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Human Life in Motion - my first impressions!

Discussion in 'Odin's Court' started by SkiBumMSP, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. SkiBumMSP

    SkiBumMSP Member

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    Okay, although the album is not supposed to be "officially" released until May 3rd, but I ended up buying a digital copy from Mindawn (in FLAC) and burned it to CD so I can give it a proper listen on my big Klipsch rig (RF-7s with B&K components)

    How I even found this thing? While listening to Pandora Radio, I heard a track from another band (Atlantis) from their album Pray for Rain that I really liked, so I tried to seek out the album. As a result, I ended up on that Mindawn site, where I did also by that Atlantis album (which, BTW, is really good). However, wanting to explore the site a bit and seeing what else they have, I noticed that our friends here, Odin's Court, where the "Featured Artists"! So, out of curiosity, I had to go see what was said about them. Well, lo-and-behold, look what we have here! The brand-spanking-new Human Life in Motion album, in its entirety, and in glorious, lossless FLAC on top of that!

    So, a $9 and 450 meg or so download, and a 15-cent CD-R blank later, I got this thing playing on my high-end Klipsch rig!

    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" :)
     
  2. OdinsCourt

    OdinsCourt Valhalla

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    Great story on how you found it. FYI, Mindawn is owned and operated by Shawn Gordon who is also the ProgRock Records President.

    I did have vocal training. From about mid 2008 to mid 2009 (rough ball park) I had formal vocal lessons with Steve Whiteman of Kix every week. He truly is an amazing singer, excellent teacher, and an all around GREAT guy!

    Yes, the lyrics will be in the CD booklet. I think the artwork is great. It really adds visuals to the music and lyrics' meanings...and there are lots of allegories, symbolism, ties ins, etc. with the visuals to the concepts of the songs.

    Glad you are enjoying so much! Looking forward to seeing you in May! It’s been too long! :)
     
  3. OdinsCourt

    OdinsCourt Valhalla

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    Oh, also, I'd love to check out your sound system one day. I need to make a trip to Fred...
     
  4. Rick Pierpont

    Rick Pierpont Odin's Court Guitar

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    Thanks for the glowing review, Steve! You made some interesting observations too.

    Musical complexity - you mentioned that the complexity factor is lower than Deathanity. Believe it or not, at least from my perspective of learning and playing this stuff, it sure doesn't feel easier! What I think happened here is that the song writing was better and the complexities no longer hit you over the head, but are more subtle now. I liken that effect to bands like Rush and Yes (less so with Yes) that wrote very complex music, but balanced with more melody and smoother transitions between parts, they produced music that is complex, yet memorable and they made a HUGE career out of it.

    Drum parts - Yes, I mentioned that the drum parts were very challenging and gave John a run for his money (but he produced the goods). However, I don't want it to sound like it was limited to John. Learning and practicing this material KICKED MY BUTT and continues to do so. I found some of it to be the most difficult stuff I have ever attempted. Not all of it, but definitely a lot of it. I used to play in a band that covered Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Queensryche, and all sorts of crazy stuff, and this was more challenging than anything I played with that band.

    And yes, it really sucks about Savino. He is absolutely unequivocally talented and he is sorely missed by us. Not only for his talent but his presence among us as well. However, we have really adjusted well and I think our live show is going to be better than ever! We are still a work in progress, but I think you will enjoy our show on Saturday!

    Thanks again for all of your support!
     
  5. SkiBumMSP

    SkiBumMSP Member

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    Interesting. I'll have to go give it another spin, but I get what you are saying. Obviously, just as a listener, I don't have to think about what it actually takes to play something like that, to me, it really did seem to be a bit more accessible. Sometimes I was beginning to wonder if some of that earlier stuff was written just for the complexity sake. I just find this album such much easier and more engaging to really get into and enjoy then the earlier stuff. Still, Deathanity is an excellent disk, but I am really liking this one so much more.

    <Begin Rant>
    You guys have no doubt seen my recent postings about having to go to my parents place this Saturday. As much as I love my parents and will be awesome to get to see my brothers as well as my nieces and nephews, but friggan COME ON!!!

    They had 364 other days to do this, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It had to be THIS FUCKING SATURDAY!!! Admittedly, the fact that this Sunday is Mother's Day may have something to do with it, but still! I so wanted to go to this gig so bad. It was what? Three friggan god-damn years since I've last got to see you guys play? Plus, it was more than just getting to see you guys play! I was looking forward to just getting to see you guys and hang out a bit! I cannot remember the last time I saw Matt just as a person, let alone actually play in this damn band! Not to sound all sappy and such, but I consider you guys to be just as much family to me. Hell, I was still bummed for having to miss the New Years Eve party because I was to be on duty at the ski hill that weekend. And now my parents had to drop this bombshell on me! I guess if there is any consolation, I might still be able to sneak out and go see Mindflow and UFO, though.

    And I am certain that I am safe for ranting off here, because there is no way my parents would see this, or even any of my brothers. They all are like "How can you listen to that shit?". Hell, if my older brother managed to drag me to a friggan POLKA concert last summer in Indianapolis... :ill: I sure as hell should at least get sneak out to see Mindflow. Maybe for "turn about is fair play", I should drag him to your gig :devil: )

    I have made damn sure that the weekend of July 9th is free!

    <End Rant>
     
  6. Rick Pierpont

    Rick Pierpont Odin's Court Guitar

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    Hey Steve,

    No, you are correct - it is more accessible. What I was trying to point out is that the complexity is more subtle now, but it is still there! Rush were masters at this and I think the evidence of them having a huge career playing complex music, yet appealing to the masses, is a great example of how it can be done. This new disk flows better for sure, so I can see you liking it more. Not to mention the sound quality is much improved as well.

    Damn dude! That just sucks the suck out of suck. :-( I really wish you were going to be there too! You were at the last show we played (in Allentown) and would be great toy start off this round (not to mention a KICK ASS set) with you in attendance as well. :lol: Hell yeah, drag them all there!

    Awesome! At least we'll be able to hang out then.
     
  7. SkiBumMSP

    SkiBumMSP Member

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    I know exactly what you are saying there. This is exactly the type of music that I really like as well. Complex, but yet still accessible and listenable. I just find that to be much more engaging and enjoyable to listen to.

    I did not get out of there until around 9. At that point, it was to late to even try to go to any of the shows. I did not get home until around 10:30 (as it is a good 80 miles from my parents place). Thus, no heavy metal for me (other than what I was listening to in the car) last night. I will admit that it was a lot of fun to get to see my nieces and nephews, though. At the same time, I still could not help but thinking about how awesome it would've been to get to go to this show or even the Mindflow show. I made a promise to Matt that I was going to be there and now feel that I broke that promise to him. This was a hard decision to make, but felt that I needed to be there for my parents. To be honest, I really don't know how much longer my mother will be around anyway, with all her ongoing health problems over the past few years. If you where in the same position, what would have done?

    I hope that your show went off really good, though and that there was a decent attendance present.

    Well, all I can do is keep an eye on the calendar and see what other gigs you guys come up with that I can try to go to. As I said already, I am making damn sure about July 9th.
     
  8. Rick Pierpont

    Rick Pierpont Odin's Court Guitar

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    That's cool! I do too. I also think that Dream Theater - especially in the early years, were geniuses at this too. And their music was very complex - yet, they made it very melodic and memorable.

    No worries dude! I, and he rest of the guys, all completely understand. Besides, you have gone above and beyond for many shows (San Francisco, Allentown, etc...) and while we would have loved to have seen you there, you made the right decision to be with your family. The attendance was good and we had a great time! We will definitely let you know when our next show is scheduled. OK, see you in July for sure!

    Rick
     

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