O.S.I. - Office Of Strategic Influence (Limited Edition)
Year of Release: 2003
Catalog Number: 6 93723 00232 3
Total Time: 76:05:00
A few years ago, Mike Portnoy wanted Jim Matheos to play with Transatlantic. Jim couldn't, so Dream Theater's drummer chose Roine Stolt.
With this new project, OSI, finally Matheos and Portnoy play together. By their side is Dream Theater's ex-keyboardist Kevin Moore and, as guest, Sean Malone (Gordian Knot) on the bass. At the beginning Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation) was also going to be part of the project as vocalist and co-writer. But over time, Matheos and Moore decided this project had to change direction. In fact, this disc's style is very particular and has an original approach to progressive metal.
When the first track started, I thought that this will be another classic prog-metal album. It isn't so. It has been a greatly influenced by Kevin Moore, who wrote almost all the pieces with Matheos. Moore shows all of his abilities in this work, also using a lot of programming and samples. He also is the singer on Office Of Strategic Influence. I have to admit his voice isn't great, but it's perfect for this music.
This music is heavy, but it is oriented, for the most part, toward psychedelic music. An example of what I just said is the song where Porcupine Tree's leader, Steven Wilson, appears. Wilson sings on and wrote the words for "shutDOWN."
However, as there is lot of programming, the album is full of electronic sounds. But, according to me, the best part of OSI is the solid rhythm section, represented by two of the best players of the genre: Sean Malone and Mike Portnoy, the latter of whom is the "real show" on some tracks; also a credit to the album are Matheos' riffs, which sometimes become loops. So now I understand why they declare this disc will appeal to fans of Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Vanden Plas or Symphony X and so on. In fact, there are many elements of all these groups, but with an original approach.
A special mention goes to "Dirt From A Holy Place," a Matheos' creature that starts with his electric guitar leads, then appear the hallucinating keyboards of Moore and a great Malone bass line. This all concludes when the players perform in unison.
Now I think I have to speak of the bonus disc. First of all, I suggest you buy this version because the price difference is minimal. Then there are some cover songs: the first one is a Pink Floyd piece ("Set Your Controls To The Heart Of The Sun") played in a more electronic way; the second is by Neil Young ("New Mama"), and afterwards appears "The Thing That Never Was," performed only by Portnoy and Matheos, which is the original "Looks Like Rain" demo. Then you can see the multimedia tracks on your PC: "Horseshoes And B-52s" videoclip (disc one) and the making of the album (disc two). Enjoy it!
Released in North America by InsideOut Music America (Regular edtion: IOMACD 2049-2)
Disc One: The New Math (What He Said) (3:36) / OSI (3:48) / When You're Ready (4:09) / Horseshoes And B-52s (4:18) / Head (5:17) / Hello, Helicopter! (3:44) / ShutDOWN (10:35) / Dirt From A Holy Place (5:10) / Memory Daydreams Lapses 5:56) / Standby (Looks Like Rain) (2:09) / Videoclip: Horseshoes And B-52s
Disc Two: Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (8:49) / New Mama (2:22) / The Thing That Never Was (17:21) / plus: video documentary
Jim Matheos - guitars, keyboards, programming
Kevin Moore - vocals, keyboards, programming
Mike Portnoy - drums
Sean Malone - bass, stick
Steven Wilson - vocals (7)
Office Of Strategic Influence (2003)
Genre: Progressive Rock
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