Tag Archives: Germany

odysses

Odysses

From the opening James Gang type riff to the short drum solo that brings an end to final track ‘Changes‘ some thirty-seven minutes later, this album is steeped in ’60s and ’70s hard rock / blues rock.

‘Onwards Into Poseidon’s Fangs” is the debut album from Sondershausen (Germany) power trio, Odysses.

(Keyboards are added on the album version of ten minute long title track, by Marty Sennewald)

It was always the intention they produce a jam-based, bluesey album, but as the writing and recording progressed, more psychedelic and hard rock elements almost organically emerged.

The result is an LP covering all bases of late ’60s to mid-’70s rock music.

Opening track, ‘The Curse,’ hinges around an infectious, simple riff, distinctive vocals and as in all other six tracks, a really tight rhythm section. It’s mid-paced, with a very pronounced bass line that drives the track forward. Guitarist Benjamin Kreibe gives the listener an early taste of his guitar proficiency with a short ‘wah wah’ solo towards the finish.

‘Stumbling Away’ is next up – again a very heavy bass to the fore.

And then the title track slots in – see top video. This is a truly epic track, further enhanced on the album by the keyboard playing of Marty Sennewald. The track falls into various stages and gives room for solos from both Marty and Benjamin. Nothing too indulgent – just perfect, with shades of Uriah Heep and Argent, perhaps. Word also for Vincent Muller on drums who holds everything together with steadfast and rolling beats.

This was the first song the three members wrote together as a band – setting quite high bar, I’d say! I love this track.

‘Sheria,’ seems to harbour some dark undertones mixed with a distinct psychedelic feel. This is followed by the three minute instrumental, ‘Fire.’ Rocking riffs with a sort of buzz-saw guitar hook and again, drums to the fore.

Penultimate track, ‘Egypt,‘ is a strange one – strange in a good way, that is. For all Odysses are predominately 60s and 70s Hard / Blues Rock influenced, the first half of this track make me think of Rage Against The Machine. The second half (and there are two distinct halves to this one) has a bouncy, jazz type bass, with siren like guitar sounding something a punk band like Buzzcocks may have come up with.

This leads to the final track, ‘Changes.‘ A great track this – a real slow, moody blues track. I definitely get the feel of Robin Trower on this one.

All in all, this is a terrific album. It doesn’t seek to change the wheel, but serves up a great variation of blues / hard rock styles. While Odysses‘ influences may be well declared, there is still a contemporary feel to their playing.

It will be interesting to see where they go from here.

ODYSSES

Benjamin Kreibe – Vocals / Guitar / Theramin
Vincent Muller – Drums
Thomas Huhne – Drums

paralyzed

Paralyzed

Know how you’ll be in the queue at the supermarket when it dawns, though you have no idea who they are, the person stood behind you is a sportsman / sportswoman of some fame? Or you’re at a gig and as they take to the stage, before even striking a note, you know the unknown support band are going to be great? Or you hear a band, previously unknown to you, in Bandcamp and realize within seconds they are class; top quality and playing just the sounds you like to hear?

What connects the three examples above, is they have ‘presence.’ There is an aura surrounding these people that sets them distinct to others in their field.

Such is the case with Paralyzed. a hard rock band from Bamberg, Germany.

Paralyzed

You only have to look as far as the MUSIC PAST page on this very blog to see what kind of music excites me – and more to the point, excites me sufficiently to make more people aware… and write about it.

And all that helps explain what attracted me to this band the moment I clicked on their new album, ‘Heavy Road.’

I have to concede knowing very little about Paralyzed other that they formed in 2019, and have just released their second album, a follow-up to January 2021’s eponymous debut LP.

There was also an excellent value, seven track, thirty-four minutes long, EP release ‘Hidden Sun‘ back in the year of their formation, and a seven minute long digital single release, ‘This Woman’ in 2020. (Tracks fromHeavy Road,’ ‘Paralyzed’ and Hidden Sun form the ‘live’ set that features at the end of this piece.)

‘Heavy Road’ album artwork

‘Heavy Road’ comprises eight tracks over around forty minutes duration. It is pretty much rooted in a ’70s Rock feel, and thus, just my bag!

Album opener is ‘Devil’s Bride.’ From the opening vocal, there’s a very distinctive sense of Jim Morrison / Doors, which hooked me right away. It ‘modern’ terms, you’d say the riff, for the first three minutes of the seven and a half, is quite doom laden. The song then erupts in intensity and pace. Vocalist Michael Binder seems to morph into a Ian Astbury (The Cult) while executing a couple of searing guitar solos. A terrific start.

‘Orange Carpet,‘ has a real chugging riff. No nonsense hard rock, pure and simple. ‘Mayday’ is more of a mid-tempo, smokey, bluesy number, again with head-nod inducing riff. ‘Black Trees Pt 1‘ opens in dark mood; heavy blues at its finest – slightly rasping vocals over the top of moody, wah wah type guitar solos and deep, resounding bass lines.

Paralyzed.

‘Pilgrim Boots,‘ is the second track, after the opener, to breach the seven minute mark. Again, there is an undeniable Doors comparison to be made, but hey – that’s all pretty cool by me! Caterina Bohner’s organ work is more noticable on this one, and overall, the track has a vibrant, boogie feel to it.

Black Trees Pt 2‘ chugs away for three and a half minutes – all upbeat and again with a couple neat guitar solos thrown in. ‘Coal Mine’ is another slow burner. Building as it progresses, the bass line adopts a doom style feel, threatening; menacing. Michael’s vocal seem to become angrier and his guitar raging.

And then we’re at the album closer, ‘White Jar.‘ Straight off we’re into a short guitar solo, with the organ dancing in the background. More ‘wah wah’ guitar blends in mid-track alongside an almost funky bass line this time. A strong fnish!

I’ve made reference to Paralyzed being very ’70s rock inspired. And they are – or at least they sound that way. Yet – there is more to them than a band living in the past. They have incorporated modern elements into their music, but without going overboard in trying to be ‘different.’

Hard, driving rock will never die. And certainly not when the band producing it has such ‘presence.

One thing you sure won’t be on buying and listening to this album, is Paralyzed.

PARALYZED

Michael Binder – Vocals / Lead Guitar
Caterina Bohner – Organ / Rhythm Guitar
Philipp Engelbrecht – Bass
Florian Thiele – Drums

Paralyzed