USA based progressive rock band Odin's Court have released their fifth album called Turtles All The Way Down independently by means of their own label D2C Studios. On this new album the band also has a new singer, namely the amazing Dimetrius Lafavors. And this new singer combined with the more mature song writing and production have taken the band to another level.
The first four albums, all released through ProgRock Records, were not bad, but Turtles All The Way Down is definitely a huge step forward and their best album by far. The album is a concept album and in fact it is also a prog metal album, as the sound of the band is really metal-like, which is due to the fact that it is really a guitar driven album. Matt Brookins is not only the leader of the pack, but his guitar playing is unbelievable; especially in the instrumental tracks such as the three parts of Turtles All The Way Down, The Depths Of Reason and Back Where The Daffodils Grow, his solos, riffs, hooks and arpeggios are utterly amazing! The other guitar picker Rick Pierpont also contributes with a lot of breathtaking solos and melodies, making this a must have album for guitar aficionados. Most of the songs are up tempo tracks driven by Brookins melodic arrangements and centered upon the dual guitar work between Pierpont and him. But there is one exception, Dragons, a bittersweet ballad, which is in my opinion a true miser on this album. It is a piano ballad with very sweet vocals that kind of reminds me of Stryper and unfortunately the beautiful, melodic short guitar solo does not “save” this rather boring song. However, Odin's Court saves the best for last, as the last song is an epic “monster” of more than 17 minutes called Box Of Dice (Does God Play?). This is the absolute highlight of the album as it is so full of musical diversity it is hard to describe. If you listen very carefully you will be able to discover influences from Metallica, Toto, Journey and Porcupine Tree. But most of all the amazing guitar solos and melodies of Pierpont and Brookins make this track a masterpiece of progressive rock.
Turtles All The Way Down is a truly exceptional album and certainly Odin's Court best work to date. For the ones who are still not convinced, you should check out the first single of the album ...But What's The Question? on You Tube. Enjoy.
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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