Odin’s Court may not be a band I have heard of before, but even by a quick glance at their discography, it is clear that they are an established act in progressive metal. Over four albums, this band has been making music together, and on this latest outing, ‘Human Life In Motion’ does go to show the act’s tightness. However, Odin’s Court has not yet solved some of the bigger issues that lie in their music, and while there is a great concept at work here, it gets somewhat lost in the execution.
LIke so many bands labelled under the progressive metal umbrella, Odin’s Court can certainly play their instruments, although based on the music they have made on ‘Human Life In Motion’, they tend to lean towards the more emotional and melodic side of the genre. Emotions, in fact, are what this album is all about. Each track here is meant to bring out a different emotion or feeling in the listener, as is underlined by the subtext of each title. As a result, Odin’s Court goes through a variety of moods in this album. The band also changes up their sound for each new song, which is a good thing to keep the music fresh, but sadly, no sound of the band is strong enough to leave a powerful impression. There are songs here that could do proud Pain of Salvation, and others that go for a more traditional prog sound of Marillion or Pendragon. The production is manageable, but restrains the music to a somewhat mechanical feel. The vocalist sounds quite a bit like the one from Pendragon, and while labelled as prog metal, Odin’s Court are more common to go down a mellow route on this album than heaviness, although the moments where they do let loose with the distortion sound quite intense by comparison.
The instrumentation here is quite good, with some of the guitar harmonies being very beautiful. The award would have to go to the bass work however; although it is sometimes hard to hear in the mix, when I could hear what was happening with it, I was very impressed by the often technical licks he pulled off, sounding somewhat like the work of Tony Choy in Atheist. Comparisons aside, Odin’s Court doesn’t have a great sense of identity to them, even on this fourth album. I would not consider this a typical prog metal album, but rather a typical modern prog album. While the concept of highlighting an emotion for each song could have seen great things happen with it, I ironically do not feel a great deal with ‘Human Life In Motion’, despite some strong moments from the band here.