Russell Suereth’s new release is called «Spiritual Odyssey». It is an emotionally charged album, filled with life wisdom and amazing melodies. On the rocky road towards spiritual awakening there are many challenges. «Spiritual Odyssey» is an honest portrait of such a journey, which makes it into one of 2017’s most important and interesting New Age music releases.
Russell Suereth is the creator and host of the Spiritual Fizz Podcast, and the publisher of Spiritual Fizz, an e-magazine that focuses on the connection of the spiritual and physical worlds. In 2015 Russell released the album “The Spiritual Haven“.
Break the Chains
«Spiritual Odyssey» is meant for active listening. It is not background music. It demands something from you. But when you take the time, you will see what a rewarding listen this is.
The first track is called «Break the Chains». A few light beats and a carefully crafted synth instantly set the atmosphere. Then Russell’s inspired vocal is heard. The lyrics are actually quite interesting in terms of New Age music, because it is about dealing with trouble and hardship, «breaking the chains», and, ultimately, waking up «in a new world». In New Age music the perspective is usually on harmony and bliss, not negativity and struggles. This makes «Spiritual Odyssey» into a very refreshing and different release. Here I must quote the intro to track number 2, «The whole world just fell apart». This makes the album feel bare and real.
Russell Suereth’s vocal will especially appeal to fans of Peter Buffett and Micahel Cretu’s solo material. Notice the impressive synth arrangements; This is not just melodies, it is small pieces of art. There are so many layers of sound to appreciate. But in all its intricacy, Russell manages to keep the melodic focus throughout the album.
«My Beating Heart» is about dealing with life crisis, yet the melody is quite upbeat and positive. The sound design is pure perfection. My favorite track on the album is number 3. A question is asked; «Where will I go / to renew and grow?», «Every day I wondered / Through my life / Searching for the password / To my life». Here Russell is at the very core of modern existence. In the past every community on earth had the answer to the «where». It was of course the local church, temple or other place of worship. You just had to go, and good people would lead you in the right direction. It is not as simple anymore, as indicated by the song’s atmosphere.
A Ride to Virgo
With «A Ride to Virgo» it gets a little lighter. There are both an ethic instrument (I believe it is a sitar) and some very futuristic sound effects, making it into a highly original mix of old and new. Again the synth arrangement is amazing. «So Far Away» is a dreamy track about love and longing. I guess there’s a million answer to the «Why are you so far away». It’s a wonderful melody though.
The atmosphere in «Spiritual Odyssey» reminds me of Enigma’s latest album «The Fall of a Rebel Angel». The feeling of helplessly being lost, and the knowledge that there is a divine truth that might put things right, is shared by both albums. Russell Suereth’s release will appeal to Enigma’s millions of fans. It is also a statement of its first rate production quality that it can be compared to a major label album like «The Fall of a Rebel Angel».
The Hidden Dance
The song «The Hidden Dance» has a nice pop sound, like the music of Moby or Air. «It is All Around» has the same vibe. It is complex and rich, yet there’s a fine minimalistic quality to it.
«The Walls are Tumbling» has an even darker atmosphere, but in terms of melody it is possible to trace a hint of positivity. «The Seed of Imagery» has a slow ambient quality. There’s a darkness here that’s almost complete. «A Burning Rainbow» is the album closer. The song contains a striking and unusual tableau. Russell sings; «watching colors flow / from a burning rainbow». I guess it is a statement that dangerous things can still be beautiful, like watching a rising nuclear cloud from a safe distance.
In conclusion; «Spiritual Odyssey» by Russell Suereth is a remarkable album. As a New Age music release it is unusually dark, but that is what gives it power and relevance. In our genre many artists claim to have the answer to everything. This is why many people find New Age music dull and uninspired «Spiritual Odyssey», on the other hand, is about raw emotions. It is impossible not to be affected by it. Highly recommend!
Score: 95/100 – See how I rate music here
The album is available on Amazon.