I want to sound like satan carved my lungs, interview with Odysseus


Odysseus from the UK is new on the brutal metal front, founded in 2019, and is the creative vision of vocalist Racheal Downey and guitarist Kevin Testagrossa. Odysseus‘s first single saw the light of day in 2020 and early 2021 the second single Thy Gathering was unleashed upon the world accompanied with stunning visuals and it’s obvious that Odysseus spends a lot of time on making their sick and brutal art as professional as possible. Racheal speaks.

Photo: Odysseus by Drew Scott Photographic

Two songs so far have been released, how are the reactions from the fans?

Fan reactions from the videos have been amazing I feel truly blessed and so grateful for all the amazing feedback we have been given, personally I get mistaken for a male vocalist a lot of the time so when we got revived by MTN Reacts and Seddzsayz I was really happy with the results and the length they went in to, to actually do their research on giving us a true reaction video and it’s always nice to have our hard work appreciated and have people enjoy the music we deliver to our audience as this means everything to us as we rely so much on building our fanbase and appreciate all the support that we get. 

The videos look very professional, who came up with the scripts and how did the shooting go? Any fun things happened during the shooting?

The Music Videos were made by my good friend Abigail Henry. She is amazing to work with, she creates a relaxed professional environment for us to be able to get the best result for the videos. How we worked out each script for the video was basically me going to Abigail with a vision in my head of how I saw the videos playing out. I would sit with the band and describe each section of how we could use the lyrics and the emotions behind the meaning of the song to help guide the videos and how we wanted the songs to be represented in the videos to give a true reflection of what we were trying to create and Abigail would work with this putting her own stomp on the videos which give the videos its own unique spin to build the vision of Odysseus. 

What are the musical roots of Odysseus members, have any of you played in previous bands?

Musical roots for me personally are bands like Spiritbox, Jinjer, Thy Art Is Murder, Make them suffer. I do have secret love that’s not so secret for Evanescence haha. We all have a random mix of influences that helps to keep things spicy when writing. Kevin Testagrossa is the main man behind it all his guitar and production behind the band’s music is outstanding. We started Odysseus together and his music gave me a home to place my demons. Then I found members Tom Rose, Sam Martin, and Dylan Knaggs. Together we all combined our own influences and created the rare, aggressive pounding sound that is Odysseus. I previously fronted a progressive metal band called Syntropy in Manchester, this is how I started my journey fronting bands previous to this I did bands playing drums and bass but nothing on the scale of Syntropy or Odysseus. I believe I was always meant to be a frontwoman. It just took me some time to realize it. The guys have all been a part of other bands in their hometowns but just like me, Odysseus has been the homecoming band. 

Your voice sounds incredibly brutal, did you had some kind of special training or does singing like this come naturally to you. Do you have special techniques or warm-ups before you start singing?

My vocals have been progressing ever since I started fronting bands. I got singing lessons when I first started out and I have breathing exercises and warm-up techniques I use before I perform. I work really hard on perfecting my vocals. I strive to be stronger with each song we record and practice a lot at home but also it’s about knowing when to take a break and not pushing yourself too hard. I want to sound like satan carved my lungs himself so that is what I strive for throughout my performances. 

The Odysseus logo looks beautiful with the drawing behind it, who created it, and is there a special meaning behind it?

Odysseus’s logo was designed by ”Very Metal Art”. Andy is an awesome dude. We gave him ideas of what we wanted and worked together to create the image though Andy is very good at capturing what you want the first time around. I love the geometric vibes. We are hoping to get some new artwork together soon. 


What is the lyrical concept for Odysseus? Who writes them?

I write all the lyrics for Odysseus’s songs. Through my lyrics I want people to feel the rare emotions that lie behind them. Each song has a meaning and story that the audience can contact in their own personal way. I want people to know that they never stand alone and that the music we create as a band can help them bear their own pain, sadness, or grief. We make music that people can use! 

Wretched – Focuses on how humans can be wretched and how their own actions of wretchedness whether it being, Abuse sexually/emotionally, Drug/alcohol abuse, Manipulation, greed. It can take a hold of use and this leads us to suffer and wants us to end our own lives but we must reach within and fight back. 
Thy Gathering – Focuses on our own personal experiences of the witching hour. How our own demons plague us within these hours of the night and what this does to you personally and how you feed the darkness within. 

In the email you said that exciting things were happening behind the scene, can you already share some of it?

Odysseus has some amazing events coming up as we have been invited to play Rabbit Fest 2021 and Bloodstock 2021. We feel truly blessed to be given these opportunities. We’re currently recording our EP so we can release more music and more videos along with new merch that has been made. We look forward to meeting more fans, more musicians and working with more promoters, and in the future hopefully management. 

Find more Odysseus here:

Instagram | Facebook | Spotify


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