Inner Odyssey - 'Have a Seat' (Unicorn Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Michael Anthony   
Monday, 08 July 2013 03:40

innerodysseyFrom the country that gave us Rush, Triumph, Anvil, Bryan Adams, 'Metal Queen' Lee Aaron and Alanis Morissette (we'll let them off Celine Dion, shall we?), comes Inner Odyssey, a young prog/prog metal band of both ambition and considerable talent.

 

'Have a Seat' is their debut album, not that you'd know. Four years in the making, it's a classy, controlled effort which blends high quality musicianship with the enthusiasm and energy you'd expect from a band so young.

 

Guitarist and main songwriter Vincent Leboeuf-Gadreau was just 17 when he set about piecing together a line-up able to match his desire and help develop and deliver his creative vision. The whole band should be very proud of the results.

 

So what does 'Have a Seat' sound like? Well, it sounds a bit like Dream Theater with a softer underbelly and a bit more soul, or sometimes like a progged-up Kansas with faster, more aggressive, more modern riffs.

 

The band set out their stall early with the three part epic 'Light Years Away'. Part I ('Tides of Fate') is dominated by the atmospheric keys of Mathiau Chamberland. Part II ('Shades of Heaven') showcases Leboeuf-Gadreau's precision soloing and the smooth vocals of Pier-Luc Garand Dion. The raging riffola and occasional full band thrashes of Part III ('Distant Illusion') show the band's modern metal influences and put drummer Étienne Doyon and bassist Simon Gourdeau in the shop window before reaching a wonderfully melodic conclusion. This track has everything.

 

There's no let up in pace as we segue into 'Blank Page Syndrome' - a dark and moody track of symphonic grandeur about losing one's sense of self. It even manages to incorporate a mean riff three minutes in that sounds like a drugged up 'Mother Mary' (the UFO track). And if you like what you've heard by the time the band draw breath, you'll like the whole album.

 

There is great band interplay across all nine tracks and 68 minutes. 'Have a Seat' is wonderfully produced and mixed, ensuring that none of the individual instruments are lost in the often complex and layered compositions.

 

Those who like their lyrics all deep and meaningful will enjoy 'Sinking' and 'The Meaning of Dying', subtitled 'The Journey of Sin Part I' and 'The Journey of Sin Part II' respectively ("Daddy, what have you done?"). Listen out too for the jazzy keyboard solo and great bass playing on 'The Meaning of Dying' and the harmony vocal section (a la Queen) on album closer 'Dehumanise Me'.

 

'Have a Seat' is an extremely impressive debut. In truth it's probably a couple of killer hooks short of being an absolute top drawer release. But I'm sure it's the start of something good and that there's plenty more to come from Inner Odyssey. In the meantime, sit down, stand up, jump around, do what you like to this album. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they pop up soon on one of the UK prog festival bills. I'll be down the front - and I'll be standing up.

 

www.innerodyssey.com

 

To pick up your copy of 'Have A Seat' - CLICK HERE