on 25 February 2010
You may think it slightly unfair of me to review a band that I have heard very little of. I'm sure those OSI fans out there won't share my comments on this, the band's 2009 album.
Having got into the International Prog Rock Show, I was in the mood to obtain some of the stuff which most people won't have heard of. Blood appeared in both the reviewers Top 20 for the year and having already listened to Porcupine Tree - The Incident, IQ - Frequency and Transatlantic's latest epic The Whirlwind, all registering pretty high on the scale, I was sure to find something in there.
Blood promised a lot. The ex-Dream Theatre keyboardist Kevin Moore and Jim Matheos, guitarist for Fates Warning, were joined by Gavin Harrison - drummer for Porcupine Tree.
Mikael Akerfeldt, singer for legendary prog/death metal band Opeth sings on one of the tracks "Stockholm"
In my opinion, the album sits fairly in the middle of the prog metal camp but doesn't really deliver on most aspects. The vocals, fairly droll in comparison to those of Mikael's, accompany fairly lifeless instrumentation. The commerciality of False Start and The Escape Artist, to name a couple, help pickup the album, but even I struggle to see how this reached No. 3 of Top 20 albums for 2009, even though this is again, one person's opinion.
Where I have to congratulate OSI, is on the selection of Gavin Harrison for drummer. His timing and overall prowess make this album worth a listen at least. His interpretation of the music gives a bit of get up and go.
I'm sure OSI have released better material. Hearing "Go" from their 2006 album, Free, I can hear some beautiful harmonies and some wonderful keyboard work, but Blood never comes close to this.
A purchase for those OSI fans only - those who came across this album by chance would do better looking at Riverside's latest offering for something different.