Behold Odyssey, a side project formed in 1999 by no other than Swedish multi-instrumentalist Dan Swanö. Odyssey’s self titled EP contains 3 songs with a total playing time of 19 minutes (progressive anyone?).
Swanö played the drums, keyboards and handled the vocals, both lead and backing while Kenth Philipsson and Rick Gustafson played guitars as well as some keyboards.
Quoting from Dan himself, “The music sounds like a cross between a heavier Dream Theater and Candlemass. It’s all with clear vocals.” Having read that, I related this project to Edge of Sanity in a way, along the progressive doom metal tag, but I was intrigued about the clear vocals matter. Here’s what I ended up with after giving this EP a well deserved listen.
I Am Two
What a killer introduction to the song! Swano’s vocals suit the overall mood of the song, along with the keyboard melodies. The style is very catchy with heavy melodic music structures with clean vocals that I personally liked alot. Progressive elements are easily spotted both on the song’s middle and end, and what a lovely listen those are. It feels like he could have stretched the song to 10+ minutes here, but I guess he didn’t want to experiment much with an EP…
I Carry A Secret
Another killer intro here with the edgy clean vocals and smooth song flow. As always, surprises come as the song progresses towards solos and endings. The production is great and the guitars sound pretty heavy to my ears, and while this song doesn’t show too much progressive tricks, it’s still another good song on this EP.
“I Carry A Secret” can be streamed on the band’s Myspace page (see Links below).
The name reveals the oriental influences here and those can be heard right off the start. I really love Dan’s creativity: he writes such heavy yet seemingly simplistic riffs and feeds them with intricate guitar melodies and basic heavy headbangable drum patterns. His vocals are also great here but I think that a guest vocalist would make this song a bit more interesting (Symphony-X anyone?). Roaring guitar solos fill this 7 minute song that ends with a nice Artension-like piano sequence followed by the lovely melodic chorus. This is my favorite song amongst the others, and I wonder why Dan chose the prior one to be streamed on the Myspace page. I’m sure this one would grab more listeners who tend to give a one-song-one-chance listen to relatively unknown bands.
A 2010 re-issue of the EP along with other songs is available on Vic Records (see links below).