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Odin's Court - Turtles All The Way Down, Vol. II CD (album) cover

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN, VOL. II

Odin's Court

 

Progressive Metal

3.83 | 5 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars So, three years later and Odin's Court are back with their eighth album, which is a sequel to the previous one. Something I noticed immediately is that there is now a full-time drummer, Gary Raub, in the band and right from the very first note his impact is apparent. Although there has been three years between the two releases, the original idea was to record and release a double disc the first time around, but it never transpired. So, the songs and ideas on this album came about at the same time as the initial, which is why they sound like they fit together so well. Of course, having a human with a very deft touch on double bass drum pedals, has made an immediate impact.

To me it also feels as if the two albums dovetail in that the first one ends with a long song, while this one kicks off with a twenty-minute epic, by far the longest piece on the album. I am always impressed with any band that starts with a lengthy piece, as they are opening themselves up for potential major criticism, so they have to nail it. I'm not 100% convinced that it shines quite as much as it should, especially with a passage at about 14 minutes that doesn't always gel, but they pull it back with some great playing and yet more superb vocals. Contrast the bombast of the opener with multi-layered harmonies of 'Will I See You Again', and it is quite astonishing. This moves from heavy riffs into a beautiful duet, which contains a threat of changing into something else at any moment. Of the two I do prefer this one, and part of that is due to the addition of a digital bonus EP, 'Not At All Greatest Hits', which includes six songs from their past. The version here of 'Paradise Lost Chapter 1' is wonderful: I love the interplay between the piano and electric guitar.

Let's hope that there isn't such a long gap between this album and the next.

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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