Well the PR sheet tries to chuck the kitchen sink at this when describing it, but with people who have played with Angel Witch and Electric Wizard you would be forgiven for expecting some groovy seventies/eighties downtuned riffage, yeah? Ah… Nah. Though the seventies/eighties thing is about right. Just think King Crimson and a bit of early Genesis in shorter bursts with a slight case of the John Carpenter’s and a twinge of Hammer. Yes this is prog rock -lite (i.e. they keep things the right side of ten minute tracks) and with a very definite cinematic quality to the songs.
Smooth is the first word that came to mind with opening song ‘That’s Not Like You’ ; despite the nicely jerky rhythm and the highly expressive vocals, both the keyboards with their eighties filmic quality and the curiously charming charisma which oozes from the notes lend a calming hands; a celluloid film over the music if you will. ‘Seize Decay’ also highlights the vocals; drifting between the kind of narrator that Katatonia used on Viva Emptiness to the whimsical English style inflections that typified Genesis at their Gabriel period worst. It’s an odd direction of travel for me and not an entirely successful one.
By the time you pass through ‘Solid Glass’, ‘Mystery Sells’ and ‘The Bells’ to the title track with its eerie trilling violin lines it’s clear that the album is constructed as a whole, sharing a theme and a world even if I am a little more vague as to whether there is a singular narrative concept. There is also a similarly of pace between the songs and that odd balance in the vocals, which tends to produce an unwanted feeling of mild irritation in me. Mild though because the whole album has such a pleasant and genteel nature that it is impossible to grow actually annoyed with anything that The Osiris Club do. ‘Mystery Sells’ for example being heavily vocalised also begins to step close to the long shadows of and in time to such wonders as Alan Moore’s spoken word set to music performance ‘The Highbury Working’. When they concentrate on the instrumental the effect is even better; closing song ‘Miles And Miles Away’ is like a contemplative melding of King Crimson and Hawkwind, a still through a place that should be dark and frightening but in reality is more mysterious and other worldly.
In fact by the time you get to know this album it begins to mould itself around you like a comfortable worn armchair in a darkened library deep at the heart of some town house. Occasionally the foggy streets outside intrude but mostly it is just you, the ticking of the clock, the curling of your pipe smoke and the closeness of the otherworldly. Part Cinematic score, part prog drink, part eccentric urban wizard this really should be snapped up and devoured by progheads and the modern eccentric. Whimsical, playful and impossible to dislike for those particularly with a quiet progressive nature of just a gentle soul which still occasionally dances with the old fashioned macabre. Still growing on me, too.