1. Intro
2. Fly - mp3
3. Falling Star
4. Burning Time
5. Try Again.
6. The King
7. Tears In Floors (El Ultimo Canto)
8. Miserable Man
9. Angel Cries
10. Apocalypse PT I
11. Creatures




Carlo Faraci - vocals

Pier Gonella - guitars

Steve Vawamas - bass

Chris Parisi - drums


Rob Tiranti - guest vocals

Wild Steel - guest vocals


ODYSSEA: "Tears in Floods"       odyssea           

release date 04 October 2004  - debut album

preview - review  by Marco "Norman Knight" Signore____   

This is yet another power metal project from Italy. It starts back in 2000 from an idea of the guitarist Pier Gonella, aided by several musicians from the Italian metal scene. In this album, as a matter of fact, we find cameos at vocals by Wild Steel (Shadows of Steel) and Rob Tiranti (Labyrinth), but the main vocalist remains Carlo Faraci – mind you, this is his first metal work (and you can easily hear this in the album). The line up is completed with Steve Vawamas and Oscar Morchio on bass, and Chris Parisi on drums.

The album opens with a brief intro (strangely resembling a submarine sonar…) and then goes on with the first song, “Fly”. This is a typical Italian power metal song, good guitar work, decent bass and drums, but the vocals are out of place. And this is a surprise, as the vocals are sung by Rob Tiranti from Labyrinth. In any case, the song flows on fluid enough and yet too “framed” in the standard power metal style. However, we leave behind the opener and come to the second song. Here we find some original music piece, as “The King” (this is the title of the track) opens with the typical double drums and power riffs of guitar, but then after a good vocal part, becomes eerie, with atmospheric keyboards creating a carpet for weird insertions of guitar and bass and single lines of voice. The central part is beyond doubt the most interesting part of the song, and not a moment too soon it melts away into the power metal basic riff of the main refrain that ends this track. Interesting stuff, as said before.

With a sweep synth and distorted background voice we move into “Falling Star”, the following track. Soon a guitar playing alternating strikes creates the mood of the song in which sweeping and acid synths merge with a mid tempo (at last!) from the drums. The distortion of the guitar is fuzzy, almost evil, and different (once in a while) from the typical power metal sonorities – with much more chorus than we are used to. Then the piano accompanies the vocal line – more melodic rock than metal, but this again is a welcome change of pace. Unfortunately the singer Carlo Faraci is not at his best with the falsetto – he should, in my humble opinion, remain on middle tones. I think that this song, however, is a little masterpiece for the keyboard arrangements. It is a pity indeed that neither on the flyer nor on the sleeve there is any mention of the keyboard player. A lot of loops, sweepers, even “quasi-analogic” growlers are used in this track and the keyboard is always precise in creating the right mood for the other instruments (be them the guitar with his nervous solo, the good bass work, or the vocal line). Then the vocal starts again with the refrain “falling star” – again, too much falsetto, and this is the only black spot in an otherwise very good song.

With the very good synths closing the track, we are then transported into “Burning Time”, the guitar intro clearly speaking of the main influences of Gonella (guess who? Satriani and Malmsteen). This song, however, is not at any level with the previous two. Again we return to a typical “Stratovarius-like” power song, even with too-foreseen chord sequences. There is very little else to say about this track, and so we drive ourselves to the following one, titled “Try Again”. What do we have here, with this acoustic intro? A melodic metal ballad, with a pedal bass from keyboards and a simple yet effective arpeggio of acoustic guitar. The ballad itself is in the standard of melodic power metal, again with two elements that must be remarked. First, the keyboard work is very well done, maybe with a bit too much “sci-fi style” sounds, but very well arranged. The drums and bass follow up the skeleton of the song without infamy nor glory. But the second thing is the vocal line. In my opinion this song should again have been sung with middle tones and not going in falsetto, a technique that maybe Carlo Faraci has not yet mastered; and the lyrics are a bit too weak, resembling the very simple songs from Helloween like “A tale that wasn’t right”. A song that will make the most romantic among young power metallers dream… but maybe a bit too “old-fashioned”.

In “Angels Cry” we find an aggressive, Romeo-style dark guitar, that introduces a power metal drum’n’bass work finally at good levels. The voice of Wild Steel interprets very well this power metal song in the style of Domine or Labyrinth. Even though nothing new under the sun, this song is well played and flows away smooth for the ears of the listener. And thus we are greeted by the next song, the title track (in two parts) and possibly the most original song in this album.

Tears in Floods” is a two-part song, of which the first instrumental part (“El Ultimo Canto”) opens with an interesting guitar solo, well placed on the always sharp keyboard carpet. And again the keyboards are well arranged and entwined with the vocals with loops and choirs (both synthetic and human) only to fade in the main guitar theme. The chords and the sonorities clearly send out the message “this is a very sad song”, and fade into the second part (“Miserable Man”) – that is a sharp change of pace. An instant of silence and the the drums explode and the exceptional synths (with a lot of phaser) create the right atmosphere for a curious vocal line in which at last the voice of Faraci finds its perfect balance, even when it goes in a sort of falsetto. And while the lyrics are more resembling an Italian melodic-pop song than a metal one (“I’m screaming again, you’re so far away from me…”), the song remains the best in this album. The strange and yet very effective entangling of synth, guitar, bass and drums is very weel performed, and the sonorities of the synths are well chosen, all leading to the main guitar solo that is bracketed by a brief and intense intro and outro of flanged lead synth, and the final cry of anguish abruptly end the song.

Again the sweeping and flanged keyboards makes “Apocalypse part 1”, instrumental intro for the last track of the album, “Creatures”… a nervous song in which the vocal line goes on with the keyboard pads. But the refrain weakens the whole construct. The guitar and drum play as one in the bridge and all too suddenly there is a choir singing a refrain a-la Helloween. Maybe a better choice of the melodic line would have been of great benefit for this otherwise good song that in some parts almost becomes very interesting (e.g. in the bass mini-solo, in the central instrumental part, and in the spoken section, all very well conceived and performed ideas). If not for the refrain, this “Creatures” would have contended the “most interesting song” prize in this album with the previous one “Tears in Floods part 2”.


I have listened many times and very carefully to this CD. It has good ideas mingled with lack of originality (which is becoming typical of the whole Power Metal style) and this is a pity. The musicians here are all good ones, and the ideas are there, ready to be picked as mature fruits, but you can feel that somehow they are escaping like in Tantalus’ myth of old. Songs like “Creatures” or “Tears in Floods pt 2” clearly demonstrate what these musician could do if only they had the courage to detach from the too much used and too much listened chlichés of the “standard” power metal which is quickly becoming noious. Too much double drums, too much hi-speed guitar soloes, and too much falsetto voice (a speciality in which the otherwise good singer Faraci should train a bit more) have a bit spoiled an otherwise good album. 

Therefore this review will have two endings, depending on whose side are you on in the Metal scene.


Ending 1. Powermetal diehards.

This album is overall a very good album. Good Italian-style power metal, in the wake of Labyrinth, Vision Divine and with a touch of Domine, this CD is a good Melodic Power Metal work which could open the way to a very promising band. Excellent guitar riffs, good bass’n’drum work, nice vocal lines and the collaboration of famous Italian Power Metal names such as Rob Tiranti and Wild Steel make this “Tears in Floods” an album at least to listen to, if not to buy immediately.


Ending 2. Non-powermetal diehards.

Although this album is indesputably very well played, performed, mixed and engineered, with great musician and a voice that even at his first go at a metal album shows interesting developments, is clearly a “first attempt”. Too much “standard” power metal here, lack of originality both in lyrics and main lines in songs, make this a work that will not be easily listened for a non-power fan.

There are many very interesting points to suggest you this album. First, the keyboard work. In a single word: excellent. Second, there are a couple of songs (“Tears in Floods pt 2” and “Creatures”) that are enough testimony of the gauge and abilities of the involved musicians. Third, the guitar player Pier Gonella shows much of his enormous skills here and if you like guitar play (and who doesn’t? We are metalheads, after all!!!) you should definitely listen to this, one of the best guitarists in the Italian metal scene! The vocal line sounds incomplete, though, as the singer Carlo Faraci has a bit more to learn about metal vocals.


All in all, I would give to this album a good listening before buying it. It’s a sort of thing that you either love or hate. But it shows promises, it shows fertile terrain. It is a good business card for a new band like these Odyssea.


rating:  6.5/10


Marco Signore

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