CD REVIEW: OSI - Blood
By Levi Canfield
Weakness: Mixing Quality, Commercial Appeal, Too expansive
Kevin Moore (formerly of Dream Theater) playing the keyboards/vocals and Jim Matheos (from Fates Warning) raging on the guitar/keyboards form the band OSI. From the label InsideOut, these prog rock gods tune down the guitars and overdrive the amp to attack Alternative Rock. Blending grunge guitars to atmospheric metal into a 47 minute escapade that at points blends 90s grunge to a progressive finish.
"Blood” starts things off hot and heavy, which I imagine is to grab the listener. Doing an effective handle on alt rock, “Escape Artist” catches the ear pretty fast. Heavy guitars are definitely not in short hand through out the album. Progressive, Time shifting riffs are one of the bands specialties. At points even getting funky, such as the opening to “Be The Hero”. Progressively expansive, OSI manages to explore the more gothic, moody atmospheres with the tuned down guitars better. Finally after becoming the hero, the album expands on deeper into their progressive roots, at times rendering sounds that recall Pink Floyd’s iconic depth. Smooth vocals keep the listeners focused heavily on the strengths of the album, which are its ability to still keep melody and produce long structured songs with multiple layers of guitar, electronics, background fuzz, etc. The whole album’s recording and production was done very well from start to finish. Blending all the candid noise was not just a small arrangement in itself. The atmosphere is heavily imaged by the focus of the strong recording and production.
While lacking mostly in originality, this super group of Kevin, Jim, and Gavin Harrison on drums (from Porcupine Tree) manage to create mainly what you would exactly expect. While true masters of their craft, the album doesn’t bring forth anything truly new. The appeal mainly focuses on the fans of their past bands, rather than opening the door for people new to the genre. Not to mention the progressive finish at the end really doesn’t bring enough gunpowder behind it to bring the explosion needed to conclude the album. During infrequent, lengthy run-ons the album’s blood starts to thin. Choosing to venture further from the fuzzed guitar rock deeper into the spacey atmosphere gets tedious.
This CD is a must have for Prog-Metal die hards, but unfortunately the fan sizes for such a genre are small in the world of music. Being full of new music, from great artists will be a joy to all fans of Dream Theater or Porcupine Tree. The albums dark spin from hard rock to progressive metal might confuse new listeners, but playing as a supergroup normally is never meant for that anyway. The fans who come to see their hero’s combine are who this is for.
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