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ODIN'S COURT - Turtles All The Way Down (2015)


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I have a soft spot for these guys. They hail from Maryland! A mixture of styles are present and it's going to take some time for me to digest this. This is their 8th disc?? Damn. I know they formed around 2000/2001 but I had no idea they had 7 CDs. Wow. I don't expect much love on this board for these guys, but hell, they're from MD so I had to post it!




from odayrox2: http://0dayrox2.blogspot.com/2015/03/odins-court-turtles-all-way-down-2015.html




Despite their 'Scandinavian' name, ODIN'S COURT hails from Maryland, US, formed in 2001 and with seven CDs under their belts, but their latest, just released album titled "Turtles All The Way Down" it's my first approach to them.

First of all, if seeing the band's moniker, the artwork or the album title, you think this is a power metal affair, you're wrong. And better continue reading, as this is very recommendable stuff.

On "Turtles All The Way Down" Odin's Court play a mixture inundated with catchy guitar riffs, cool keyboard passages and excellent lead vocals. While there are proggy touches in many songs, this is not an overtly progressive album.


The title needs some explanation. It refers to 'infinite regress problem in cosmology posed by the unmoved mover paradox'. In the words, who made the world or universe, and who made them, ad infinitum.


The origin of the expression "Turtles All The Way Down" is somewhat apocryphal, supposedly coming from the idea that the world is flat and supported on the back of a turtle. When the person who posited the theory was asked, who supports the turtle, they answered with this clever anecdote: "It's turtles all the way down."


This is a concept album, but the songs can be randomly heard with the same great effect.

Let's go with the music: Odin's Court blends metal, hard and prog, yet all done with the melody as main point. In fact, at places you got melodic hard rock leanings. There's no harsh sounds here, everything sounds extremely polished, lush and clean.


The title track is broken up into three parts, opening the CD with first driven by a melodic guitar work laid over a crystalline keyboard soundscape.


Next there's a couple of chained tracks; "And the Answer Is..." / "...but What's the Question?" and here you can listen Odin's Court mastery. These cuts mixes melodic prog metal with hard rock, where the vocal harmonies, crunchy guitar riffs, and chord phrasing are reminiscent of King’s X meets Queensryche, but not 'dark', all is very 'bright' and catchy.



The music is mostly driven by leader Matt Brookins melodic arrangements and centered upon the dual guitar work between he and fellow guitarist Rick Pierpoint. Like blood brothers in music, they have a similar tone and expression which makes for a seamless harmony. If you're bit of a guitar geek, as I am, you'll find the texture of the riffs and the thrill of leads really enjoyable.

"Insomnia" is another heavy rocker beginning with a barrage of keyboards and guitars before a moodier theme ensues. The vocal arrangement on this track is an album highlight. Talking about vocals, Odin's Court show for the first time here new singer Dimetrius Lafavors, a guy with a smooth, clean voice.


One of the standout tracks to me is "(A Song For) Dragons". While the title brings to mind Dio-esque metal, the song is actually a slow piano laden midtempo, a soulful quasi-ballad. The vocals are powerful and LaFavors' best performance on the album. The guitar work is stellar with some stunningly spiraling solo from both Brookins / Pierpont.

Then the acappella three-part vocal harmony intro, metal riffage, and kicking drumming on "The Death Of A Sun" add some heaviness to the album, yet as happens throughout, with lots of melody.


The band saves another highlight to the end with its most progressive as well as metal sounding track, the seventeen-minute plus opus "Box of Dice (Does God Play?)". This is a killer composition plenty of of lead guitar and frenzied keyboard interplay with odd-time signatures, shifting tempos and soaring vocals.


LaFavors lead vocals work extremely well placed here as do the three part harmonies and Brookins aggressive vocals weaved into the fray, making this a fabulous musical statement.




"Turtles All The Way Down" is an excellent polished heavy rock album that should have tremendous crossover appeal for fans outside the prog genre while still retaining a complexity and high level of musicianship that fans of melodic progressive rock are searching for.

Odin's Court is a great band, I mean great, believe me.


So this is Highly Recommended for all metal-related fans, including progsters, hard rockers and even lovers of the harder side of AOR.

01 - Turtles All the Way Down, Pt. 1
02 - And the Answer Is...
03 - ...but What's the Question?
04 - Insomnia
05 - The Depths of Reason
06 - Turtles All the Way Down, Pt. 2
07 - The Warmth of Mediocrity
08 - (A Song For) Dragons
09 - The Death of a Sun
10 - Back Where the Daffodils Grow
11 - Life's Glory
12 - Turtles All the Way Down, Pt. 3
13 - Box of Dice (Does God Play?)

Rick Pierpont - guitars, vocals
Dimetrius Lafavors - vocals
Matt Brookins - guitars, keyboards, vocals, bass, drums, mandolin, dulcimer

Jeff Sauber - drums, percussion
Seth Jackson - bass
Craig Jackson - bass (13)
Savino Palumbo - keyboards (13)


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Here's a list of all their discs:


Driven by Fate (CD - 2003)
Odin's Court (EP - 2003)
Redriven by Fate (CD - 2006)
Deathanity (CD - 2008)
Human Life in Motion (CD - 2011)
Appalachian Court (CD - 2012)
The Warmth of Mediocrity (CD - 2013)
Turtles All the Way Down (CD - 2015)
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