Odyssea - Tears in Floods
Scarlet Records
Electronic Speed Metal
13 songs (50'34)
Release year: 2004
Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Ben

I’m going to get right to the point, Tears in Floods may quite possibly be the follow up that everyone has been waiting for to Return to Heaven Denied. The fact that this is the labor of love by Pier Gonella, the new guitarist of Labyrinth and that Rob Tiranti sings one of the albums strongest cuts only emphasizes this notion. Odyssea is blistering fast Italian Power Metal and much like the classic Return to Heaven Denied there are liberal amounts of electronic programming. Actually, if you took the electronics from No Limits AND Return… and then doubled them you would have Odyssea. Being that this experimentation was one of Labyrinth’s trademarks and most endearing features I can only say that this is most definitely a plus.

The first song to avail my ears is the wonderful, yet simple titled Fly. As the lead off track this is the best possible way to start off an album like this. Rob’s appearance is on this song and his smooth clear voice elevates this to the same status as Moonlight or Lady Lost in Time. As Fly closes while I type this I am hoping that this is an indication of what Freeman will sound like. Despite having to follow Rob’s stellar performance, the main voice of the band, Carlo Faraci, is more than capable of delivering the goods. Similar in range to Rob yet a bit higher in his delivery, Carlo is the best vocalist that I can think of to sing with a band of this caliber. His introduction on The King leaves the listener wanting more. While he does have that Italian accent that every band from the country displays when singing he is one of the better singers to come out of this genre. It is also on The King where those electronics come into the foreground albeit not near as much as the latter half of the album. Gonella has tastefully chosen what effects to use when he programmed this passages and his ear for what listeners want shines through in his work. Despite being a tremendous guitarist in terms of technical capability and speed, he lets his own playing take a backseat to the electronics and never feels the need to force himself down the listeners throat despite the fact that Odyssea is basically his solo band and I applaud him for this ability to have restraint. Take for example the song Burning Time. Even though it begins with lightning fast picking to get your attention and then segueing into a heavy and hard hitting riff that would make Manticora proud, he has composed a song that is bereft of sheer wankery and show offish leads. Another killing song for sure, but the best is yet to come. The biggest highlight of the album is the two piece title track. Part one of Tears in Floods is a beautiful instrumental with choir voices, soaring guitar leads, and frantic bleeps and bloops for lack of a better term, a great introduction into the brilliant part two. The second piece of the title track (subtitled Miserable Man) is one of the most unique Power Metal songs that I have heard. Starting off decidedly unmetal, with an almost funk driven bassline it goes into a midpaced semi ballad that is broken up by the pounding chorus. Synthesized upbeats are foreshadowing of what is to come, a massive techno break before and after Gonella’s guitar solo. You are either going to love this instrumental passage or you are going to hate it. Obviously I love this to death, I have never heard trance music so seamlessly integrated into Power Metal before and to hear this new experiment and to hear it done so well leaves me at a loss for words.

Tears in Floods is essential listening for fans of Melodic Speed Metal. Odyssea has dared to break the mold with this album and instead of playing it safe like so many countless and trite groups out there today, they have taken a chance and it has paid off. One of my better listening experiences as a reviewer has been with this album and that should speak for itself.

Killing Songs :
Fly, The King, Burning Time, Tears in Floods parts I and II
Ben quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Odyssea that we have reviewed:
Odyssea - Storm reviewed by Ben and quoted 73 / 100
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