OSI - Blood

OSI - Blood

9 songs
47:39 minutes
***** ****


When Jim Matheos and Kevin Moore founded OSI in the early years of the millennium, people had every right to expect a new progressive metal supergroup. Matheos is a founding member of prog metal pioneers Fates Warning, Moore was the initial keyboarder for Dream Theater when their music still mattered. In the late Nineties, he joined Fates Warning for a short time, but was soon after contacted by Matheos to start a new project. A first album came in 2003, to be followed every three years by a new release. Blood is consequently the project’s third CD, and those who are familiar with their preceding efforts will know that OSI sounds totally different from the artists’ aforementioned bands, but feels closer to Chroma Key, a project started by Moore after he left Dream Theater.

It would not feel right to call OSI a band, considering that the two artists in charge live on different continents and communicate their ideas via Internet. But that doesn’t prevent them from creating modern sounding music that is much closer to contemporary art rock than to progressive metal. Already the opener The Escape Artist shows how well Matheos’ guitar blends in with the synthesizers by Moore who has turned into a real sound wizard in the last ten years. He manages like nobody else to infuse a subtle but undeniable warmth to his otherwise chilly keyboard sounds. The following Terminal sounds even darker, emphasising OSI’s strong feeling for dense atmospheres. The short False Start is the hardest track featured, and although it convinces initially with its accessibility, you will come to like their less evident material later on, because Blood is an album that will really grow on you over time. OSI sound best on Radiologue where they add an unforgettable melody to their incomparable sound. Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt offers his vocal talents on Stockholm.

The drums have been played this time by Porcupine Tree’s Gavin Harrison. Just like that band, or other forward looking art prog bands like for instance The Pineapple Thief, OSI are certainly much less rock or metal than Fates Warning or Dream Theater, but eventually their orientation is more progressive and actually offers a new insight into the possibilities of intelligent rock music.

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