London based experimental psych/prog outfit The Osiris Club is a name The Sleeping Shaman readers may be familiar with, especially if they have read Martin Williams‘ excellent review of their third album The Green Chapel from last August. If you haven’t then I urge you to do so as soon as humanly possible.
The first seven tracks, taken from their Blazing World debut, is the live set recorded at Roadburn Festival in 2015 featuring the line-up from their 2013-2015 incarnation consisting of Andrew Prestidge, Sean Cooper, Chris Fullard, Raf Reutt, Darren Bunting, Matt Thompson, Simon Oakes, and Hanna Pettersson. The two remaining tracks, Leaf Scrapings, which dates back to 2020, and Meat, which was recorded during the sessions for the band’s The Green Chapel album, feature the current line-up, minus a few of the aforementioned, but include Roland Scriver.
The Synths on Intro – Miles and Miles Away – Seize Decay recall Faith No More and it’s easy to forget how darn progressive that band could be ala The Real Thing and Zombie Eaters. Add in some space metal of the late 80s/early 90s period Voivod and you have all the makings of a very special track indeed. Speaking of Voivod That’s Not Like You doesn’t sound like it would be entirely out of place on the Angel Rat album, there are also hints of latter period Opeth as well as King Crimson Larks’ Tongue In Aspic era too. With influences like these, you really can’t go wrong. Solid Glass is, for the most part, a fairly conventional sounding track with some added glacial post-punk/goth-rock vibes. There is definitely a darker presence that was missing on the preceding numbers, which made me sit up and take notice.
The track’s mammoth sound is ideal for live settings, which, when combined with the band’s somewhat eccentric visual presentation… I’m sure makes for a terrific spectacle…
Undoing Wrong contains some of the bombast that you would have gotten from the likes of Rush, Genesis, and their ilk at their prime (the drumming does seem to tip its hat to a pre-solo Phil Collins), I’m also reminded of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia. The track’s mammoth sound is ideal for live settings, which, when combined with the band’s somewhat eccentric visual presentation (in the grand tradition of The Residents and Mr Bungle), I’m sure makes for a terrific spectacle. It’s proof that a band can dress up and make songs with substance unlike the likes of Ghost, Kiss et al. Blazing World starts off awash with synths before grungier tinged moments take over, I can only describe it as a proggier Alice In Chains while The Bells, by comparison, takes you down more of a space-rock and krautrock route.
The album ends with a couple of covers, the first being Leaf Scrapings by the Cardiacs, originally released on The Obvious Identity demo under the Cardiac Arrest name. It can be described as 80s era King Crimson, when their traditional sound was being given more of a, then modern, 80s sheen. Finally, there is a cover of Meat by Random Hold, a rather fantastic yet sadly short-lived new wave/art-rock outfit whose members would go on to collaborate with the likes of Peter Gabriel and XTC. A surprisingly aggressive track with which to end the album but one which feels strangely appropriate.
Not being technically inclined I couldn’t tell you whether this live record is up to par production wise, however, as someone who is new to The Osiris Club, it certainly serves as an ideal introduction. Like Martin, I’m not a regular listener, follower, or even a particularly big fan of prog, bar some notable exceptions, and this record happens to be one of them.
Scribed by: Reza Mills