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Osada Vida - The Body Parts Party CD (album) cover

THE BODY PARTS PARTY

Osada Vida

Heavy Prog


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Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Welcome back my friends

Described in the accompanying literature as Osada Vida's second album, this is in fact their fifth release if we include the three albums released locally in Poland between 2000 and 2004. Their 2006 album "Three Seats Behind A Triangle" is regarded though as representing the start of the band in international terms and with their current line up.

The concept here may at first seem bizarre, and even a little distasteful. The various "body parts" are used though to symbolise the "feelings and emotions (good and bad) experienced by humans in their day to day existence". Thus we have tracks with basic titles such as "Liver" "Brain" and "Spine", each also bearing a more illuminating sub-title.

The diverse range of influences which graced "Three seats.." are in evidence one again here, the album overall having a slightly softer edge this time. The opening "Body" which forms a sort of overture, perhaps deliberately reminds us of ELP's "Karn Evil 9". Lyrics such as "Ladies and gentelmen (sic) welcome to our body parts party, we'd like to present you our main guests, so let me introduce them" and "On the left we see Mr. Bone" are more than a little reminiscent of Part one of ELP's epic. In musical terms, the song gets us off to a strong start with tight melodies and diverse instrumentation.

"Liver; Mr. Liver's letter to you" starts with an extended instrumental passage which ranges from Moraz like jazz synth to metal tinged guitar riffing. The lyrics and vocal style are reminiscent of Manfred Mann's Earth band's "Hello, this is your heart", concluding with the stark warning "I can make you feel pain.. I can make you be dead, so keep me in mind, dear". The track includes some fine interplay between synth and guitar concluding with a mellotron backed heavy riff.

"Brain; mind on cloud nine" is tinged in irony describing an "If I ruled the world" dream. The song is unusually understated, almost ballad like, with some dreamy guitar. "Tongue, a white lie" describes a compulsive liar but concludes that the problem may actually lay with the beholder. Overall, this for me is the lest distinguished track on the album, at least in vocal terms. Even here though there is a striking burst of synth.

The only completely instrumental track on the album is "Spine; in full swing", a 7 minute romp through an ever changing selection of styles and sounds. Once again, we enjoy here Osada Vida's unique blend of metal riffing and fusion style improvisation. "Heart; Back and forth" is a slower number with a heavy (heart) beat. The "we are only born to die" type lyrics can seem over-depressive but are counterbalanced to some extent by the lighter multi-tracked vocals and melodic instrumental incursions.

"Muscle, Strong but powerless" appears to deal with the futility of violence, the jazz like shuffling intro leading to a mellotron soaked, at times funky number. The odd sounding offbeat riffs are supported by some upfront bass playing.

At 11 minutes, the closing track "Bone; my name is bone, the single bone" is the longest on the album. The song starts softly with piano and acoustic guitar leading to some pleasant, almost ambient lead guitar. The song reflects on a life seemingly wasted in the pursuit of money and fame, ruing the fact that "I was part of everything, I am a part of nothingness". The lengthy guitar piece which dominates the track is reminiscent of the "Unquiet slumbers/Quiet earth" sections of Genesis "Wind and wuthering" album.

In all, another highly enjoyable album by Osada Vida, which features some complex arrangements. It is good to find a set of gifted musicians who remain willing to extend themselves and explore territories befitting of their talents.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#174426)
Posted Thursday, June 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This band is quickly becoming one of my favourites. I gave "Three Seats Behind A Triangle" five stars, and it certainly was one of my biggest discoveries of the year. "The Body Parts Party" isn't as consistantly heavy and mind blowing as the previous album, but there certainly is lots of amazing music on this disc. I was surprised a little with the vocals on the mellow sections because they reminded me a little of the singer for FRUITCAKE who's singing voice and style has been described as "dry" haha. They both work for me though.This is another concept album, this time they use parts of the body to describe people's personalities. Well except for "Body" which is an intro track describing the concept, "Heart" which is really about life in general, and the instrumental "Spine". And how cool is that to see them thank in the liner notes "...Assaf Vestin, Erik Neukeboom, Bob McBeath & all friends @ Progarchives.com".

"Body" opens with pounding drums and lots of organ as vocals come in. Heavy guitars follow as we get this amazing soundscape. The guitar starts to solo 3 minutes in as drums pound, a synth solo follows. Killer sound 5 1/2 minutes in. "Liver" begins with a light synth solo that is squashed quickly by a heavy dose of drums, bass and guitar. Heavier synths come in playing over top a minute in. The drums sound fantastic. Vocals (FRUITCAKE) 2 1/2 minutes in as it settles. Synths and drums lead the way. A tasteful guitar solo 6 minutes in goes on and on. It's back much more aggressively before 8 minutes. "Brain" is more laid back with drums, piano and other sounds coming and going. Reserved vocals arrive with steady drums and synths leading the way instrumentally. The highlight is the mellow and melancholic guitar solo 2 1/2 minutes in that is OPETH-like. "Tongue" gets back to the heaviness as synths play over top for a brief period. Vocals come in as it settles. Piano joins in and then synths return 3 minutes in. Guitar 5 minutes in as heaviness continues. "Spine" is one of my favourite songs on here. It takes a while to get going but when it does it's quite heavy with some incredible bass. The tempo picks up before 3 minutes. Great sound ! It calms down 4 minutes in. Check out the heavy bass and guitar 5 minutes in. Amazing section.

"Heart" is the darkest track on here. Oh yeah, it's heavy too. I like the atmosphere to open the song. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in as guitar comes in grinding away. Haunting synths 3 1/2 minutes in followed by some nice guitar. "Muscle" is kind of funky early with that bass and drum melody. It gets heavier and background synths come in. Nice. Some muscle is added as heavy guitar comes in. Vocals arrive as it gets funky again. Deep, deep bass before 2 1/2 minutes then the tempo picks up when vocals come back. Those background synths are back 3 minutes in as heaviness continues. Piano followed by a guitar solo. The guitar gets heavy 5 minutes in followed by riffs. "Bone" is the final and longest track at 11 minutes. It opens with some beautiful piano as acoustic guitar and synths are tastefully added. Drums and electric guitar take over, they're in the classy mode as well. Chunky bass before the vocals come in around 2 minutes. There's that melancholic guitar again from "Brain" 3 1/2 minutes in. Piano follows. I like the raw guitar 6 1/2 minutes in. Vocals followed by solo piano 8 minutes in. Strummed guitar joins in and then drums. Some growly bass 9 minutes in followed by a guitar solo 9 1/2 minutes in then some heaviness.

Easily 4 stars and another winner from these Polish princes.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#178706)
Posted Saturday, August 02, 2008 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars

After their highly acclaimed previous effort entitled Three Seats Behind A Triangle (2006) I was very curious or this new Polish progrock band was albe to deliver again such an exciting and dynamic sound on this new album entitled The Body Parts Party (2008).

During my first listening session I noticed that Osada Vida didn't change their sound, in fact it's very much in the vein of Three Seats Behind A Triangle: the atmospheres alternates between Heavy Prog and prog-metal with fat and propulsive guitar riffs, lots of fiery and wah-wah drenched guitar solo, an often thundering rhythm-section and sensational synthesizer flights. But it is the blend of inventive musical ideas into Osada their music that gives their sound an extra dimension, this lifts it high above the average prog metal bands that are too often focussed on scale-acrobatics and high-adrenaline climates. Some good examples: mellow with soaring keyboards and a subtle guitar solo in Brain - Mind On Cloud Nine, use of the distinctive Hammond sound in Spine - In Full Swing, varied keyboards (Fender - and Grand piano and organ) in the dreamy Heart - Back And Forth, a swinging bass, lush keyboards and excellent interplay in Muscle - Strong But Powerless, a compelling build-up with jazzy piano and a spacey climate in Bone - My Name is Bone The Single Bone and a hypnotizing Riverside-like atmosphere in the strong bonustrack Remember Your Name.

Congratulations to Osada Vida, they have succeeded to make another exciting album, two years after Three Seats Behind A Triangle. In my opinion they are able to compete with Riverside as the best Polish progrock band at this moment!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#180492)
Posted Thursday, August 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Nominee for best album of 2008.

I always had a soft spot for bands with modern keyboard work and razor sharp guitars, like OSI, Riverside, Muse or Singularity. But Osada Vida is pushing the writing quality further than those bands. I might even say that Riverside could act as a FM band compared to Osada Vida's newest album! So lots of progressive protein compared to other bands.

With The Body Parts Party, Osada Vida is showing finally a fully mature band, a band that takes it's time to play and lets the music talk for itself with no vocal pyrotechnics or growling. It's a record that has it's soft moments but also knows how to push the throttle just right. Gently balancing between light and shadow, sometimes with mean faces but also with delicate piano melodies reminding me Tori Amos, in her Under the Pink album. Aaah, just perfect. I remarked that they believe strongly in their singer, which had been severely critisized in the past. Okay, it's the same guy, but the gloomy and kinda dirty atmosphere of the album is fitting almost magically with his style.

It's finally clear that 'R6' (cool name, man), the keyboardist, is taking the lead when it comes to decorate the song and giving depth with an astounding palette of sounds and programming. Yummy.

What a great band, that came to maturity at the right time with simply one of the 10 best album of the year.

Perfectly presented in a superb 'anatomic-but-kinda-creepy' way, from the artwork to the music, this album is giving everything to the listener, and showing great endurance from 0-finish. On top, it's 100% growling-free! Don't forget to tell your friends to vote 'Yes' on the next referendum for 'Ban the Growling in Prog'.

Quickly addictive.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#186750)
Posted Thursday, October 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I've been anticipating this album since being highly excited with their previous one. Their music has a special quality to it; tame-sounding yet loose in its structure, free and creative. This album, like its predecessor boasts great catchy rhythms and tunes and wonderful playing. There's definitely an improvement here in terms of sound and production; it seems to be clearer, richer and less vague. Moreover, the vocals seem to have a wider range of emotional expression than in the previous album.

The album presents an interesting concept of a party of the body parts which can symbolize personalities or a typical human behaviour. The opening song, Body, serves as the introduction of the "occasion" and the characters that participate. Already here I notice the shift from the rather dark sound of Three Seats behind A Triangle to this album; it is more straightforward in a way, heavier, more succinct and to the point (though still, the somewhat somber sound is still present). This is not to say that the complexity and intricacies are gone from the music, not at all; it is simply a change in the writing approach. The songs here seem to be more direct and get to the point quicker and are not continuous as it was in the previous album. Also a more bombastic sound is boasted here; more grandiose than their previous effort. However, continuing their style from before, there is big emphasis on creating a distinct mood; listen to the opening of Liver or the entire song Spine where the use of various synths sounds by Rafal backed by Bartek's rhythm guitar propel the pace of these songs, add a magic touch to them and build up a special sounding entourage. This particular style was a major part of their previous release and is even better sounding here due to the efficient and clear production. In fact the keyboards are responsible for a lot of the mood build-up throughout the album and are crucial to the Osada Vida sound. The bass played by Lukasz is very good and noticeable in its use, providing a well crafted basis to lie the melody and rest of the instruments upon. Adam on the drums provides highly energetic and exciting powerful rhythms as can be heard for example in the opening song.

The songs are varied as before, manifesting changing rhythms and showing clever arrangements, changing pace and feeling; thus showing, perhaps, the dynamics of the feelings of the personalities each organ portrays and emphasizing that they aren't stagnant and rigid, but rather, evolving and reacting living matter. I was expecting that each organ would get a very specific melody/theme/tune or a distinct atmosphere or style of playing, but that's not the case, though it doesn't mean there is no "personality" to each song, just not as individual as I thought. While this album is very appealing, I do think it's not as attractive or as compelling as 3 Seats. It is definitely better sounding but not as captivating as the previous album. That being said, it is a well done album, a wonderful heavy-prog/prog-metal experience, filled with lovely intricacies and beautiful melodic strokes. A definite recommendation for fans and newcomers alike.

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#186882)
Posted Saturday, October 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars For their fourth studio album Polish Prog Metal band Osada Vida have made a concept album with the unusual theme of body parts. Each track is named after a part of the body with the exception of the 2 bonus tracks if you happen to own the digi-pak version.

Prog metal they may be but there is much more to Osada Vida's sound than the average prog metal band. Sure there's typical metal style riffing but it is used sparingly and much use is made of keyboards, the band to my ears occupying a similar space to fellow Poles Riverside with a moody and atmospheric sound. The song structures are interesting and quite complex at times, with many changes and the band play well enough. The production is not bad either though marred by a poor snare drum sound which grates a little at times.

Body - The Body Parts Party kicks of proceedings with a powerful riffy intro including a hammond organ (a bit louder please), though overall the keyboards have a more modern sound. The vocals of Lukasz Lisiak are adequate though he doesn't have a great range. Overall a strong opener, with many changes and some interesting chord structures going on.

Liver - Mr Liver's Letter to You (a strange title!) kicks off in similar fashion to Body with powerful metallic riffing before settling into the more restrained verse. It's one of the longest tracks at almost 9 minutes but remains interesting due to some enjoyable instrumental interplay. For me this is where Osada Vida's main strengths lie.

Brain - Mind on Cloud Nine is more restrained with some atmospheric keyboard playing; a nice guitar solo too but ultimately one of less satisfying tracks on the album.

Tongue - A White Lie gets things back on track with another heavy riffing intro which runs into a keyboard dominated verse. Once again time and tempo changes abound with some more inventive chord structures on this almost 8 minute track.

Spine - In Full Swing is an instrumental. Ironically having previously stated that the instrumental interplay is Osada Vida's main strength this track is not one of the best here. Having said that, it's far from bad and has a good guitar solo from Bartek Bereska.

The electric piano intro to Heart - Back and Forth leads us into another of the more restrained tracks, keyboards taking a front seat on this atmospheric piece.

Muscle - Strong But Powerless combines metallic riffing with in places a funky vibe. Some interesting instrumental work though is marred by some lack lustre vocals lacking any semblance of melody.

Bone - My Name is Bone The Single Bone at 11 minutes is the longest track. A piano and acoustic guitar introduction give way to further still restrained and melodic instrumental work very tastefully played. The initial vocal section lacks any real interest but it does lead into more enjoyable instrumental work with a jazzy vibe for a short while. From here the track builds courtesy of some good guitar work from Bereska. A lull for some melodic piano and acoustic guitar leads the band fully back in for a climatic close.

If you want to buy this album it's worth seeking out the digi-pak version for the bonus tracks, especially the 11 minute Remember Your Name which maintains the quality set by the rest of the albums, not coming across as a throwaway track as bonuses often do.

A very good album then from Osada Vida with some strong instrumental work in particular and a band to keep an eye on for the future. 3 ½ stars.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#189981)
Posted Thursday, November 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The last album of Osada Vida from 2008 is in my opinion less convinceing than the previous one. After I listning and been quite impressed about Three seats behind a triangle I said to myself I have to buy thier last one. Well, besides that my CD is in digipak format, great art cover, excellent inner sleeve, the music is not so top notch as on Three seats. Is a little more light, sometimes I have the impression I listen to mellower side of Riverside or some Pain of Salvation here and there. The music as a whole is not bad, not by far, the keys again sounds realy strong and they are without doubt the cherry on the cake here, as I said on prevoius review of Three seats, Rafael Paluszek is a master of keys, delivering some very intristing chops on keys aswell some very strong interplays with the guitar of Bartek Bereska , who also did a great job on this album. Well now the voice is less intristing as it was on previous album, and has some good momets and some realy mediocre like on Liver - Mr Liver's Letter To You. The best piece is for me the opening track called Body - The Body Parts Party , the rest are ok. This is a concept album about the parts of the human body like liver, brain, heart, etc but also about the most essential elements of the human body, if I can call them like that , muscles and bones. So, not an usual concept, I never saw a concept or something related in prog music till this abum. All in all not so strong as the Three seats behind the triangle, witch I find it the best they ever done so far, this album The body parts party is nevertheless a good album but less convincieng and intristing, so I will give 3 stars or more like 3.5.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#192549)
Posted Wednesday, December 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
2 stars This 2008 release was the fourth album by Polish act Osada Vida, but is viewed by many as their second as the first two were locally released affairs that weren't heard internationally. What we have here is a prog act that often moves into much heavier and darker waters, but although it could be called 'prog metal' it is a long way from the class and diversity of bands such as Dream Theater or Threshold. There are times when the album is quite laboured and also the sound is often muddied and not nearly as clear as it should be. For a band that had been releasing music for eight years at this point, I was somewhat surprised as it sounded much more like the outpouring of a band that had yet to find their feet and were throwing lots of different things into the mix in the hope that it would somehow come to fruition.

There are definitely some interesting ideas and constructs, but they somehow fail to be pulled together in a way to make them appealing. The end result is the idea that this is a work in progress and that the band had yet to decide what they really wanted to do and how they were going to achieve it. www.osadavida.art.pl

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#953494)
Posted Friday, May 03, 2013 | Review Permalink

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