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OSI - Free CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.39 | 198 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Having bought the first OSI album and not enjoying it very much you might wonder why I bothered getting this one too. Well being a Dream Theater fan and OSI including ex-Keyboard player Kevin Moore and Drummer Mike Pornoy I was prepared to give them another chance and was hoping for something better. Not that I was expecting anything in the Dream Theater vein, OSI's first album bore no resemblance to them whatsoever and why should it, the reason for Moore leaving the band was due to the fact he'd grown tired of their grandiose Prog Metal. To be honest I wish I hadn't bothered though as if anything Free is a less enjoyable listening experience than the first cd.

Although Mike Portnoy appears, as does ex-Armoured Saint and Fates Warning Bassist Joey Vera this project is the baby of Moore and partner in crime Jim Matheos who is better known for being the Guitarist in Fates Warning. Between them they share Keyboard and Programming duties with Matheos also on Guitar and Moore doing the Vocals.

So why don't I like it? Well first off I want to make it clear that Free is not a bad album, just not a particularly enjoyable listen. Matheos is underused on Guitar which is a pity as the bits that actually make me sit up and listen a bit more is when he beefs up the sound with a decent Guitar riff. I don't like Moore's Vocals which are soulless, very clinical sounding and almost monotone. Nor do I in the main like the Keyboards either. None of the dexterity that Moore displayed in Dream Theater is on display here. The Keyboards are very modern sounding often creating ambient soundscapes and to use that word again, clinical. As already mentioned things are improved a bit when Matheos is given a bit of free rein on Guitar and thus the better tracks being album opener Sure You Will (nice sounding Vera Bass too), title track Free and Better. Somewhat out of place is album closer Our Town, which is in the main dominated by acoustic Guitar and the most melodic track on offer. A nice closer which could have been even better with a decent singer and a shame a few more tracks weren't like this. 2 stars.

Nightfly | 2/5 |


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