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OSIRIS

Osiris

Neo-Prog


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Osiris Osiris album cover
3.89 | 63 ratings | 8 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fantasy (6:00)
2. Sailor on the Seas of Fate (11:46)
3. Struggle to survive (5:01)
4. Atmun (5:11)
5. Embers of a Flame (5:00)
6. A Story of Love (6:15)
7. Paradox in A Major (4:06)
8. Look Before You Leap (bonus track) (4:13)

Line-up / Musicians

- Mohamed Al-Sadeqi / guitar, vocals
- Abdul Razak-Aryan / keyboards, vocals
- Nabil Alsadeqi / drums
- Sabah Alsadeqi / lead vocals
- Abdul Razzak Arian / organ and other keyboards
- Nader Sharif / piano and other keyboards
- Ali Khonji / bass

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
Edit this entry

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OSIRIS Osiris ratings distribution


3.89
(63 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
49%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

OSIRIS Osiris reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is the OSIRIS' debut album, a band from... Bahrein! Released in 1981, it's maybe the first neo progressive stuff ever done, and quite good.

Taking elements from GENESIS and -specially- from CAMEL, OSIRIS shows a not really high complex composition level, but plenty of changing signatures, melodically nice and rythmically strong. Sometimes, however, I can hear the typical commercial feeling later developed by IQ, PENDRAGON and similar style bands.

The main instrument is the electric guitar, sounding even heavy sometimes, while keyboards have a "support" role. Nevertheless, the band achieves very symphonic moments along the album, standing out the first track "Fantasy".

Good album, well worth a listen.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album has two very big surprises for you...Firstly,of course,it's the country,from where the band hails : Bahrain!!!Yes,in the depths of Arabia...It's unbelievable to imagine how this guys even did know what progressive rock is!...Secondly comes the similarity of this band with CAMEL...Did CAMEL move to Bahrain in the 80's?...Of course not,but this is a majestic rip-off...

Let's talk about the music...The production isn't the best,but I didn't expect much more,we talk about Bahrain here,this is mostly a amateur effort and for such a category I could say it is bearable...Don't search much for influences...The band is just in love with CAMEL and that's obvious in every track...CAMEL went a bit mainstream in the 80's but we're talking about imnfluences from their 70's stuff here...Alternating excellent fast and emotional solos,a few complex moments with time signatures,smooth organ exchanged sometimes with flashy synthesizer lines,very tight rhythm section!...We have to deal with some amazing music hee,very well composed!...The vocals aren't the strong point of the band but neither was Andy Latimer's voice the strongest point in CAMEL's releases...And it's needless to say that the vocalist of OSIRIS tries hard to sound like Latimer...No surprise...

This is a wonderful album...I admit that my true rating is 3.5 stars but I'll upgraded it to 4 considering the country of origin,the very good and tight composing and the year of this release (prog was almost dead meat by 1982)...And one last thing...This guys managed to teach us that in order to play prog rock you don't have to be virtuoso...You just need to love what you do!Well done,OSIRIS!...

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars OSIRIS has been around 30 years now, although they have not been very prolific in terms of releases. Their self titled debut is arguably their best, incorporating influences from 1970s guitar led symphonic bands like CAMEL and GROBSCHNITT. The middle eastern roots are generally subtle, but their presence, along with the extremely melodic nature of the songs, gives OSIRIS a richness and profundity often lacking in better known groups in the "neo" style.

The album really plays out well from beginning to end: the opener "Fantasy" is one of the best cuts, a rambunctious ditty with plenty of great keys and guitars. The vocals are better than in most prog, although this observation may simply reflect the band's self-awareness in these matters. They don't try to hit the highs and lows but rather plumb a midrange without sounding monotonous. Even if the voices are not to your taste, the arrangements surely will be, and the band tends to favour long instrumental breaks.

By far the longest cut is "Sailor on the Seas of Fate", commencing with seagull sounds before vintage organs and synthesizers insert themselves in a low key manner. Then comes one of the more Arabic sounding passages, thanks to the melody and the percussion, which is also strangely melodic. Mohamed Al-Sadeqi's guitars complete the long intro to vocals accompanied only by electric piano until a monster riff comes in. The last 4 minutes are an extended instrumental feast reminding me of early ALAN PARSONS PROJECT.

"Struggle to Survive" is another gem, with reflective and more upbeat sections including heavy guitar and keyboard jams blended with ease. Sabah Alsadeqi's voice is at its best here. I don't mind the background keys that sound like they may be mellotron...at all. "Atmun", as its title suggests, is another track that somewhat captures a Bahraini spirit. All instrumental, its overall percussive nature is broken a few times by find lead guitar work. "Embers of a Flame" is actually reminiscent of KANSAS in their heyday, and it is at this point I start to feel that vocal melodies are being recycled. Still entertaining for sure. The same applies to "A Story of Love", although this one is a bit better. "Paradox in A Major" begins in a very Arabic sounding electric guitar flourish before becoming another mid tempo number, although the later instrumental section is very enjoyable. The "Bonus" cut is a great prog-pop number that I guess the band didn't initially include on the LP. It's certainly the most accessible track herein.

I highly recommend this album to neo or symphonic fans, and even for historic reasons as one of the earliest neo prog albums. How much influence they actually had on the next wave is unknown, but I assume it is not nearly as much as they deserved.

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Neo-prog from Bahrain you say? Yes, it's true. Osiris surprised probably everybody in the world of music when they appeared at the beginning of the 1980's sporting their impressive brand of neo-prog, showing just how far the many tentacles of progressive rock could reach. Very much a DIY album made by a bunch of admittedly rather talented(and, one suspects, rather wealthy) Yes-and-Genesis fans, Osiris' eponymously-titled debut should have been an amateurish mess; it's not, and for those of you out there who fancy a bit of Marillion or Twelfth Night the surprise will be all the greater. Simply put, 'Osiris' is an excellent slice of 1980's prog, as good as anything by the era's big boys, such as the previously-mentioned twosome, and far better than anyone should have dared to expect. The recording is a bit rough around the edges, due to the lack of decent recording facilities in Bahrain circa the early 1980's, but songs such as the jangling opener 'Fantasy' and it's impressively epic follow up, the 11-minute-long 'Sailors On The Seas Of Fate', still sound great. Particularly impressive are Abdul Razak-Aryan's lush keyboards, which coat the whole album in a glowing array of sounds and textures, whilst lead- guitarist Mohamed Al-Sadequi is a genuine Arabian Pete Holmes. The vocals do tend to get lost in the slightly weak mix(again, a consequence of the low-budget recording conditions) but in truth it's a bit of a moot point. Osiris' music is good enough to render these deficiencies un- important and fans of all good neo-prog will be more than happy to add an other great album to one of the smallest sub-genre's of prog. Highly recommended. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars How these Arab brothers from Bahrain got into progressive music is an interesting read to say the least. They certainly had parents who were open and supportive to whatever they wanted to do. So when the one wanted to play drums and the other brother guitar the parents provided the instruments and the lessons.Their older brothers and sisters were into jazz,classical,folk and rock so they were exposed to a lot of music growing up. After reading good reviews for YES and JETHRO TULL the brothers took the plunge and their love of prog began. They continued to play and learn their instruments even when off to University,the one to England the other to the USA. When they came back in 1980 the search for serious band mates began.This is the result right here,their first album released in 1982. "They chose the name OSIRIS from Egyptian mythology not only for it's sound but it's references to Arab culture,youth and fertility". By the way this band is still playing in 2010. Before i start i have to say that the music here is very much like CAMEL's first two albums.The vocals and style especially. I'm not sure about the Neo-Prog tag here actually, but maybe that's more to do with following releases.

"Fantasy" is my favourite track. The synths and guitar build as drums and bass join in. Check out the drumming after minute ! It then settles and vocals join in. How good is this ! So moving. Drums and keyboards after 4 1/2 minutes are killer to end it. "Sailor On The Seas Of Fire" opens with the sounds of sea gulls as organ,percussion then guitar join in. A calm after 3 1/2 minutes as vocals arrive.The drums and bass are back then it kicks back in.Guitar leads after 5 1/2 minutes then a calm arrives a minute later. Strummed guitar and keyboards with cymbals lead here. Electric guitar 8 minutes in as it builds.The synths are great.

"Struggle To Survive" has this powerful intro but then it settles before a minute.Vocals follow.I like the crisp drumming here. This is very CAMEL-like. Raw guitar after 2 1/2 minutes as he proceeds to light it up. It settles back with vocals then kicks back in again. Great tune. "Atmun" has a good rhythm to it. The guitar starts to lead before 2 minutes.The organ before 4 minutes is brief as the guitar dominates on this one. Embers Of A Flame" features strummed guitar early but it turns heavy quickly. A calm with vocals follows. Check out the guitar after 2 minutes as it takes off. Synths then organ late. "A Story Of Love" is another CAMEL flavoured tune with drums and guitar standing out. Vocals before 2 minutes and they come and go on this one. "Paradox In A Major" opens with guitar followed by vocals.The guitar is back when the vocals stop as contrasts continue. "Look Before You Leap" opens with synths and a beat. Vocals after a minute as guitar comes and goes.

The Al-Sadeqi brothers are exremely talented,i'm so impressed with the drumming and guitar work on this one. A solid 4 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars While the rich symphonic prog laid down by Genesis on their seminal album "Wind & Withering" would become a blueprint for a new wave of English progressive rock bands such as Marillion, IQ, Pendragon and Arena that would retrospectively become tagged as neo-prog, the subgenera carved out of the greater symphonic prog universe encompassed a much more expansive sound than the pioneers of the English scene would let on. Coming from the most unlikely setting for progressive rock, OSIRIS emerged from the tiny independent nation of Bahrain which lies in the Persian Gulf right next to Saudi Arabia, which arguably could be considered one of the least progressive of scenes in the world! However, the brothers Mohamed and Nail Alsadeqi had always been interested in music and started their very first funk band all the way back in 1969. After the two were sent to study abroad to London and Texas, their exposure to the musical wonders of the Western world proved irresistible and upon returning to their native island became pioneers of Arabian progressive rock with their mini-moog dominated band that took a few cues from Camel, Yes and Pink Floyd and added a healthy dose of exotic sounds to the cauldron.

As you can imagine, the daunting task of finding likeminded musicians on a tiny island nation the size of a large American city in a not so progressive area of the globe was the most difficult task of all but perseverance paid off as the brothers recruited Mohammed Shafii (bass), Sami Al-Jamea (keyboards), Mohamed Amin Kooheji (guitar, bass, vocals) and Abdul Razzak Aryan (second keyboards). The next challenge was to find the only 8-track studio that existed in Bahrain at the time but once they did, the band managed to record their eponymous debut album in only three days. Since there was no way to print the album in their country, they had to outsource to the Philippines, had 1000 copies made for their homeland and a bunch more for the rare record shops in the UK and North America. The band produced just the right mix of symphonic prog driven rock mixed with a catchy funk beat and a bit of Arabian exotica thrown into the mix. They became all the rage in Bahrain and also gained a bit of fame abroad.

The band took their name from the Egyptian god OSIRIS which is associated with youthful energy via resurrection and regeneration. The band gained a loyal following with their outlandish live shows after they found a new charismatic lead singer in the form of Isa Janahi who knew how to play the rock star role as he donned outrageous clothing and had a magnetic personality that interacted quite well with the crowds. The live shows were also quite ambitious with laser and light shows and smoke bombs thrown around. Musically the band delivered hard driving guitar riff driven hooks laced with strong interlaced melodies, sizzling keyboard workouts all stitched together in complex musical compositions that never tipped the balance too far in either direction. OSIRIS had the perfect mix of heavy pop rock tinged with psychedelia, prog complexities and heavy rhythmic percussion.

Anyone who loves hard rock from the cusp of the 70s meets 80s era fused with elements of progressive rock will love this one. While more on the hard rock side of the equation rather than the prog for much of the album, there are moments of extended complexities and time signature deviations. The musicians are all top notch with extraordinary guitar and keyboard workouts as well as stellar vocal performances by Janahi. Lyrics are all in English, showing the band's intent to market abroad and the melodies are all easily digested without being too sugary sweet. Overall, OSIRIS dishes out an excellent debut from one of the far flung places that the early prog rock scene failed to reach during its heyday. Perhaps the one negative of this experience is that the production as one could expect didn't reach phenomenal heights given the time and place where this album was recorded. Personally i don't have an issue with bad production and am much more in tune with the music, however for anyone with an aversion to mediocrity in the production department then you might want to skip this one. For the rest of us, this one should not be missed!

Latest members reviews

4 stars With their debut album Osiris offer some very nice but not overly complex symphonic prog. All the songs rely heavily on keyboards, but the guitarist really shines with excellent solos popping up everywhere. The vocalist isn't super great, but is effective and doesn't detract from the music at all ... (read more)

Report this review (#209848) | Posted by Morrel | Thursday, April 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For me Osiris a real sensation. These guys are (or were perhaps) from Bahrain - the country in which I would rather expext that rock music is forbidden. Their first album is very Camel-influenced, but that's not a bad thing at all. Don't forget this album was recorded 24 years ago, when most o ... (read more)

Report this review (#55952) | Posted by | Friday, November 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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