Do you think the progressive rock community is turning into a bunch of mature people that could need some new blood and there are not enough young musicians getting enthusiastic about our beloved genre? In my humble opinion the progressive rock musicians tend to get older, barely renewing the genre, just some of the sub genres of progressive rock; like progressive metal and the combination of progressive and alternative rock are quite vivid and are seeing young people getting involved in the scene. Luckily for us, so does this young revelation from Canada; Jupiter Hollow. This duo will give you a musical kick, right in the bollocks. A positive one that is, for the five songs on Odyssey will knock your socks off!. Jupiter Hollow consists of twenty-one year old Grant McKenzie, who plays bass and guitar and his eighteen year old friend Kenny Parry, responsible for the vocals, keyboards and drums. The both also took care of the impeccable production of their debut.
Odyssey perfectly blends the metallic type of progressive rock with more alternative elements and virtuosi musicianship. Deep In Space takes off in a way where elements of Tool and Between The Buried And Me are melted with vocal parts reminiscent of Geddy Lee (Rush) Not only do Kenny's high pitched parts sound amazing, but also his rougher screams are pure brilliance. Did I mention his drum playing on this track? Like a young Neil Peart or a motivated Mike Portnoy, just WOW. His partner Grant also is a remarkable musician, his melodies and powerful riffs are a real treat and could be compared to the BTBAM reference I made earlier. The instrumental opening part of the following Ascending shows some musical influences with Steven Wilson's soundscapes, just the smooth vocal parts differ Ascending shows a different part of Jupiter Hollow. Hades Heart fuses Rush with elements of BTBAM again, filling the song with amazing guitar soloing and strong drumming. The fine vocals finish this great track. My personal favourite is Over 50 Years; tempo changes, reminders of Dream Theater technical power, Tool kind of musical parts and nasty screams make this one of the most interesting compositions I have heard lately. The album's title track, Odyssey also is the longest track on the EP, just under six minutes of brilliance is what you can expect. Take the bands I mentioned and add some Riverside and you have the recipe for a magic composition.
My biggest complaint about the album is, it only lasts twenty-three and a half minutes. Some of my favourite bands play songs that last longer than this EP. I would have loved to hear more of this promising young band and regarding Odyssey I am sure this duo has a bright future to look forward to. If this is just a glimpse of what to expect, I guess we need more stars for the successor of Odyssey.
***** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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