by Aaron Gidney
New addition to the Bad Elephant Music fold, The Osiris Club have graced us with a live release from their 2015 appearance at the Roadburn Festival.
For those uninitiated to the world of The Osiris Club, they’ve been around since 2013 and are best described as “the best parts of 1970s progressive, 1980s post-punk and 1990s extreme rock, to create their fresh, new sound, radical and uncompromising yet still melodic and accessible.” The band are renowned for performing robed and masked a la horror/ABBA enthusiasts, Ghost – fitting in with the darker Metal associations of the Roadburn Festival held annually in the unofficial European Prog Rock home of Tilburg.
This live affair begins with the ominous Sabbathian, feedback drenched intro of Miles and Miles Away/Seize Decay before transitioning into a prototypical doom swing. The vocals of Sean Cooper are bathed in reverb, giving the overall feel a distinct ’70’s vibe and never overpowers the music and maintains the horror/doom sensibilities the band are known for. The Memotron makes an early appearance, adding those ’70’s Prog Mellotron hallmarks, although most definitely not erring into Strawberry Fields territority – the despair is abound!
There’s some cool odd-time signatures in That’s Not Like You and the focus on the melodic vocals are eerie in that they feel straight out of the proto-metal playbook of Blue Oyster Cult and Black Sabbath but still fit into modern Doom Metal but maintaining an almost un-Metal knack for melody.
Much must be said of founder, Andrew Prestidge’s drum work on Mystery Sells, where the Doom Metal and psychedelic swing is so reminiscent of Bill Ward it feels like he should have replaced him in Sabbath on that final tour a few years ago. There’s a vintage feel to the drumming throughout this release which makes a welcome change to the often-quantized and over produced drumming on most modern Metal releases. There’s a natural ebb and flow the rhythmic patterns, which allows the music to breathe, creating a sonic canvas that is both solid and loose for the rest of the band. Chris Fullard’s subtle use of the Memotron is also a noteworthy addition, elevating the songs into horror B-Movie territory without becoming too kitschy. Little and often is usually most impactful and similar to how it was used in Doom Metal overlords, Cathedral (RIP).
There’s loads of sinister first to minor second chord intervals throughout Undoing Wrong which emphasises the dark horror bleakness much like the much-famed Devil’s tritone used on so many Doom tracks (think Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath). One of the many benefits of having two guitarists in a band is that they can be panned left and right on your speakers, so it feels closer to a live performance and gives the music an almost widescreen feel, and this is used to great effect on this track.
Penultimate live track, Blazing World makes great use of open droning strings much like Mastodon do, giving many of the riffs an appropriate amount of dissonance without sounding too avant garde. The Bells closes the live affair with an initial sense of urgency before falling back into a doom-laden hypnotic jam echoing the end of Cathedral’s classic Carnival Bizarre title track, slowing down to an eventual halt to finish the proceedings of this live ritual.
Amongst the bleakness, there’s plenty of melody to shout about and the live mix emphasises this and ensures it’s as equally important as their foreboding image on stage.
The final two songs are studio tracks, and covers of Leaf Scrapings by Cardiac Arrest and Meat by Random Hold. Leaf Scrapings is a short instrumental guitar ditty in Lydian Mode – presumably in tribute to the recently deceased Cardiacs leader, Tim Smith and is a nice fitting tribute to the legend.
For fans of Ghost, Pallbearer, Mercyful Fate, Black Sabbath, Candlemass and Cathedral.
- Intro – Miles and Miles Away**, Seize Decay
- That’s Not Like You
- Mystery Sells*
- Solid Glass
- Undoing Wrong
- Blazing World*
- The Bells
- Leaf Scrapings+
Sean Cooper: vocals & gong
Chris Fullard: guitar and Memotron
Raf Reutt: guitar
Darren Bunting: bass
Hanna Pettersson: saxophone
Andrew Prestidge: drums & gong
Matt Thompson: Korg 700 & Dave Smith Mopho x4
Tracks 8 & 9
Sean Cooper: bass, Mellotron, Logan Strings Chris Fullard: guitar
Andrew Prestidge: drums, Korg 700
Roland Scriver: guitar