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   OSI
Office Of Strategic Influence
2003
Inside Out
www.osiband.com


rating: 4/5

1. The New Math (What He Said)
2. OSI
3. When You're Ready
4. Horseshoes And B-52's
5. Head
6. Hello, Helicopter!
7. ShutDOWN
8. Dirt From A Holy Place
9. Memory Daydreams Lapses
10. Standby (Looks Like Rain)
OSI is a prog super group that consists of Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, guitar, keyboards), Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, vocals, keyboards), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, drums) and session members Sean Malone (Gordian Knot, bass) and Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, vocals). In the early days of OSI also Daniel Gildenlöw of Pain of Salvation was supposed to take part in this project and... well, given his talent one can only wonder what the final result would have been like with him contributing to the songwriting. Anyway, back to the main issue: what does one expect when the list of members is as magnificent as it is? Sheer progressive perfection, I'd say. And what do I hear when I put the cd in to the player? Yes, both perfection and progressive in their own way, but do not expect the fast instrument wizardry that most prog bands are known for. Don't get me wrong though, the level of musicianship is still well presented.

The song writing duties on this one have been handled by Matheos and Moore. The final result is quite versatile and complex as the styles vary from dark atmospheric pop to some almost ambient spheres and goes from some psychedelic passages naturally to progressive rock and occasionally also progressive metal, but the "metal" parts are very few. The atmosphere is at the same time both mellow and relaxing but also haunting and oppressive. Moore's keyboards have a strong role on the album and his vocals, even if it may sound like his singing lacks some passion in his kind of unassuming style, suit the music quite well actually. The pace is slow overall with some occasional exceptions and the acoustic guitar parts combined with electronic, close to psychedelic synth sounds create a dream-like feeling. The album was produced by Moore and Matheos themselves and the result of their work is flawless.

I must admit that at first I was kind of disappointed with the album because for some reason I expected a prog metal album. After giving the disc a few more spins I'm starting to like it more and more even if this isn't quite the style I usually enjoy listening to. Also, they do have their main bands to satisfy their more "metal" needs with, so this is actually quite a refreshing album considering the expectations. Fans of newer Fates Warning, Chroma Key, Pink Floyd and progressive music in general should definitely check this out.

submitted by Aleksi 01.04.2003

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