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OSI - Free CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.39 | 198 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Free is the second album from OSI, the project of ex-Dream Theater keyboard wizard Kevin Moore, Jim Matheos of Fates Warning and Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy. This, however, is not the balls out technical wizardry that you might expect from such a line up, in fact it is a rather melodic and mellow album.

Character is definitely the biggest problem here, there is just a chronic lack of any, and though this is a short album by modern standards (48 minutes) I found myself wondering when it was going to end, in short its largely dull. Listening to this album you find it very difficult to judge were one song ends and another begins, everything just blends together as most of the songs contain very little change in their feeling. As the song Go fade's through All Gone Now and the album continues to move you don't realize the track has changed until you reach Better (witch as an apt description of it compared to the previous songs), some four songs latter. Unfortunately this up turn doesn't hold and the following two songs revert to the same drone as before. This album does finish on a higher note though with Our Town, witch has a surprising country feel to it.

The individual performances are also a bit hit-and-miss here as well. Jim Matheos guitar work dominates on this album and what we get is slightly lack lustre, there's only a minimal sense of dynamic coming from his riffs, though Our Town is much more memorable. Portnoy's drum's are massively subdued here and tend to get lost behind the guitar riffs, something I was surprised at considering Mike's playing for Dream Theater and other side-projects he's worked on. Kevin Moore offers up some redeeming qualities in his occasionally interesting keyboard lines but unfortunately I find his voice to be droning and very dull, though it appears to fit the music. Joey Vera, also of Fates Warning, gives some very nice bass lines, most notably on the opening track, Sure You Will, however as he only performs on about half of the songs his contribution wasn't enough to bring the rating of the album up.

Overall this is a rather dull album that totally lacks any major dynamic, and I would even question just how prog it is, because to these ears its rather straight forward rock/metal. I'll give it two stars as the opening two tracks plus the closer, Our Town, are half decent songs but the rest I could do without.

sleeper | 2/5 |


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