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OSI - Free CD (album) cover

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OSI

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.38 | 183 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Kevin Moore from Dream Theatre, Jim Matheos from Fates Warning, guests Mike Portnoy also from Dream Theatre, Joey Vera from Armored Saint.....sounds like a powerhouse lineup that could produce some excellent heavy prog doesn't it? Well, in this case on this album, it doesn't produce the fireworks you would think it would. The songs here are good, but sort of lackluster for the most part.

Where the first OSI album was more guitar based, this one brings in more keyboards. Nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, there isn't really much wrong with most of the instrumentals other than there just isn't enough of them on this album, and the tired sounding, non-dynamic vocals from Kevin only bring down the mood and sound of the music. What you end up with is a bunch of mid-tempo, mostly lackluster songs when you should be getting a bunch of hard hitting music considering who is involved in this album.

Moore stated that this album feels more focused. Well, it is more focused and consistent, that is for sure. But that really is the downfall to this album. There are a few highlights where the music sounds like it might just take off, but something always seems to restrain it from doing so. This is also not an experimental album, the music is really quite straightforward, with not much in the way of dynamics or innovation. Vocals sound tired and the instrumentals sound restrained. The vocals have a strange processed sound to them and that comes from the doubletracking that is used.

The album was put together by Matheos sending Moore guitar parts that he made up and Moore would arrange them to fit into the songs. I can't help but think that the guitar parts might have had a little more life to them before they hit the chopping block. Now, it's not that I have anything against using more keyboards, I'm all for it in fact. But all the life just seems to be taken out of the music just so it matches Moore's vocals. I don't know why he decided to double track his vocals either, yes it does give a certain atmosphere to the music, and if the vocals were more dynamic, then it might work, but all it does here is deaden the music twice as much.

There are a few highlights here, the ones that break the mold of the same sounding songs like "Go", "Home Was Good" (which actually uses some very nice atmospheric keyboards to break up the usual sound), and "Better", but those tracks get lost in the sameness of the majority of the songs here. As much as I wanted to love this album, I am disappointed in that it seems that I can't wait for it to be over whenever I play it. I don't think this album is really worth the effort it might take to locate it, so I have to consider it a 2 star album. It's just too flat, boring and there really isn't anything that progressive about it.

TCat | 2/5 |

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