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OSI - Office of Strategic Influence  (Limited Edition) CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.91 | 114 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I knew this would be impossible not to like when some of my very favourite musicians were involved in this project. This is really Jim Matheos and Kevin Moore's baby with Mike Portnoy and Sean Malone also helping out in a big way. Mike Portnoy is the one who probably impresses me the most on this release. For the record I do like the next release "Free" a little better then this one (unlike the majority) mainly because of Joey Vera's( FATES WARNING) bass playing. This album is really a concept record with the U.S. goverment's policies being center stage. As far as the sound of the band goes they remind me of what CHROMA KEY would sound like if Kevin decided to add a lot of heaviness to it. One of the coolest things i've ever seen in music is seeing Steven Wilson and Jim Matheos' names linked together as the composers of "ShutDOWN". They are two of my all time favourite musicians so this collaboration is like a dream come true for me. I should mention the band thanks Daniel Gildenlow in the liner notes.

"The New Math (what he said)" is a heavy instrumental with a lot of samples added mostly Dan Rather news clips that are rather (haha) annoying. The drumming really stands out for me. Great tune ! This song blends right into "OSI" as things get a little tamer with Kevin's singing bringing to mind CHROMA KEY right away. Heavy riffs follow bringing about a nice contrast between the heavy and subtle with Kevin's reserved vocals. "When Your Ready" is a melancholic tune with Kevin's mournful vocals.There is really no instrumental outbreaks in this one it's all about the atmosphere. "Horseshoes And B-52's" is one of my favourite tracks, this is a great, great instrumental. It's spacey to open then it turns intense for about 2 minutes until it becomes almost pastoral before the heaviness comes back. Amazing drumming on this one. "Head" simply rocks thanks to Jim who serves up some heavy slabs of guitar for our enjoyment. Electronics to open and the mood changes often.This would have fit well on "Free". "Hello, Helicopter !" is a fairly mellow tune with Kevin's vocals, acoustic guitar and samples. Cool song.

"ShutDOWN" is Steven Wilson's baby, as he wrote it and sings on it.This is my favourite from the first disc. Powerful atmosphere to open as sampled words come in before it kicks in heavily before 1 1/2 minutes. Steven comes in vocally after 2 minutes.The contrasts between the heavy and atmospheric continue. There is a ripping guitar solo from Matheos after 5 minutes followed by Steven's great vocals until it all hits the fan again. Incredible song. "Dirt From A Holy Place" is spacey to open before a beat comes in. A fuller sound follows. A nice heavy rhythm 3 1/2 minutes in with piano. A very good instrumental. "Memory Daydreams Lapses" is probably the track I like the least although I like the power before 2 minutes and after 4 minutes. "Standby (looks like rain)" is a song I like a lot, it's a little more uplifting with some samples.The bonus disc features a PINK FLOYD classic "Set The Controls For the Heart Of the Sun" and it's pretty faithful to the original, although the samples get in the way, including more from President Bush. "New Mama" is a Neil Young tune that is well done, with samples from the "Rambo III" movie. The final song "The Thing That Never Was" is in my opinion the best song on this whole recording. It's an instrumental that was the original "Looks Like Rain" demo.This song is such a trip ! It really shows the talents of Portnoy and Matheos.

I highly recommend this record especially to you CHROMA KEY fans.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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