Odyssice - Impression

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 094
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:18:00

Ever since their 4-track debut Moondrive in 1996, guitarist Bastiaan Peeters has been regarded as being the Dutch Andy Latimer. Indeed the band's purely instrumental output has its fair share of Camel likenesses, which are mainly due to Bastiaan's work. Sadly their mini album Moondrive didn't really do a great deal, as people either want to pay the full amount for a full album or a lot less for a single. A mini album kind of swims in between and is not so succesful saleswise. However the material on this debut probably opened enough doors to arise interest in the band which means that four years later we finally can lay our hands on a full album. And what a great album it is!

I have to be honest in saying it's not an easy task to keep the interest going on a pure instrumental album, especially if it lasts as long as 70 minutes. Yet our flying Dutchmen have done themselves proud in releasing a superb symphonic album which contains loads of interesting melodies, twists and turns. Only one major change took place when Menno Boomsma replaced Bart Kühne on drums. However Menno adds an extra dimension to the music as he also plays flute, an instrument which has to be welcomed with open arms, seeing the pure symphonic nature of the compositions. Although the guitar is the main attraction within Odyssice, the band has also made sure there's enough room for keyboard player Jeroen van der Wiel as well, as you can hear in the opening track "Scream" where the guitar "screams" are taking turns with the piano backed by orchestral strings. Great Wakeman-like Moog sets of the spark in "Lokapalas" introducing a very rhythmic song driven by Moog. Then again "Senkan" opens very classical almost getting in the footsteps of Elton John's "Song For Guy" before the guitar steps in to help out and take the song in a different direction. Percussion and certain chords take us on a journey towards the east and for the very first time I dare to take the name of another Dutch instrumental sensation in my mouth: Whistler Courbois Whistler, a great band which is sadly defunct right now but who also introduced a fair share of eastern "delight" into their unique music. When looking at the sleeve design of this Odyssice release, plus some of the titles, I'm convinced there will be many more eastern treasures to be found here.

"Children Of The Cloud" contains the intensity so often found with Jadis but it's once again the piano which brings the calm back. The organ sound and the amount of dramatics introduce some Parallel or 90 Degrees within "Olympus" drawn upon the strength of Greek mythology. The song builds nicely towards a climax which holds some astonishing Moog sounds interspersed with another load of guitar magic. The title track "Impression" sounds very much like Wish You Were Here era Pink Floyd, getting close to the atmosphere of "Welcome To The Machine." With glorious mellotron in the background the soft melody of "Legend" kind of enters the imaginitive world of Andreas Vollenweider. As mentioned before there is a certain interest for the adventurous far east to be found tucked away under layers of guitars and keyboards. "Anuradhapura" certainly sets the right atmosphere both where the title is concerned and by introducing the synthesized sitar right at the very beginning. Then the rhythm becomes funky, laidback, and you can see yourself moving gently whilst moving your hands in the direction of Buddha! Odyssice's travels around the world continue when we find ourselves in the Celtic surroundings of "Flower Of Scotland" which contains some of the Simple Minds attitude.

"In Your Eyes" just begs for vocals but as this is an all instrumental album it's once again Bastiaan's guitar who sings. And very melodic he sings too! Once again backed by a simple piano, this is one great example of how beautiful a simple arrangement can sound. The album closes with the showstopper "A Prophet's Dream" which kicks off with a funky bass to lean towards Rain Dances-era Camel. The guitar solo here tops everything as this song really is the highlight of the album, proving you can deliver a very interesting album without any vocals at all!

Scream (8:49) / Lokapalas (4:19) / Senkan (6:24) / Children Of The Cloud (4:36) / Olympus (7:13) / Impression (4:23) / Crusader (3:26) / Legend (7:04) / Anuradhapura (7:46) / Flower Of Scotland (2:08) / In Your Eyes (3:25) / A Prophet:s Dream (10:43)

Menno Boomsma - drums, flute
Jeroen van der Wiel - keyboards
Bastiaan Peeters - guitars, guitar-synthesizer
Pascal van de Pol - bass, mandolin

Moondrive (1997)
Impression (2000)
Moondrive Plus (2003)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin NL

Added: December 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.odyssice.com
Hits: 2457
Language: english


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