I am a DT fan and this came to my attention. K. Moore + Portnoy + Fates Warning guitarist, I thought this was worth a try. I have to say I am not crazy about it, actually I have not managed to listen to the whole CD yet because I get discouraged after about half of it and have only sampled the rest. Some good parts, but too much "impro-style" for my liking. If this is "prog-music" (although I am wary of labels) then I leave it to others. All the players display the usual virtuosity, but like the Liquid Tension Experiment stuff, this is far from Dream Theater. Great production and very nice package with booklet and bonus CD.
Now I love Dream Theater! And I love Fates Warning! And I kinda like Chroma Key too! So when Mike Portnoy, Jim Matheos and Kevin Moore banded together to form OSI and release their debut album 'Office of Strategic Influence', I knew it was an album I had to have!
OSI blends all the elements of each individuals respective bands perfectly. Jim Matheos' unique guitar riffs are as impressive as always, especially when backed by the insane drum skills of Mike Portnoy. And Kevin Moore's eerie keyboards add so much depth and ambience to the album, and whilst his vocals do, at times, seem to drone on, they do suit the music very well. It's a very experimental, at times electronic-sounding take on progressive metal, and it works well!
Highlights include 'The New Math (What He Said)', 'When You're Ready', 'Hello, Helicopter' and the haunting 'Shutdown'. It's evident in the songwriting that these guys all know each other well and have a great chemistry when it comes to working together.
But that's not all! If you own the special edition version which comes with a bonus disc, you're in for a treat! While bonus discs are usually nothing more than excuses to release various different versions of an album at higher prices, this one really is worth the price. 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' and 'New Mama' are both nice little ambient pieces, but the real gem is 'The Thing that Never Was', a 17-minute instrumental track that comprises of all the best parts of the album. Doesn't sound like much, but it's actually a pretty decent little extra.
Overall this is a great album for fans who like their progressive metal to be a little more experimental, and if you're a fan of any of the individual members or their respective bands, you will not be disappointed.
In a music genre overcrowded with collaborations , guest appearances and 'supergroups', it's pleasing to report that OSI have come up with something interesting and valid ,although not as groundbreaking as had been hoped. If you are a fan of Dream Theater circa 'Awake', then this is certainly for you ; some frenetic riffing , a virtouso keyboard performance and quite melancolic lyrics demonstrate what a loss Kevin Moore was to that band.Mix in his love of voice samples and tape loops and OSI takes on a more experimental direction often remeniscant of Nine Inch Nails. Outstanding tracks are the Eastern sounding 'Head' very much in the vein of the Tea Party , the opening 'The New Math' and 'Memory Daydreams Lapses'.Mike Portnoy's drumming is outstanding throughout - doesn't the guy ever take a break - though his lack of song writing credits suggests he is giving OSI more of a profile than actual direction.This is most definately Moore's baby although Jim Matheos' contribution can't be underestimated- witness his two outstanding instrumental tracks and some stunning guitar work. The fly in the ointment (and loss of one star) is the centre piece of the album, 'Shutdown' - co-written and sung by Steven Wilson - it merely plunders a plodding Sabbath riff and sounds like a reworking of Russia On Ice from Porcupine Tree's Lightbulb Sun ,it spoils the feel and sound of the album , and is completely out of place. Excellent packaging from InsideOut -why can't all labels spoil us like this? - and the bonus disc is a real treat, particularly their take on the Floyd's 'Set the controls for the heart of the sun'.It captures the originals' sense of menace and forboding but with a much heavier and darker sound ; in fact it captures the feel and direction of the album proper.
I have wanted this album since I first heard of the band last year. I was interested in what Jim Matheos would bring to a band featuring two-fifths of the essential Dream Theater line up. Well, now I know. On listening to OSI, I find it hard to even begin to imagine how Jim Matheos' writing style would have married with Neal Morse's if he had joined Transatlantic as was Mike Portnoy's original vision, as this sounds NOTHING like Transatlantic. To be fair this sounds nothing like Dream Theater either, this is very much a valid and original project of it's own and as such should be judged on it's own merits. Some of this album is very avant garde and full of electronica. At times you could almost believe that you might be listening to a heavy Richard Wright (Pink Floyd Keyboardist) particularly as Kevin Moore's vocals are very reminiscent of his vocal style. The album is at times difficult listening, but at the same time it becomes more rewarding the more you listen to it. The bonus CD contains a stunning version of Pink Floyd's Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun. All in all this is an interesting listen but please come to it with an open mind as Dream Theater or Transatlantic II this is most definitely not!!!.
whoa!! This album is one of the greatest prog/electronic albums ever! Actually you can figure that out just by knowing that Mike Portnoy, Jim Matheos, and Kevin Moore play. In that album you will hear traits of Theater drumm playing as well as Fatez Warning riffing. There are changes between heavy riffs and very melodic stuff. Moore uses a lot the new technology and there are samples and programming. I can say that OSI is like a heavier and more progressive Chroma Key. A must have for all prog fans!!