(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a new song by Odyssey from Spokane, Washington.)
It’s no secret that people here at NCS have had a mega musical boner for Spokane, Washington-based instrumental prog trio Odyssey. Islander has covered every one of their releases since 2010 when they dropped their second release, Schematics. I’m right there with him as far as a love affair for Odyssey goes, and from the looks of their Facebook fans, I see our esteemed colleague TheMadIsraeli is a fan as well.
I believe I first heard about Odyssey back in 2011 when their full-length An Abstract Existence dropped and drew me in due to the press it received at the time. As the years since then have gone, Odyssey have kept up their penchant for quality, and quantity — this year’s release of Voids will be their third full-length, and sixth release overall since forming in 2007. Which is damn impressive in my book.
We’ve got a proggy barnburner of a tune from Voids called “Before There Were Eyes To See” to show you today. So hit play and keep reading. Or don’t keep reading — but at least jam this madness.
While the Odyssey that recorded Voids is an evolved musical beast, the band wisely kept the aggressive and thrashy element to their sound that I’ve always loved. That headbang-inducing side to their music plays a big role in “Before There Were Eyes To See”. The song starts out with a galloping thrash-inflected drive, later being repeated around the song’s ethereal core which develops from its heavy, scrambling beginnings.
Being the power trio that they are, Odyssey showcase a dense yet musically rich interplay throughout every second of the track. Guitarist Jerrick Crites once again shows his ability for playing circles around most guitarists, shifting and swarming through a number of moods and sounds, from big meaty riffs uncommon in instrumental music, to rich emotive guitar solos, crunchy grooves, and tasty sweep-picking.
As he has proven on every release, bassist Jordan Hilker fills in a lot of the gaps where vocals or a second guitar would be. And as usual for Odyssey, his terrific performance is fully audible and a wonderfully bouncy anchor to the whole affair.
Finally, drummer Lukas Hilker acts as both groove-uniter and octopus, matching and enhancing the already beautiful guitar and bass interplay with the final dimension to the band’s sound.
I’d certainly say “Before There Were Eyes To See” is a good sign that Voids is a release to keep a look-out for. It drops February 5th, and pre-orders are available on their Bandcamp page, where you can also listen to another song called “Motives”.