επωνυμία του από το τραγούδι εκείνο των Black Sabbath που περιλαμβανόταν στο Tyr. Το progressive στο οποίο ειδικεύεται το αξιόλογο αυτό κουαρτέτο έχει μεγαλύτερη σχέση με τα κλασικά βρετανικά ονόματα του είδους, ακούγεται πιο κοντά στους Threshold ή τους Spock’s Beard, αλλά μη βιαστείτε να αναζητήσετε κραυγαλέες ομοιότητες. Οι μουσικοί που το απαρτίζουν είναι πολύ ικανοί, εκφράζονται αβίαστα, το υλικό τους πλούσιο, με δουλεμένες αρμονίες και οπωσδήποτε ενδιαφέρον. Δεν κυκλοφορούν πολλές δουλειές σε αυτό το δαιδαλώδες είδος και πρέπει να τους παρακολουθήσει κανείς προσεκτικά για να μπει στο μυαλό τους. Στη μουσική τους λείπουν οι χαρακτηριστικές στιγμές, τα εμφανή μοτίβα γύρω από τα οποία θα δομούνταν οι συνθέσεις, όμως, αυτό που για τους άλλους είναι ασύνδετο, στη δική τους λογική έχει αιτία. Τα φωνητικά πάντως χρειαζόντουσαν διαφορετικό στήσιμο, λιγότερο επιτηδευμένο. Επιχειρήστε να τους ακούσετε.
English Translation (Thanks to Tim Brookins for the English Translation!):

Quote:
It seems unlikely that the American band took its name from the song that the Black Sabbath included in Tyr. The progressive style featured in this remarkable quartet has more in common with the classic British names of the genre, like the Threshold or Spock's Beard—but don’t expect to find glaring similarities. The musicians are highly skilled, creating unforced, rich harmonies, well carved and certainly interesting. A lot of work has gone into this labyrinthine production, and it should be examined carefully, so as to get into their minds. The music is missing the characteristic times, the clear patterns around which compositions are ordinarily structured; but an arrangement that may seem out of sorts from one perspective, may sound perfectly ordered from another. Check ‘em out!
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Old June 28th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Enterprise

Original in English:

Quote:
Odin's Court surely qualifies as a local band: It was founded here, after all, by Matt Brookins, a Virginia native who moved to St. Mary's County for a job as a defense contractor in 2000.

The progressive metal band's new album, "Human Life in Motion," was recorded in the county at Brookins' home studio. The group's previous CD, a concept album called "Deathanity," was also recorded in his home, but before the studio was built. This is an original band, however, that for some years has focused on selective gigging — booking shows here and there up and down the East Coast — more than on working the local scene.

"Human Life in Motion," meantime, is Odin's Court's second recording effort with ProgRock Records, a state of California-based label that assists underground bands with distribution and promotion. The 11-track, hour-long album actually hit Europe before it hit the United States. "Deathanity" was in fact reviewed by underground metalheads worldwide.

Moreover, although Brookins' band got started with Southern Maryland-based musicians, these days its bassist, Craig Jackson, lives in Baltimore, while guitarist Rick Pierpont lives in southern Pennsylvania. Drummer John Abella lives in Lexington Park.

In fact, to prepare for Saturday's CD release party at Hula's Bungalow in California, Odin's Court's weekly practice venues have alternated between Pennsylvania and Southern Maryland.

"It's difficult to find competent players that are into the same type of thing that you're into," said Brookins, a dramatic tenor who trained for a year with Steve Whiteman of Funny Money and Kix. "To us the music is secondary to the camaraderie."

Odin's Court's last concert?

Aug. 2, 2008. The Crocodile Rock Cafe (the well known "Croc Rock") in Allentown, Pa. The same weekend, Odin's Court played a show at the Knitting Factory in New York. Not long after that, though, the members of the band went to work in the studio on "Human Life in Motion," and have not been seen on a stage since. The new album was released about two weeks ago.

For a band like Odin's Court, Hula's Bungalow might be the most fitting local venue to return to live performances since the local club focuses on original bands. Most of the groups it hires are from outside of the area. The venue, however, is also helping to cultivate Ars Poetica, a local band that plays original sets. (The band will play at Hula's tonight.)

Brookins, 34, started singing in bands in high school. His bands generally covered the likes of Iron Maiden and Megadeth. At University of Mary Washington, he played metal plus country and blues. When he moved to St. Mary's County, Brookins started out playing in cover bands: Blind Date, Dyslexic Head. The money was good, but Brookings ultimately decided that playing covers was "kind of unrewarding."

Odin's Court started as a side project for Brookins and two musicians he played with in one of the cover bands. They started in 2001 by learning some metal covers and by developing original material. By 2004, the group had basically ditched the covers.

"Deathanity," Odin's Court's freshman release for ProgRock, commented on human consumption. Designed like a Pink Floyd album, each song blends into the next. The album even includes interview clips about the state of the environment.

The way Brookins put it, it was an album for fans who like to wear headphones and listen to albums really closely. The hook-filled and melodic "Human Life in Motion," however, a blend of all kinds of styles — from acoustic rock to speed metal — is more geared toward the human experience.

"Even though everyone might be different and have different experiences, at the end of the day everyone really experiences the same kind of emotions," Brookins said.

Odin's Court's founder co-wrote the entire album, the lyrics and music, with Jackson. While the CD is about an hour long, Brookins estimated the band recorded about three hours worth of music, and it's hard to say what direction the band is heading in next. The band is already working on an acoustic album. Additionally, Brookins has written New Age, country and rock albums that he has yet to record.

He listens to all kinds of music. One things that's nice about getting older, he said, is that you can start admitting that you actually sort of like all the bands you once swore you detested: Poison, Bon Jovi, Willie Nelson.

"If the music is sincere, even if I don't like it I'll appreciate it," Brookins said.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Fan review:

Quote:
Holy friggan crap! Is this even the same Odin's Court??!!?? This album is just absolutely STUNNING! I thought they put out an excellent album with Deathanity, but this one is just that much more incredible!

Admittedly, they did dial down a bit on the technical aspects of the music, much more so than what is heard on Deathanity. I personally really like this more melodic take myself, but still leaving in quite a bit of the complexity that I would expect from Odin's Court. Matt has really improved quite a bit in the vocal department since when I first heard him sing. Has Matt been taking vocal training?

The rest of the band just sounds incredible overall. The guitar work is just so friggan tight. The keyboards just add that extra nice touch of "pizzazz" to the music, without sounding overbearing. The drumming it really awesome as well. I do recall Rick telling me that John had a heck of a time learning this material as it was pretty difficult from a drumming stand-point. Seems like he really hit if off, as it just sounds awesome here.

Not only that, the sound quality is incredible! God, I wish I could get the damn band here at my place and let them all just hear it on my rig! The sound quality is really clean, with no hint of compression that I could hear. Every instrument is given its proper space and nobody is over powering anybody else.

I'll have to get a 'proper' review to Snowy Owl on his "Rising Forces USA" site for this.

My first impression is that I am utterly blown away at what I am hearing here. This is definitely, by far, the best output that I've heard come out of Odin's Court. They have really come a long ways from the days of ReDriven by Fate. I mean - Wow!! I am so looking forward to going out there on May 7th. Of course, even though I have this digital copy, I do fully intend on buy the actual CD itself as I'd really like to have this in physical form, with all the artwork, lyrics, etc (there will be Lyrics - right Mat?).

Friggan awesome job done here! I am fully impressed! I'll have to break out my copy of Deathanity again as well as it has been a little while since I spun that one.

EDIT - of course, seems no Odin's Court album is complete without throwing in Ye Olde "Ode to Joy"
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 04:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hot New Reviews. 8.3 out of 10!

Quote:
The US state of Maryland is not really known for it’s legendary Rock and Metal bands, but with ODIN’S COURT we do have an exceptional case. This band has been active for about 10 years now, released 3 albums independently, but was picked up by the mighty PROGROCK RECORDS for the release of their 4th album ‘Deathanity’ back in 2008. Now in 2011 the band delivers their 5th album ‘Human life in motion’, which might well be their finest effort so far. This time no guest appearances, unlike their first PROGROCK release, which saw the likes of Tom Englund (EVERGREY) and Tony Kakko (SONATA ARCTICA). Anyway, musically speaking we have here high quality Progressive Rock/Progmetal with excellent instrumental parts and the included songs feature some very strong melodies. All together it sounds a bit like THRESHOLD and EVERGREY, yet the only thing is that I do feel that the lead vocals are not superstrong. The vocals of singer and guitarist MATT BROOKINS are not bad at all, but seem to sound a bit monotonous and staying in the lower octave range and never contributing to the band’s sound. The use of massive backing vocals here and there are filling that gap happily, but to reach the level of THRESHOLD and EVERGREY you need to have additional impressive lead vocals and that can not be heard on this CD I am afraid. Nevertheless, it is a very nice listenable Melodic Progrock/Progmetal album that especially impresses during the melodic guitar solo’s and the rather catchy choruses of the songs. Definitely a nice effort to check out if you’re a fan of mentioned bands. More at: http://www.OdinsCourtBand.Com
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Old August 7th, 2011, 04:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Dangerdog Music Reviews. 4.5 out of 5!

In Short:

Quote:
Human Life in Motion from Odin's Court finds the band in top form, offering imaginative and entertaining melodic progressive rock sometimes blended with metal.
Full Review:
Quote:
With a name like Odin's Court one might expect some form of Scandinavian metal, norse, black, viking or otherwise. But you would be way off the mark. Hailing from Maryland (US), just a state south, Odin's Court offers a diverse melodic progressive rock. Human Life in Motion is their fourth full length.

Though the album has a shaky start with the quirky, nearly inaccessible, arrangement of Affect Us, the rest of Human Life in Motion offers rich variety of progressive rock that blurs with metal. The Echo of Chaos, Can't Forgive Me, and The Wrong Turn at the Right Time are selections that bring a heavier tone tempered by interesting bass lines, varied tempos, strong melodic vocal arrangements, and layers of guitar solos. Akin this is Silent Revolution which begins with a quiet moment only to move to richer heavier theme, and carries it to the end.

Conversely, Blacktop Southbound and Red Blow Dreaming present a softer side, yet with some edge, to Odin's Court. Both allow for a rich texture of vocals with acoustic guitar and bright piano. Both can be up tempo and strong, but without being heavy handed. The closing track Leaving Chicago certainly enlarges this motif as the acoustic guitar and vocals over synths occupy nearly two-thirds of the song, before the tempo increases and the song finishes with an epic guitar solo.

Honestly, there's much to explore and enjoy on Human Life in Motion, thanks to the imagination of the musicians in their compositions; several listens are required to plumb the depths. Yet, I was not persuaded by the aforementioned opening track or the later Feathered We Fly. But, they are still interesting songs with their own strong points. As a whole, Human Life in Motion is creative and entertaining progressive rock. Recommended.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 04:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ProgArchives 3 out of 5 star review:

Quote:
With Human Life In Motion, American progressive metal act Odin's Court aim to take a look at the "human experience" through eleven tracks, each dealing with a different primary emotion. While still creating interesting compositions to go along with the heavy lyrical content, Odin's Court deliver American progressive rock/metal just as it should be - heavy riffs, melodic vocals, lush keyboards, and interesting instrumental runs dominate most of this album's playing time. Human Life In Motion's general lack of experimentation and originality makes it seem a bit irrelevant in today's prog metal scene, but Odin's Court deliver enough quality compositions and musicianship to make this a decent purchase for fans of the genre.

Human Life In Motion is generally a melodic and straightforward experience - no songs exceed the 6-minute mark, and most are conventionally structured with strong melodies. Of course, this isn't a major issue, but the conventional songwriting (while still very well-executed) does rub off as a bit unoriginal. Thankfully, Odin's Court is a group of extremely talented musicians and keep things interesting throughout Human Life In Motion's full playing time. The bass playing from Craig Jackson especially stands out to me - unlike most prog metal acts, Odin's Court manages to create interesting and memorable bass lines; surely a sign of their talent as songwriters and musicians!

Unfortunately, Human Life In Motion is also plagued by a fairly generic and lifeless production. Although it sounds competent, it lacks the emotional punch and professionalism that would benefit the album greatly. The drums sound especially flat and uninspired - it's a shame, really, because the drumming is actually quite good.

Although Human Life In Motion suffers from a few technical issues and it lacks a unique sound of its own, it's still a well-made prog metal album that fans of the genre should enjoy. Odin's Court is a group of talented musicians that, with just a few small improvements, could really make a large impact in the prog metal world. I'll be keeping a close eye on where these guys head in the future. As far as Human Life In Motion is concerned, I'd say a middle-of- the-road 3 stars are deserved. If you're okay with fairly conventional - yet still well-composed - progressive metal, the latest effort from Odin's Court is a very recommended purchase.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 04:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Background Magazine, no rating:

Quote:
Regarding the fifth album of these progressive metallers from Maryland (USA), I've got some lack of information, but it seems that Odin's Court completely self-financed their first three albums: the demo Odin's Court (2002) and the albums Driven By Fate (2003), and ReDriven By Fate (2005). In 2008, the band signed with ProgRock Records and released Deathanity, an ambitious album that dealt with the effects of mankind's actions on our planet. This album displayed ambience, dynamics and soul combined with complexity, groove and energy to create a unique, surreal landscape. Deathanity utilized saxophone and female backing vocalists including a configuration similar to that of the classic Pink Floyd- album Dark Side Of The Moon. It also contained a palette scattered with spoken vocal clips and vast ranging sound effects. Special guest vocalists included Tom Englund (Evergrey) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica).

Now their second album Human Life In Motion has been released on ProgRock Records. According to the information on their website, the band have been reduced to a quartet. Since there's no mention of their keyboardist Savino Palumbro anymore, I can't tell you whether he played the keyboards on this record. These may also be played by band leader, vocalist and guitarist Matt Brookins. Furthermore Odin's Court still consists of guitarist Rick Piermont, bass player Craig Jackson and drummer John Abella.

Musically we get a nice combination of progressive metal songs and a number of softer power ballads that sometimes tend to modern rock. Blue Line 5:30 AM (Inops) is a good example of the blend of a softer and more emotional song with some fine progressive hints. Red Glow Dreaming (Laetitia), Blacktop Southbound (Animus) and Leaving Chicago (Moestitia) belong to the same category including some nice extended guitar solos. The heavier songs like The Echo Of Chaos (Poena), There Then, Here Again (Frustror) and Can't Forgive Me (Invidia) truly have a killer riff and show the musicianship of the instrumentalists. The combination of the guitar and bass with well-suited keyboards caressed my ears and I think they should play this card more often. To be more specific: use the force you have. As far as the drums are concerned, I can only have respect for the energy, the musicality and the ability to put so much to all compositions. However, sometimes Abella plays such different patterns leading a life of their own, that it distracts me from the song as a whole. 'Less is more' people sometimes say. My last remark concerns Matt Brookin's voice; you either like it or you don't. That may be too easy a definition for in my opinion Matt has a distinctive voice that takes a few listenings to get used to. Yet sometimes it doesn't work for me.

Human Life In Motion is a good effort from a band that knows how to play their instruments, but the drums are sometimes too emphatically present, which doesn't always do justice to the songs. I have to stick to the short comment about the singer's voice: you either like it or you don't. Let's give these guys a try; the compositions are worth it and you'll probably get used to that voice.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 07:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Review from Sep/Oct 2011 issue of Fireworks The Melodic Rock Magazine in the UK:

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Old September 10th, 2011, 07:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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From Underground Empire

Original in German:
Quote:
Was vom Bandnamen her nach schwertschwingendem und metvernichtendem Wikinger-Metal klingt, tritt vielmehr den Beweis an, daß der nordische Göttervater auch mal proggen kann: Die Combo aus Maryland bewegt sich zwischen progressivem und deftigem Metal und erinnert dabei am ehesten an frühe DREAM THEATER, die mit einer Prise frühe MARILLION versetzt wurden und zudem eine ordentliche Ladung Metal verabreicht bekommen haben. Das Resultat klingt super, darf sich über eine Darreichung in starken Songs freuen, so daß im Falle ODIN'S COURT nicht nur für Progger, sondern auch für Metaller das Reinhörgebot gilt!
English Translation (Google):
Quote:
What sounds from the band's name her after schwertschwingendem and metvernichtendem Viking Metal, but replaces the proof that the Nordic gods father also progsters times can: The band from Maryland moves between progressive and hearty metal tinged most likely to early DREAM THEATER, the mixed with a pinch of early Marillion and were also administered to get a decent charge have metal. The result sounds great, can look forward to presenting them in a strong songs, so that in case ODIN'S COURT Progger not only for but also for the metalheads Reinhörgebot true!
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Old September 10th, 2011, 07:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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From Soil Chronicles, Rock & Metal Webzine. 8.5 out of 10!

Original in French:
Quote:
Le troisième album d’un combo est toujours le plus intéressant à disséquer. Incontestablement.

En effet, si le premier opus d’un groupe est toujours celui engendrant chez nous la découverte d’une nouvelle alchimie musicale, forte est notre tolérance à souvent faire fi des imperfections. Fougue de la jeunesse, manque de maturité, expérience toute relative à éviter les écueils, excitation à voir enfin le projet de musiciens passionnés retranscrits dans une galette plastronnant dans des bacs… Rares sont les coups de maitre pour un premier effort tant la profusion de releases actuelles en tous genres déclenchent aisément des buzzs plus ou moins conséquents de par les myriades de nouvelles technologies actuelles permettant leurs diffusions. Finies les seventies, ou un vinyle était l’aboutissement d’une décennie de galère pour des bands dont les premières pontes matérielles correspondaient souvent à l’âge d’or… Le second opus marque souvent une dualité opposable : mieux finalisé certes, mais moins intéressant car souvent moins inspiré par la faute d’une certaine urgence des compositions délivrées. Et la confirmation, devient donc souvent infirmation voir déception, avant que le combo ne retourne à ses forces vives et prenne le temps de peaufiner une offrande suivante qui elle reflétera l’essence profonde et le potentiel réel du combo.

Et « Odin’s Court », quatuor de Lexington Park, Maryland, en est justement à ce stade de son cheminement musical. En dix ans d’existence, nos américains ont initialement offert un autoproduit en 2006, « Redriven By Fate », passé inaperçu en nos contrées sauf pour les progueux passionnés et curieux ; puis un « Deathanity » qui profita déjà de la diffusion de ProgRock Records pour créer son petit effet. Potentiellement intéressant avec des séquences parfois frisant l’excellence les musiciens d’outre Atlantique nous laissait néanmoins présager d’augures captivants avant l’arrivée de ce « Human Life In Motion » concluant la triplette de leur décennie musicale. Et ne vous faisons pas languir, quand bien même le groupe a réduit son line up avec le départ du claviste Palumbo, cet opus est une réelle réussite. Un aboutissement, une finalisation subtile d’un dosage musical savamment concocté et exécuté avec maestria.

Car « Odin’s Court » pourrait caractériser à lui seul le pourquoi du comment de la réussite d’un sous style Metal planétairement adulé par des légions d’aficionados ; ou rejeté par des cohortes de sclérosés dogmatiques des conduits auditifs. En onze titres diversifiés et accrocheurs dont la trame des lyrics traite de l’existentialisme de la condition humaine, la bande à Matt Brookins sidère par son inspiration à nous pondre des tracks en lames de fonds ravageuses, et des ilots épars de quiétude subjuguant par leur raffinement. Si le fil rouge des compositions proposé restera accrocheur, énergique et résolument Metal, l’écrin de ces brulots sera pour sa part toujours empreint de mélodicité, de subtilités harmoniques conquérantes, d’un travail de chant sublime ou le timbre de voix callera un excellent rendu vous asseyant dans votre agrément se dévoilant croissement. Quand l’onctuosité ne le rend qu’à l’âpreté, tous les amateurs de Prog se délectent, et à ce petit jeu « Human Life » est un petit bijou. Forcément, quand on a partagé la scène avec des pointures aussi diverses et intéressantes que les Symphony X, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Helloween, Jon Oliva Paindouleur, Circle II Circle, Devin Townsend… C’est que l’on dispose dans sa musette de quelques atouts de haute tenue !

Ces derniers se situent quelques parts entre les influences d’illustres anciennes gloires à la Pink Floyd, Yes, Boston et des pointures actuelles manière Type O Negative ou Porcupine Tree. Odin’s Court ayant cependant une réelle unicité ne permettant que de lui coller certaines influences, et non d’en faire des caricatures. Finis les guests du « Deathanity » précédent tels Tom Englund (Evergrey) et Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica), ou l’ajout d’un saxo et de chœurs féminins ; « Human Life » se recentre sur la pureté raffinée du Prog. Une tracklist sans temps morts ni faibles ou émergeront de surcroit des Highlights d’exception tels l’impact inaltérable du « Addict Us » d’entame, la volatilité d’un « Animus », des soli de guitare dantesque sur « The Wrong Turn », des harmonies faramineuses sur « Frustror », un « Insania » hymnéen syncopé géant… Une liste non exhaustive d’éléments d’appréciation et d’agréments qui font classer irrémédiablement cette sortie dans la caste très fermée des « à découvrir absolument », « à ne manquer sous aucun prétexte », « valeur sure sur laquelle investir son faible écot » !!!

Pas besoin de conclusion donc, tant tout amateur de Prog Us de qualité sera comblé par ce « Human Life In Motion ». On ne pourra cependant pas évité de délivrer des mentions spéciales à la fois à la production parfaite (rec/mix/mast) des compères Matt Brookins et Chris Brown d’une part. Et de l’autre à leur travail sur les lignes de chant qui surfent allègrement et continuellement dans la perfection donnant à l’ensemble mélodique et musical une cohérence d’exception et d’excellence indubitablement conquérante.

Ce troisième opus est un pur moment féerique de consécration de bonheur simple.
English Translation (Google):
Quote:
The third album of a combo is always more interesting to dissect. Unquestionably.

While the first game of a group that is still causing in our discovery of a new musical alchemy, is our high tolerance often ignore the imperfections. Ardor of youth, immaturity, relative experience to avoid the pitfalls, excitement to finally see the draft passionate musicians transcribed in a cake ... strutting in tanks are rare coup for a first effort as the plethora of releases present in all kinds of buzz easily trigger more or less consistent throughout the myriad of new technologies to present their broadcasts. Gone are the seventies, or vinyl was the culmination of a decade of struggling for bands whose first nesting material often corresponded to the golden age ... The second album often marks a duality perfected finalized certainly better, but less interesting because often less inspired by the fault of some urgency compositions issued. And confirmation, reversal is therefore often seen disappointment before the combo returns to its strengths and take the time to refine an offering following which it will reflect the very essence and the real potential of the combo.

And " Odin's Court "quartet of Lexington Park, Maryland, is precisely at this stage of his musical path. In ten years of existence, our U.S. initially offered a self-produced in 2006, " Redriven By Fate 'gone unnoticed in our country except for progueux passionate and curious, then a " Deathanity "which already benefits from the dissemination of ProgRock Records to create a small effect. With potentially interesting sequences sometimes bordering on excellent musicians from across the Atlantic, however, let us auguries presage exciting before the arrival of this " Human Life In Motion "concluding the triplet of musical decade. And you do not do languish, even though the group has cut its line up with the departure of keyboardist Palumbo, this album is a real success. A result, a completion of a subtle mix musical cleverly concocted and executed masterfully.

For " Odin's Court "could characterize alone the why and how the success of a sub-style Metal planetarily adored by legions of fans, or rejected by cohorts of ossified dogma ear canals. In eleven diverse tracks and catchy lyrics with a frame of addresses existentialism of the human condition, the band Matt Brookins amazes us by its inspiration lay tracks in devastating tidal waves, and scattered islands of peace by subjugating their refinement. If the thread of proposed compositions remain catchy, energetic and resolute Metal, the case of biting midges on the other hand will always be full of mélodicité, harmonic subtleties of conquering, of a work of sublime song or tone of voice Callera excellent made you sit in your registration is unveiling croissement. When the smoothness does not make it to the bitterness, all Prog fans delight, and this game "Human Life" is a gem. Inevitably, when we shared the stage with big names as diverse and interesting as Symphony X , Kamelot , Sonata Arctica , Helloween , Jon Oliva Paindouleur , Circle II Circle , Devin Townsend ... is that one has in his bag of some assets held high!

These are somewhere between the influences of illustrious former glories to Pink Floyd , Yes , Boston and sizes as existing Type O Negative or Porcupine Tree . Odin's Court has a real uniqueness, however not allowing him to paste some influences, and not to make them caricatures. Gone are the guests of the " Deathanity "such precedent Tom Englund ( Evergrey ) and Tony Kakko ( Sonata Arctica), or the addition of a saxophone and female backing vocals, " Human Life "is focusing on the purity of refined Prog. A tracklist without downtime or low or emerge ADDITION Highlights of such exceptional impact of unalterable " Addict Us "begins with the volatility of a" Animus , "the guitar solos on Dante's" The Wrong Turn " , astronomical harmonies on " Frustror ", a" Insania "hymnéen giant syncopated ... A non-exhaustive list of factors and amenities that are permanently classify this output in the very closed caste of" must-see "," not to be missed, "" great value on which to invest its low reckoning "!

No need to conclude, therefore, as any fan of Prog Us grade will be filled by the " Human Life In Motion ". We can not, however, refrained from issuing special mentions to both the perfect production (rec / mix / master) of buddies Matt Brookins and Chris Brown on one hand. And the other in their work on the vocals who surf happily in perfection and continually giving the whole melodic and musical consistency and excellence exceptional conquering doubt.

This third album is pure magical moment of consecration of simple happiness.
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Old September 11th, 2011, 08:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Metal Perspectives. 6.5 out of 10.

Quote:
Hoping to capture in eleven songs, the very essence that makes up the title of this album – “Human Life In Motion” – is a tall order for any band, however it is the task that Odin’s Court have taken upon themselves. In terms of the intricate, heartfelt and melancholic lyrics, Odin’s Court actually make a decent fist of their chosen subject, musically however it all seems to get a bit much for them. Lacking in impact through a lacklustre production where everything feels a little subdued and flat, Odin’s Court play a brand of progressive metal which veers into straight on prog-rock on many occasion and while that may be more down to the riffs and impressive drum work being blunted by the album’s sound, the impression made is one of an album that neither makes the desired impression, nor quite knows what it is.

The musicianship itself is of the highest calibre and while vocalist Brookins has a more than capable voice, his over earnest delivery, instead of adding the atmosphere I presume was intended, fails to hold the interest. It isn’t that he can’t sing, he most certainly can, it is more a case that he offers very little variation, playing things in a very understated manner across the whole disc. Slower songs like “Red Glow Dreaming” almost verge into Days Of The New like acoustic strumming, which while well executed, does feel rather out of place next to intricate guitar solos, drum flurries and multiple time changes. When Odin’s Court truly stretch out as they do on “Affect Us”, they prove to be extremely adept at technical progressive metal with a melodic core and it is an interesting and well thought through approach. Tracks such as “The Wrong Turn At The Right Time”, also hit that technical, yet melodic spot, but for every high there is a low in the shape of the sullen “Blacktop” where Odin’s Court don’t quite know whether to be progressive or a bit AOR.

There are many redeeming features on this album and there is no doubting the skill it took to put this album together. However too often a lack of variation ties it down and leaves you hoping for rather more light and shade. Good, but not great “Human Life In Motion” is an album worth dipping in and out of for snippets of inspiration, but one which fails to make a truly compelling listening experience from start to finish.
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Old September 27th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Another one from ProgArchives (3 out of 5):

Quote:
Odin's Court may not be a band I have heard of before, but even by a quick glance at their discography, it is clear that they are an established act in progressive metal. Over four albums, this band has been making music together, and on this latest outing, 'Human Life In Motion' does go to show the act's tightness. However, Odin's Court has not yet solved some of the bigger issues that lie in their music, and while there is a great concept at work here, it gets somewhat lost in the execution.

LIke so many bands labelled under the progressive metal umbrella, Odin's Court can certainly play their instruments, although based on the music they have made on 'Human Life In Motion', they tend to lean towards the more emotional and melodic side of the genre. Emotions, in fact, are what this album is all about. Each track here is meant to bring out a different emotion or feeling in the listener, as is underlined by the subtext of each title. As a result, Odin's Court goes through a variety of moods in this album. The band also changes up their sound for each new song, which is a good thing to keep the music fresh, but sadly, no sound of the band is strong enough to leave a powerful impression. There are songs here that could do proud Pain of Salvation, and others that go for a more traditional prog sound of Marillion or Pendragon. The production is manageable, but restrains the music to a somewhat mechanical feel. The vocalist sounds quite a bit like the one from Pendragon, and while labelled as prog metal, Odin's Court are more common to go down a mellow route on this album than heaviness, although the moments where they do let loose with the distortion sound quite intense by comparison.

The instrumentation here is quite good, with some of the guitar harmonies being very beautiful. The award would have to go to the bass work however; although it is sometimes hard to hear in the mix, when I could hear what was happening with it, I was very impressed by the often technical licks he pulled off, sounding somewhat like the work of Tony Choy in Atheist. Comparisons aside, Odin's Court doesn't have a great sense of identity to them, even on this fourth album. I would not consider this a typical prog metal album, but rather a typical modern prog album. While the concept of highlighting an emotion for each song could have seen great things happen with it, I ironically do not feel a great deal with 'Human Life In Motion', despite some strong moments from the band here.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Rock Area. 7 out of 10.

English Translation (Google):
Quote:
You have - you should like it, it is a color that is associated with Ytse Jam. He said handing me a booklet współnaczelny and inserting the disc into the player. We set off on a musical journey - literally, because the first was in the car listening. And that friend in the car audio is respectable - uroniliśmy nothing from experience, that we may serve Odin's Court. The first thing that surprised me is the similarity rather than Dream Theater Pendragon. Singer operates as a characteristic voice that brings to mind Barrett (vocals slightly at the beginning of bites, because it seems quite strength but quite quickly we get used to it). The music is also rather close to the achievements of the British. Each instrument is clearly a vocal dominates the whole, if no executor was aware of the fact that it can be a controversial element deczko. Especially noteworthy themes consonant with great acoustic electric guitars, the same remark applies to the piano, which without compromise for the weight of the composition riffom echoes. Both the piano and acoustic guitars have a lot of independent parties, they sound great and totally not conflict with the ensemble of tracks. Besides, many songs seem to subordinate Tloma piano - an effect as it is delicious. The album is no shortage of reasons to play raw rock, they sound very sharply when the muted walls follow a complex instruments (quite interesting treatment). not abandoned the electronic motifs, but they appear rather as a condiment main course. In fact, I would be hard to unambiguously assess whether the syndrome varies in climates of rock or metal. Because you hear here and early Queensryche / Fates Warning or (in riffach) and interesting patents smyków (rather in backgrounds), and those ubiquitous piano melody or characteristic neoprogrocka. What is certain is that the album will be absorbed by the supporters of both factions of progressive music. Observed fact that roughly half board appears more and more broken rhythm progmetalowych key themes. In summary, "Human Life in Motion" is a very good album, I would claim only to the color of vocals (though in this case is rather a feeling that this element controversial, because to me after a few minutes ceased to disturb) and can mix the guitar a few phrases that came out too harshly, based on the smoothed total, the same objection I have to artificially uprzestrzenionego beginning of the "Echo of chaos". Sounds a bit like a demo. The conclusion? Briefly scharakteryzowałbym Odin's Court as the mix (and here the emphasis) Pendragon and Fates Warning (rhythm and riffs on several tracks). And if you are comparing it seemed ridiculous or improbable ... I will insist that it is very accurate.
Original in Polish:
Quote:
Masz - powinno ci się spodobać, to jakiś kolo, który jest związany z Ytse Jam. Powiedział współnaczelny wręczając mi booklet, a płytę wkładając do odtwarzacza. Wyruszyliśmy w muzyczną podróż - dosłownie, bo pierwszy odsłuch nastąpił w samochodzie. A że kolega sprzęt audio w samochodzie ma zacny - nic nie uroniliśmy z wrażeń, które zaserwować może nam Odin's Court.

Pierwsze co mnie zaskoczyło, to podobieństwo raczej do Pendragon niż Dream Theater. Wokalista zespołu operuje tak charakterystycznym głosem, że przywodzi na myśl Barretta (na początku wokal nieco gryzie, bo wydaje się dość siłowy ale dość szybko się do niego możemy przyzwyczaić). Muzyka jest też raczej zbliżona do dokonań Brytyjczyków. Każdy instrument klarownie brzmi, a wokal góruje nad całością, jakby realizator nie zdawał sobie sprawy z faktu iż może być to element deczko kontrowersyjny.

Na uwagę zasługują motywy akustyczne wspaniale współbrzmiące z elektrycznymi gitarami, ta sama uwaga dotyczy pianina, które bez szwanku dla ciężaru kompozycji wtóruje riffom. Zarówno pianino jak i gitary akustyczne mają wiele partii samodzielnych, brzmią w nich wyśmienicie i kompletnie nie gryzą się z całokształtem utworów. Zresztą wiele utworów wydaje się podporządkowanym tłom pianina - efekt za to jest wyborny.
Na krążku nie brakuje motywów surowego rockowego grania, brzmią bardzo ostro kiedy następują po wyciszeniu ściany złożonego instrumentarium (ciekawy dość zabieg).
Nie zrezygnowano z elektronicznych motywów, ale pojawiają się one raczej jako przyprawa dania głównego.

W zasadzie ciężko byłoby mi jednoznacznie ocenić, czy zespół oscyluje w klimatach rockowych czy metalowych. Bo słychać tu i wczesny Queensryche / czy Fates Warning (w riffach) i ciekawe patenty smyków (raczej w tłach) i wspomniane wszędobylskie pianino czy też melodykę charakterystyczną dla neoprogrocka.
Pewne jest natomiast to, że album będzie przyswajalny przez sympatyków obu odłamów progresywnego grania. Zaobserwowałem bowiem, że mniej więcej od polowy płyty pojawia się bardziej połamana rytmika i więcej klawiszowych motywów progmetalowych.

Podsumowując "Human Life in Motion" to bardzo dobra płyta, zastrzeżenia miałbym jedynie do barwy wokalu (acz w tym przypadku raczej to przeczucie, że to element kontrowersyjny, gdyż mnie po paru minutach przestał przeszkadzać) i może zmiksowania kilku fraz gitary, która wyszła zbyt surowo, w stosunku do wygładzonej całości, ten sam zarzut mam wobec sztucznie uprzestrzenionego początku "Echo of chaos". Brzmi trochę jak demo.
Konkluzja? Najkrócej scharakteryzowałbym Odin's Court jako miks (i tu z naciskiem) Pendragon i Fates Warning (rytmika i riffy w kilku utworach). I jakby wam się to porównanie wydawało niedorzeczne czy nieprawdopodobne... ja będę obstawał, że jest bardzo trafne.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 08:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hardrock Haven. 8 out of 10!

Quote:
Assumptions can get you in trouble. At the very least, they can backfire and show you just how little you know about something. Case in point: Maryland-based metal band Odin’s Court. With a name like that and the old school artwork adorning their latest album Human Life in Motion, you assume you’re going to get a traditional heavy metal album with perhaps some Viking/pagan trappings. Heathen hammers and all that. As soon as you queue up the first track – Affect Us (Affectus) – though, you realize you have to toss that assumption straight out the window.

This is, quite simply, gorgeous music. Between the melodies, the subtle yet intricate guitar work and Matt Brookins’s rich vocals, you just want to sit back and let the music wash over you. Brookins sounds a bit like Dare’s Darren Wharton and Marillion’s Steve Rothery, and Human Life in Motion has a bit in common with both bands. The melodies are so lush it’s tempting to call this a melodic rock album, but there are some metal elements. “Silent Revolution (Insania)” and “Echo of Chaos (Poena)” in particular have some real heaviness, and are very reminiscent of classic Pain of Salvation. There is also a strong progressive aspect to Odin’s Court’s sound. That’s progressive in the Pink Floyd sense, rather than the Dream Theater sense, which complements the melodic elements quite well.

Conceptually, Human Life in Motion is an interesting album. It’s meant to be taken in as a whole, as a cohesive album dealing with the mind and the range of human emotion. It pays to give this album a few spins to really soak it all in. Once for the melodies, another time to appreciate the technical aspects, another to focus on the lyrics, and so forth.

How to recommend this one? Metal fans may find it to be a bit too mellow, and some progressive rock purists may be put off by the parts that are more metallic in nature. Honestly though, if you’re an open-minded fan of either (or better yet, both) styles of music, there’s a lot to like about Human Life in Motion. Fans of Dare and Steve Rothery-era Marillion in particular should absolutely love what Odin’s Court has come up with here. It’s rare that an album satisfies on both a technical and emotional level, but Human Life in Motion does exactly that.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 04:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hall of Metal review.

Google Translation to English:
Quote:
It has rained since we received the previous work of this American progressive quintet. The year was 2008 when "Deathanity" get my hands but eventually was another fellow who gave me a hand with your analysis and posted a 8.3 / 10 of final grade.

Not yet available as the website and its database to memory refresquéis I put a brief history: The band formed in 2001 in Maryland (Usa) mixing, since the beginning of his career, always rock and metal tinged progressive. His first releases were self-published (specifically the demo "Odin's Court" in 2002, his debut "Driven By Fate" in 2003, the reissue of the debut in 2005 and live dvd 2006 "Court Is Now In Session"). In 2008 succeeded in signing with ProgRock Records to release "Deathanity" and now return with the "Human Life In Motion" on sale a few months ago (it lost contact with the seal and recently sent us their releases of recent months, so be prepared prog lovers!).

On their website say that the last album they came out very dense and for this have preferred not to "harass" the listener an album focusing on making lighter. Listening to the work and because they have this desire to create compositions in which all clubs are mixed with influences of progressive rock, poppy, country and metal, one must have "ears polite" to enjoy it.
We all colors themes always balancing between the soft elegance akin to progressive and more vitamins and technical passages, perhaps pulling in excess of half-time (acoustic guitar is sooooo much romanticón start ...) while leaving the type thanks to its great ability as musicians. Take note of the enormous work on bass, guitar or the restless voices curran warm in much of the issues as good examples of musical skill.

If I had to highlight issues, I would stay with the cane "Can not Forgive Me" (bordering on spectacular), the brilliant technique "Silent Revolution", the epic "Echo Of Chaos" or that magical closing "Leaving Chicago" ( soft and full trickster), but anytime you can surprise with excellent passages, so it is recommended for listening in full.

Unfortunately ODIN'S COURT suffer from the same evil that others of his countrymen as HOURGLASS or PRESTO BALLET: in the end only the most fanatical of progressive know them and never quite make the leap to greater heights despite its obvious quality.

Many good ideas, very good musicians but they lack a production with more body (voice and guitar sound off on many occasions) and please, a graphic design that does not provoke laughter!

in your ears but leave the decision whether to recommend to listen carefully have the opportunity. Good work.
Original in Spanish:
Quote:
Ya ha llovido desde que recibimos la anterior obra de este quinteto progresivo americano. Corría el año 2008 cuando “Deathanity” llegaba a mis manos pero finalmente fue otro compañero el que me echó una mano con su análisis y le colgó un 8,3/10 de nota final.

Como aún no está disponible la web ni su base de datos para que refresquéis la memoria os pongo un resumen de su historia: la banda nace en 2001 en Maryland (Usa) mezclando, desde el inicio de su carrera, el rock y el metal siempre con tintes progresivos. Sus primeros lanzamientos fueron autoeditados (concretamente la demo “Odin’s Court” del 2002, su debut “Driven By Fate” del 2003, la reedición de dicho debut en 2005 y su dvd en directo del 2006 “Court Is Now In Session”). En 2008 consiguieron fichar con ProgRock Records para lanzar “Deathanity” y ahora regresan con este “Human Life In Motion” a la venta desde hace unos meses (se perdió el contacto con el sello y hace poco nos remitieron sus lanzamientos de los últimos meses, así que preparaos los amantes del prog!!).

En su web comentan que el anterior álbum les salió muy denso y que para este han preferido no “atosigar” al oyente concentrándose en realizar un álbum más liviano. Escuchando la obra y debido a ese afán que tienen por crear composiciones en la que se mezclan todos los palos del progresivo con influencias rockeras, poperas, campestres y metaleras, uno debe tener el “oído educado” para disfrutarla.
Tendremos temas de todos los colores siempre balanceando entre la suave elegancia afín al progresivo y pasajes más vitaminados y técnicos, quizás tirando en exceso del medio tiempo (hay muuucha guitarra acústica, mucho comienzo romanticón…) pero salvando el tipo gracias a su gran capacidad como músicos. Tomar nota del enorme trabajo al bajo, la inquieta guitarra o las cálidas voces que se curran en gran parte de los temas como buenos ejemplos de su destreza musical.

Si tuviera que destacar temas, me quedaría con la cañera “Can’t Forgive Me” (rozando la espectacularidad), la brillante y técnica “Silent Revolution”, la épica “Echo Of Chaos” o ese mágico cierre de “Leaving Chicago” (suave y embaucadora al máximo) aunque en cualquier momento te pueden sorprender con excelentes pasajes, por lo que se recomienda su escucha al completo.

Desgraciadamente ODIN’S COURT sufren del mismo mal que otros paisanos suyos como HOURGLASS o PRESTO BALLET: al final solo los más fanáticos del progresivo les conocen y nunca acaban de dar el salto a mayores cotas a pesar de su manifiesta calidad.
Muchas y muy buenas ideas, muy buenos músicos pero les falta una producción con más cuerpo (la voz y la guitarra suenan apagadas en muchos momentos) y, por favor, un diseño gráfico que no provoque risas!!!
En tus oídos dejamos la decisión aunque recomendando escucharlos con detenimiento si se tiene la oportunidad. Buena obra.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Odin’s Court financed their first releases themselves but since the band has been signed to ProgRock Records and released their label debut Deathanity in 2008.

The follow up is in many ways simpler and more straight-forward than Deathanity and as such it grows faster on the listener. So this album is much easier to digest to the casual listener but there is a lot more for the casual listener to get here because while the album is catchy it’s also very diverse. Still in order to really get most out of this album you need to give time and attention. The diversity in the material is very interesting, but each song offers number of textures that lift the songs to whole new level.
Fortunately the very core of songwriting on Human Life in Motion is also very good so there is plenty to sink your teeth into.
Influences are so many that they are too many to mention, but they range from Pink Floyd and Genesis on one side of the spectrum to Metallica and Tool on the other.

Still it’s not often that Odin’s Court sounds too much like any of these bands and thanks to Matt Brookins’ vocals the band’s identity is even more solid. His singing might not be technically most advanced you’ve heard, but his ability to mix emotion and mainstream is very good. At the same time there is certain warmth to his vocals that just suchs you in. And this is very important for a concept album.

Less impressive is artwork and the packaging, which just seem miles away from the actual music and as such it gives somewhat cheap feel to it. Fortinately this doesn’t go for the music so put on good pair of headphones, close your eyes and give yourself into Human Life in Motion.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 10:23 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Power of Metal, Rock, and Gothic review. 9 out of 10!

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Quote:
A versatile and sensitive prog album that is good for one or the other goosebumps moment.

A few years ago caught my eye a slice of the artwork to the world shone a burning tree, circling ravens and the logo of a band called ODIN'S COURT. One of the rare cases came in, in which I grew myself according to these criteria, a disc, and the result of the first Hördurchlaufs was nevertheless surprising. No martial warrior steel and no Nordic folklore, but Progsounds playful, sensitive and thoughtful acoustic texts with a certain penchant for Ecology umgarten ears. Despite the totally unexpected stylistic garment behind the band left a lasting and positive impression, so that the joy was correspondingly large, as if announcing a new album.

This is now called "Human Life in Motion" in front and wearing a really beautiful artwork, with the one-eyed caught in the branches. The lyrical concept this time is introspective and deals with basic human emotions, which are each dedicated to one piece. Technically, these conceptual elements are implemented in a very demanding, which brings the lead guitar work, especially Rick Pierpont always at the center. Both the narrative and the musical concepts are, however, by singer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Brookins and bassist Craig Jackson, something that can reproduce the fine-drawn hooks and the overall significant role soulful and versatile vocal arrangements as well as the fascinating rhythm figures who gambled and nests, but never to give dodgy.

The band always leaves the song and the melody in the foreground and understands it so well, not to let the technical game and the complex arrangements appear to be an end in itself. How to find himself at the opener, 'Affect Us (Affectus)' to quiet reminiscence, for reduced the bombast, later SAVATAGE, while in 'Blue Line 5:30 AM (inops)' by the mellifluous voice of the brand CHICAGO to the intricate bass lines and spherical passages between Marillion and PAIN OF SALVATION the full range progressive melodic references opened. In the initial hard and weighty, and even more blessed with stark bass action is found in third place with the album 'Can not Forgive Me (Invidia)' a powerful piece that with the onset of singing and reaching calmer waters one About real song grows as you do not often get to hear him.

After that, the album has something quiet and voluptuous, keep ready with 'Blacktop South Bound' is a fine ballad with piano, playful acoustic guitar and wistful leads, with 'Silent Revolution', but also epic moments with incredibly strong backing vocals and a soulful guitar fireworks like 'The Wrong Turn '. Will remain friends for emotional and progressive sounds a very versatile and exciting album for one or the other goosebumps moment is always good.
Original in German:
Quote:
Ein vielseitiges und gefühlvolles Prog-Album, das für den einen oder anderen Gänsehautmoment gut ist.

Vor einigen Jahren stach mir das Artwork einer Scheibe ins Auge, auf der ein brennender Weltenbaum, kreisende Raben und das Logo einer Band namens ODIN'S COURT prangten. Einer der seltenen Fälle trat ein, in welchen ich mir nach diesen Kriterien eine Scheibe zulegte, und das Ergebnis des ersten Hördurchlaufs war dann doch überraschend. Kein martialischer Kriegerstahl und keine nordische Folklore, sondern verspielte Progsounds, feinfühlige Akustik und besonnene Texte mit einem gewissen Hang zur Ökologie umgarten die Ohren. Trotz des völlig überraschenden stilistischen Gewands hinterließ die Band einen bleibenden und positiven Eindruck, so dass die Freude entsprechend groß war, als sich ein neues Album ankündigte.

Dieses liegt nun als "Human Life In Motion" vor und trägt ein wirklich wunderschönes Artwork, mit dem im Geäst gefangenen Einäugigen. Das lyrische Konzept ist dieses Mal introspektiv und befasst sich mit den grundlegenden menschlichen Gefühlsregungen, denen jeweils ein Stück gewidmet ist. Technisch werden diese konzeptionellen Elemente sehr anspruchsvoll umgesetzt, wobei vor allem die Leadgitarrenarbeit Rick Pierponts immer wieder in den Mittelpunkt rückt. Sowohl die Erzählung als auch das musikalische Konzept stammen jedoch von Sänger und Multiinstrumentalist Matt Brookins und Bassist Craig Jackson, was sich an den fein ausgearbeiteten Hooklines und der allgemein bedeutenden Rolle gefühlvoller und vielseitiger Stimmarrangements ebenso nachvollziehen lässt, wie an den faszinierenden Rhythmusfiguren, die sich verspielt und verschachtelt, aber niemals zu vertrackt geben.

Die Band lässt stets den Song und die Melodie im Vordergrund stehen und versteht es so vortrefflich, das technische Spiel und die komplexen Arrangements nicht als Selbstzweck erscheinen zu lassen. So finden sich beim Opener 'Affect Us (Affectus)' leise Reminiszenzen an, um den Bombast reduzierte, spätere SAVATAGE, während sich in 'Blue Line 5:30AM (Inops)' von der einschmeichelnden Gesangslinie der Marke CHICAGO bis zum verzwickten Bassläufen und sphärischen Passagen zwischen MARILLION und PAIN OF SALVATION die ganze Bandbreite progressiv-melodiöser Referenzen eröffnet. Im Einstieg hart und wuchtig, und einmal mehr mit krassen Bassaktionen gesegnet, findet sich an dritter Stelle des Albums mit 'Can't Forgive Me (Invidia)' ein mächtiges Stück, das sich mit dem Einsetzen des Gesangs und dem Erreichen ruhigerer Gewässer zu einem echten Übersong auswächst, wie man ihn nicht oft zu hören bekommt.

Danach wird das Album insgesamt etwas ruhiger und schwelgerischer, hält mit 'Blacktop Southbound' eine feine Ballade mit Piano, verspielten Akustikgitarren und sehnsuchtsvollen Leads bereit, mit 'Silent Revolution' jedoch auch epische Momente mit unheimlich starken Backing Vocals und ein gefühlvolles Gitarrenfeuerwerk wie 'The Wrong Turn'. So bleibt für Freunde progressiver und emotionaler Klänge ein sehr vielseitiges und spannendes Album, das für den einen oder anderen Gänsehautmoment immer wieder gut ist.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 07:58 PM   #20 (permalink)
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ProgressoR review. 3 out of 4 stars!

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Prolusion. The US act ODIN'S COURT was formed back in 2002 and has been an active unit both in terms of recording material and performing live. "Human Life in Motion" is their fourth studio album to date, and was issued by the US label Progrock Records in May 2011.

Analysis. Music, like most forms of art and entertainment, is a matter of subjective taste more than anything else. What makes a person like or dislike a production comes down to a lot of different matters. Stylistic expression is one, while others may be the choice of instrumentation, production or lyrics. And while some artists have a generally broad appeal, others have distinguishing features that make them more susceptible to becoming either liked or disliked to a greater extent than what is usual. In my opinion, Odin's Court is such a band. In terms of style I'd guess that progressive metal would be the best categorization for the sound this act explores. But as one of many of their better traits, it is a diverse and hard-to-pin-down variety of it. Rather than opting for a defined sound and approach, they spread out and incorporate a wide variety of secondary styles too, and in some respects one might describe Odin's Court as a band that jumps back and forth between art rock and progressive metal. Dampened excursions with symphonic tinges are just as much a part of their output as classic guitar riff and keyboard constellations and sophisticated, asynchronous guitar-driven constructions with more of a challenging character. The instrumentalists cope fairly well with the diversity too, be it the nifty fingers needed for the more adventurous escapades, the slower and harder-hitting approach for the darker, slow excursions or the gentle touches needed to give instrumental life to a smooth ballad, and it's all pretty much in place. The songs aren't always that memorable, but instrument connoisseurs should have plenty to enjoy whilst giving this CD a spin. The production is of fair quality too, which it needs to be for music that covers such a varied landscape as the one found on this disc. The make-or-break for this band and this creation will be the lead vocals, however. Brookins is at best an ordinary singer, whose delivery is rather plain. And to my ears, which are rather sensitive in the vocals department admittedly, I get the impression that he struggles with both range and technical delivery, in particular in the mellow compositions and the ones most demanding to perform. Many songs here have been crafted with a need for a brilliant lead vocalist to carry the tune and add emotion to the proceedings, and for me Brookins doesn't manage to do that on this occasion. Perceptions on music are very much individual though; my impression isn't a universal truth etched in stone. It is a personal assessment, and should be regarded as that.

Conclusion. "Human Life in Motion" is a well-constructed piece of progressive metal with frequent detours into the art rock universe. Variety in scope, approach and style are the common denominator for this production, and instrumentally there's plenty for the attentive listener to enjoy. The compositions aren't always that interesting overall however, and the delivery of lead vocalist Brookins appears to be something of a weakness, at least to my ears. If you like his voice and enjoy refined music switching back and forth between art rock and progressive metal in style you should find this disc to be a rather enjoyable one.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Cutting the tape of the fourth full-length return the Maryland musicians with 11 new tracks (or 14 in the deluxe version), not to be confused with the homonymous Greek raw blacksters.

"Human Life in Motion" includes an introspective look at the human experience, with each song dealing with a primary emotion or state (passion, weakness/inability, envy, disappointment, wrath, madness, joy, retribution and sadness expressed in Latin), or a special situation or place (dreams, Nyx's children- 'Oneiroi' the only one in Greek, and 'Terminatio', alias border).
The compositions actually bring the listener on a journey thru a range of landscapes translated by different patterns and multiple rhythm changes, fusing multifold styles and thus resulting in a catchy, unique and exciting experience for casual fans, while maintaining intricacies for serious listeners with a professional musical background.

Odin's Court draws inspiration from classic acts such as Pink Floyd, early Genesis, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Boston, Journey, Queen, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Dream Theater, as well as recent more modern bands like Devin Townsend, Counting Crows, Type O Negative, OSI, Pain Of Salvation, Porcupine Tree and Tool, also utilizing savory keyboard beats in "Affect Us (Affectus)", There Then, Here Again (Frustror)".

You'll find typical Prog breaks and vocals close to the British tradition, melodic parts alternated with distorted one, so that each song ends by containing several souls, but quite surprisingly none of the 11 Prog metal/rock tracks are long, proving it's possible to play this genre without recurring to suites.

Among the topical moments of the record we find the odd drum beats within "Blue Line (Inops)", "Can't Forgive Me (Invidia)", endowed by a powerful onslaught, a marvellous break making it magic and the real album's highlight, the theatrical chorus of "Silent Revolution (Insania)", the hieratic vocals and the angelic ones in "The Wrong Turn at the Right Time (Oneiroi)", the sweet dynamic tunes of "Red Glow Dreaming (Laetitia)", and the dark and crushing "The Echo of Chaos (Poena)", provided with the most mesmerizing vocals of the batch.

Even if it's the first time I've approached the North American Progressive brigade, I immediately realized they have years of experience of recordings and tours behind them, which have allowed them to achieve such polished skills and arrangements. The cryptic lyrics and artwork add mystery to the whole and the clean production makes everything balanced and distinct, tho my taste would have appreciated a bit more punch and sharpness.

The quartet is one of the best Prog metal/rock pieces happening right now; it's possessive of that rare combination of colossal ambition and enormous talent. This style needs more bands like this just like an unemployed parent having to support one's family needs a decent job.
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Old September 30th, 2012, 10:27 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Prog Archives. 4 out of 5 stars:

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In 2011 Odin's Court released their fifth album and to say that they had moved on from the previous release is something of an understatement. This is a band that is highly drive, focussed on the job in hand, and know what just needs to be done to produce a great prog metal album. Rick Pierpoint is a stunning guitarist but he can be matched note for note by bassist Craig Jackson and they both mix and change their styles while at the same time providing incredible shred. Drummer John Abella is no slouch behind the kit, providing a dynamic backbone that allows the rest of the guys to keep moving on, while singer Matt Brookins is now in perfect harmony with what is going on musically.

I originally thought that it would take an external influence to pull this band in the right direction, but Matt stood up to the task and engineered, mixed and produced it himself. This is powerful prog metal that at times has more than the latter than the former, but never losing the melody and complexity. Whereas those into prog metal may be disappointed with the previous release, this is a killer and needs to be played loud. Very loud.
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