Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Office of Strategic Influence
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
Full title - Office of Strategic Intelligence. 2003 album from Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy & Kevin Moore. Guests include members of Fates Warning (Jim Matheos), Cynic (Sean Malone), Chroma Key, Gordian Knot & Porcupine ... more »
Full title - Office of Strategic Intelligence. 2003 album from Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy & Kevin Moore. Guests include members of Fates Warning (Jim Matheos), Cynic (Sean Malone), Chroma Key, Gordian Knot & Porcupine Tree. Includes limited edition bonus CD featuring 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun', 'New Mama', 'The Thing That Never Was' & Video Documentary. Deluxe digibook. SPV.
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Brilliance far beyond "progmetal".
The Wickerman | Austin, TX | 11/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I reviewed this album way back when it came out, but I definitely need to review it again. Over the years, my appreciation for this band has increased by leaps and bounds. As I began to tire of the same old "progmetal" formula, this different take on the genre by this allstar lineup has become more and more of what I want out of this kind of music. OSI is just a listening experience like no other.
Of course, everyone knows that Kevin Moore is a melodic master. His past contributions to Dream Theater and Fates Warning have brought him a great deal of well-deserved praise. However, here he's able to bring more creativity to the table than ever before. Taking a little bit of progmetal familiarity, and adding to the mix a little bit of brit-pop, psychedelic rock, and even electronic music, this is a wonderfully creative and diverse album.
But of course, Kevin doesn't deserve all of the credit, as the rest of the band is top-notch as well. Mike Portnoy's drumming here is, in my opinion, the best I've ever heard from him bar none. Here, he brings a sense of subtlety and diversity to his playing that was sorely lacking before. Not nearly as many explosive jaw-dropping tom fills, but there's room for that as well. Jim Matheos brings his trademark blend of crunchy riffs and scintillating acoustics to the fold, and bassmaster Sean Malone lays down some wicked grooves. Admittedly, if I have to complain about something, this album doesn't really show the full extent of Malone's awesomeness, but his playing is still solid for sure. To really appreciate him though, you need to check out Cynic, Aghora, and Gordian Knot (and notice I said "and", not "or").
I didn't really care for Kevin's vocals when I got this album, but they really grew on me a lot. His deadpan delivery may seem a bit dry at first, but it definitely fits the overall feel of the album, and it's a nice alternative to the usual high-voiced progmetal style.
The album eases you in with the riff-heavy duo of "The New Math" and "OSI", and then quickly shifts gears with the haunting "When You're Ready", the vaguely Crimsonian instrumental "Horseshoes and B-52's", and the mid-eastern flavored "Head". Even deeper, you have the super-epic "ShutDOWN", with its monstrous buildup and sweet guest vocals from Steven Wilson, and perhaps my favorite, "Memory Daydreams Lapses", with its heavily electronic-inspired keyboards and Kevin's haunting monotone vocals. The album ends perfectly with the concise "Standby (Looks Like Rain)", with more than a little bit of a Pink Floyd vibe (and that's never a bad thing).
And speaking of Pink Floyd, if you get the bonus disc, there's an amazing cover of "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" that's just wonferfully creepy (really cool percussion as well). There's also "The Thing That Never Was", which takes various themes from the album, and condenses them into a 17-minute instrumental. Despite that, it doesn't really feel like it was just pieced together, and has a perfect sense of cohesion and flow. It's sort of like what LTE might have sounded like with Kevin Moore instead of Jordan Rudess.
All in all, this is a really great project, and although it might not appeal to many progmetal fans, I think there's a lot to love. The follow-up release, "Free", is great as well. Sadly enough, I still haven't bought any Chroma Key yet, but I really really REALLY need to. In the meantime, I recommend you pick up some OSI. You probably won't regret it.
(Now we just need them to re-record "Space Dye Vest" with Kevin on vocals. Oh, how sweet that would be...)"
IRate | 04/06/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
A prog-rock supergroup in the least obvious sense, O.S.I. was another one of the Dream Theater off-ramps, this time into slightly harder territory with some electronic flourishes which unfortunately all too often reek of second rate Toolisms instead of finding much new to explore."