Artist: Odd Logic
Album Title: Last Watch Of The Nightingale
Label: Independent Release
Date of Release: 28 September 2019
I cannot tell you how much respect and admiration I have for Odd Logic. Just like I operate my website in my spare time for my own gratification and for literally no financial gain, the same can almost certainly be said for Odd Logic too. Ok, so they might sell a few CDs, but the primary motivation for the band is to make music for their own satisfaction. It’s likely that Odd Logic will never take over the world, but regardless, they continue to make the music that they want. It’s a labour of love and I love this philosophy.
When I say ‘band’ though, in the context of Odd Logic, this might be a bit inaccurate. The reason is that Odd Logic have never enjoyed a stable line-up, with each release essentially a different incarnation. In fact, if it wasn’t for the ever-present Sean Thompson, each record would effectively have been created by a different band. With ‘Last Watch of the Nightingale’, the full line-up that featured on ‘Effigy’ has been distilled into just two active members, namely multi-instrumentalist Thompson (guitar, bass, keys, vocals) alongside drummer Pete Hanson, who offers some vocals too.
And yet, miraculously, the music on ‘Last Watch of the Nightingale’ is of an incredibly high standard and, to a certain extent, remains recognisable as Odd Logic. That’s not to mean that the Odd logic formula is set in stone and becomes stagnant; rather, the core principles of expressive, forceful riffing, powerful percussion and plenty of light and shade remain true, whilst allowing room for some further experimentation within that core framework. As such, the music on ‘Last Watch of the Nightingale’ sounds fresh and, crucially, hugely enjoyable.
I shall go one step further and suggest that this might be my favourite release by Odd Logic.
I could start my more in-depth analysis in any number of places but it has to begin with ‘Garden of Thorns’ because it is easily one of my favourite individual tracks of 2019. It stood out on a first listen to the record but with subsequent listens, it has become irresistible. The delicacy of the soft, almost whispered vocals from Thompson are beguiling, but when coupled with the incredibly sophisticated and nuanced melodies, and the guitar work, it becomes addictive in the extreme. I find myself singing the melodies long after the album has finished and I get withdrawal symptoms when I haven’t listened to it for a while.
Other high points, of which there are many, include the varied and effervescent ‘Absence’ with its hints of Rush, or the superb heavy riffing within ‘Chance Of Gods’ that makes the metalhead in me grin from ear to ear. I could also mention ‘Of The Nightingale’ which features some deep growled vocals courtesy of Hanson alongside a vague Riverside vibe in its quieter moments, particularly with the bass work and the introspective atmospheres. I also adore ‘Dreaming In Color’, with its effortlessly epic and exuberant neo-prog-tinged finale.
Then there’s the mammoth 23-minute ‘Boundary Division’, which is a hefty and ambitious piece of work but which closes the album in suitably epic and assured fashion.
In simple terms, based on the quality of music on offer here, Odd Logic remain criminally unknown and underrated. Despite all of the considerable challenges they have had to hurdle, Thompson and Hanson have produced an album every bit as good as ‘Effigy’ or ‘Penny For Your Thoughts’. As previously stated, if I had to put my neck on the block, I’d say that this is their best release yet. And the even better news is that ‘Last Watch of the Nightingale’ is available on CD. I shall therefore be ordering mine…if you’re a progressive metal fan with any kind of taste at all, you’ll be doing the same. This is quite brilliant stuff!
The Score of Much Metal: 92%
If you’ve enjoyed this review, check out my others from 2019:
You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here: