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.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - Jan 12, 2012