OSI - 2009 Blood


ALBUM: Blood
LABEL: Inside Out Music
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Jim Matheos - guitars, programming * Kevin Moore - vocals, keyboards, programming * Gavin Harrison - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Escape Artist * 02 Terminal * 03 False Start * 04 We Come Undone * 05 Radiologue * 06 Be The Hero * 07 Microburst Alert * 08 Stockholm * 09 Blood

RATING: image


With 'Blood', the experimental progressive metal outfit OSI moved into darker waters than ever.

The Songs

Heavy chugging guitars, stern vocal delivery and an unforgiving chorus - from the very beginning of the opening track, the magical duo of Matheos and Moore (backed up by the virtuoso drummer of Porcupine Tree, Gavin Harrison) let you know they won't be soothing you much this time.

The creepy uneasiness of the intro to 'Terminal' and the crawling pace that still won't let you catch a break from discovering exciting musical nuances immediately confirm this.

'False Start' is probably one of the songs which remained completely unaltered when Matheos sent it to Moore (they work long distance, via emails - oh, the many ways you can make an album these days!), because it is a straightforward rock song, with the exception of the breakdown in the middle with brilliant guitar/drums lagging interaction which is what progressive metal should be.

'We Come Undone' is a song that goes by rather unnoticed when you first hear it, but give it more chances, as it is a grower.

'Radiologue' is the band's magnum opus (perhaps only rivaled by one other track on their latest album), a musical and lyrical masterpiece dripping with apprehension.

'Be The Hero' takes a long time to start, but when all the cogs in the machine are assembled, it becomes a great speedy, punchy track about the evils of mass military invasion.

'Microburst Alert' is a phenomenal electronic instrumental, with an established groove, tension brought in via samples of people talking in military code (or at least that's how it sounds like) and somewhere in the middle it goes 'STOP STOP STOP STOP', which is always the moment when I wish to be able to headbang in the streets.

'Stockholm' is a curious song because it features the vocal talents of Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth, who, unlike Kevin Moore, is a 'proper' melodic vocalist and can lead a song into an unexpected direction. He also contributed the lyrics.

'Blood' is the very subdued, minimal closer that once again projects free-flowing anxiety, ending the album as it started - in an almost orderly, victimless war between the calm ratio and the betrayed heart.

In Summary

Under fifty minutes of top notch prog metal, quite dark and not for the faint-hearted, although you might not be susceptible to its subtle genius.

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