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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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3 stars It's always been a nice thing to see members of bands united to form a project like this first album of OSI. It's a collaborative effort by Jim Matheos (the mastermind of FATES WARNING), Kevin Moore (CHROMA KEY, ex DREAM THEATER), Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER) and Sean Malone - Gordian Knot. The guest musician was Steven Wilson of PORCUPINE TREE, who also co-writes and sings one track ShutDOWN. Well, looking at the contributors you might guess how the music would look like. I thought that it would be a sort of prog metal vein. But when I listened to it the first time - its music is more towards Fates Warning and Porcupine Tree.

The album starts off with an energetic track "The New Math (What He Said)" (Matheos) that reminds me clearly to Dream Theater's "The Great Debate" of "Six Degree of Inner Turbulence" album - especially on the rhythm and nuances. Melody and structure was the two are of course different. But some music passages are similar. Observe the rhythm and driving bass line. It continues to second track "OSI" (Matheos/Moore) nicely. Again, it's another rocking track. "When You're Ready" (Matheos / Moore) is my favorite track performed in a psychedelic style. I love the acoustic guitar rhythm and fills. The music is atmospheric here. Some inclusion of effects sounds good on my ears. "Horseshoes And B-52s" (Matheos / Moore) is an instrumental track that features sound effects - there are some passages influenced by Porcupine Tree. The intro part with repeated riffs and rhythm sound boring to my personal taste.

"Head" (Matheos / Moore) demonstrates some influence of eastern music at its intro. It's an interesting track in the vein of Porcupine Tree. "Hello, Helicopter!" (Matheos / Moore) is a loosely structured song with unclear direction - it fails to provide musical coherence, I would say. The opening part with acoustic guitar and industrial voice reminds me to Procupine Tree "Stupid Dream" album. "ShutDOWN" (Matheos / Wilson) is of course in Porcupine Tree vein as Steven Wilson contributed in writing and took vocal shot. It's the longest and the best track of this album even though Steve Wilson does not perform his best singing style; it's probably mixing issue instead of voice quality. Porcupine Tree lovers would definitely love this tune.

"Dirt From A Holy Place" (Matheos) starts with an ambient keyboard solo and sampling. The music then flows in slow / moderate tempo with guitar and keyboard solos. "Memory Daydreams Lapses" (Matheos / Moore) is a keyboard exploration part with some beat sampling / sequencing. "Standby (Looks Like Rain)" (Matheos / Moore) is a mediocre tract that doesn't attract me except its Porcupine Tree nuances.

My CD is a Limited Edition with three bonus tracks: "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" (by Roger Waters) - it's good to listen a Pink Floyd's repertoire played in different style; "New Mama" (Young) and "The Thing That Never Was" (Matheos) - en though the intro part is long with ambient style, but when music enters, it starts to rock. It's an excellent track to enjoy and very uplifting. One of my favorites.

Overall, it's a good prog album to have. Keep on Progging!!! GW, Indonesia.

Gatot | 3/5 |


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