Odyssey The Greatest Tale (2005, CD) Reviews
Jul 22, 2020
This 3-CD set contains works by nine bands from all over–Nathan Mahl (Canada), Simon Says (Sweden), XII Alfonso (France), Tempano (Venezuela), C.A.P. (Italy), Glass Hammer (US), and others.
Each band plays over 20 minutes, adding up to nearly 4 hours.
Most are superb.
The weakest, for me, is Glass Hammer (which I am beginning to think of as Gas Hammer). Their instrumentals are all right; but as always the vocals suffer from bloat. (Hint to Babb and Schendel: never, EVER use the word GLOW-REE again.) Even so, their vocals here are better than sometimes, and the project seems to have inspired them. This shows that with work they can rise to be a prog band of second rank.
The rest of the bands are simply spectacular.
XII Alfonso even has snippets of what sounds like Tibetal Monks growling chants.
All of the instruments are 70s era (mellotron, Moog), for coherence and that vintage sound.
One critic was put off by C.A.P.’s over-emoting and talking through the vocals; but I love it. Seems perfectly appropriate.
This is a great way to sample Prog bands you may not have heard of.
HOMER’s “The Odyssey” is one of the most beautiful stories ever written. The Odyssey-like venture of the French label Musea and the Finnish fanzine Colossus was therefore bound to come across the road of the famous Greek poet of Antiquity. The triple album presented is made up of nine symphonic pieces lasting about 25 minutes each, and recorded by the most exciting gathering of international talents you may imagine: NATHAN MAHL (Canada), NEXUS (Argentina), GLASS HAMMER (United States), XII ALFONSO (France), SIMON SAYS (Sweden), CONSORZIO ACQUA POTABILE (Italy), TEMPANO (Venezuela), MINIMUM VITAL (France) and AETHER (Brasil). Jointly inspired by HOMER’s masterpiece and the best works of the masters of Progressive rock, the nine bands have been able to give the best they could. Coming across the ancient spirit of YES, KING CRIMSON, PINK FLOYD and GENESIS is not scarce here, which will delight the connoisseurs. These are about four hours of symphonic rock that are absolutely essential !
1. Of Longings, Suitors, Deities And Quests
2. El Regreso - The Return
3. At The Court Of Alkinoos
4. From Ismarus To The Land Of Death (I. Ismarus, Land Of The Cicones/II. Seventeen Days Of Open Sea/III. The Land Of The Lotus Eaters/IV. The Land Of The Cyclops/V. The Island Of Aeolus & The Land Of Laestrygonians/VI. Circe’s Island/VII. The Land Of Death)
5. Minds Of Mortal Men - Meander Tales
6. Sulle Ali Del Sogno - Odissea: Libri XIV, XV, XVI
7. Chapter VII (I. Hecatombe/II. Book XVII - Odysseus Arrives At The Palace/III. Book XVIII - The Suitors Torment Odysseus/IV. Book XIX - The Beggar Meets Penelope/V. Parnasus)
8. Etranger En Sa Demeure
9. Chapter IX