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OSI - Blood CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.69 | 206 ratings

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3 stars Blood is the third full-length studio album by US progressive rock/ metal act OSI. I remember being very enthusiastic when the debut album Office of Strategic Influence (2003) by OSI when that one was released. Being a fan of both Dream Theater, Fates Warning and to some degree Chroma Key of course meant that I had to check out that album and I was not disappointed. When OSI released their second studio album Free (2006) my enthusiasm with the project cooled a bit as I found that the album basically sounded just like another Chroma Key album. Not bad at all just not what I expected. So I wasnīt expecting too much from Blood. Iīve been pleasantly surprised though.

The music style is still unmistakably OSI. Atmospheric/ ambient progressive rock mixed with occasional heavy riffing by guitarist Jim Matheos ( Fates Warning). The mellow and rather monotone vocals by Kevin Moore ( Dream Theater, Chroma Key) are an aquired taste and Iīve heard many people complaining about them. I think they have the right amount of bleak melancholi to satisfy my taste so I have no problem with them. I think they suit the music well. Thereīs been a lineup change as Mike Portnoy ( Dream Theater) does not play the drums on Blood. New drummer is Gavin Harrison ( Porcupine Tree). The latter does a great job here and Mike Portnoy is not missed a second. The songs range from heavy rock/ metal songs with lots of keyboards and electronic elements and the more ambient electronic songs that remind me of the style of music Kevin Moore plays in his other project Chroma Key. There are most songs in the latter catagory though and thatīs probably my biggest complaint with Blood. Itīs not that I donīt enjoy those songs. On the contrary I actually enjoy them much but the thing I found so great about the debut album was that Kevin Moore and Jim Matheos seemed to collaborate a lot in the songwriting process and that doesnīt seem to be the case on either Free nor on Blood. Most songs seem to have been written solely by one member and then arranged afterwards by the band. This is only me guessing of course but thatīs how it sounds to me.

The musicianship on the album is excellent. Great drums, guitar/ bass and Kevin Moore is innovative on the keyboards and with the electronics as always. While Kevin Moore is the main vocalist on the album we get a few guest vocal appearances too. Mikael Åkerfeldt ( Opeth, Bloodbath) guests on Stockholm while Tim Bowness ( No-Man) guests on the title track.

The production is excellent.

I must admit that I had given up on OSI after Free but as always my curiosity grew to a point where I had to purchase Blood. While I donīt find Blood as accomplished as Office of Strategic Influence I think itīs a step in the right direction compared to Free and I can recommend checking out the album. 3.5 stars.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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