Friday, November 6, 2009

New Album: OSI - Blood

Just finished listening to the new OSI album, Blood, and I am disappointed. After so many months of nothing but really good music (with the odd stinker thrown in occasionally) it feels odd to get so many lackluster albums in a short time (Wolfmother, Austrian Death Machine, and Transatlantic).
OSI (standing for Office of Strategic Influence, so says their debut album) is a progressive metal band sporting two main members; Kevin Moore, originally from Dream Theater, and Jim Matheos, from Fates Warning, which has released three full-length albums and one remix EP. Along with Moore and Matheos there is a hefty collection of guest drummers, guitarists, and vocalists coming from a varied collection of bands ranging from another Dream Theater alumni, Mike Portnoy (which is how I found OSI to begin with), members of Porcupine Tree, Opeth, No-Man, and many others. An eclectic group and a great lest of great performers.

Before listening to Blood, I had only heard their debut album, Office of Strategic Influence, just noticing now that I don't have (yet) their secondary release, Free, and I enjoyed what I heard. It was no Dream Theater, but it was a good effort by a new progressive metal band. I was expecting something close to the same with Blood, but I was mistaken.
The first song, "The Escape Artist," is the only song I really enjoyed off the album, and if led me to false hopes. After that song the album took a sudden turn, it seemed to slip away from progressive metal and move head-long into industrial. Indeed, most of the songs after the first track had odd vocal recording spliced in, with little in the way of music. It seemed to be more of a drone-style with industrial themes. Very odd indeed.

Overall, I would recommend not getting this album. Normally I try to define who would like an album at the end of my review, but honestly I can't. If you like OSI, you won't (unless the album Free is like this too and I'm just missing out), if you like progressive music you might, but I doubt it, and if you like industrial, you won't because this is bad industrial. I guess only die-hard fans would value this album highly.

Track Listing
1. The Escape Artist
2. Terminal
3. False Start
4. We Come Undone
5. Radiologue
6. Be The Hero
7. Microburst Alert
8. Stockholm
9. Blood

*Bold denotes my pick

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