Reviewed by Mahmood Al-Yousif
|Sea of Tranquiality
Osiris: Beyond Control Live
Not many people would think that a prog rock scene would exist in the country of Bahrain, but thanks to the band Osiris one is certainly in the record books. Osiris recorded three albums in the early 80's (later to be re-released on Musea) before taking a bit of a break. In 1991 the band got back together, and the result is this fine live document, finally being released today, once again by the good folks at Musea.
If you are not familiar with Osiris (and there's a good chance that you are not), the band plays a very melodic and lyrical style, much like Camel or mid period Genesis, that features the passionate guitar work of Mohamed Alsadeqi, lush keyboards from two players, and strong vocals from Sabah Alsadeqi. Of the CD's eight tracks, half are previously unreleased, while the others are taken from the three studio albums. Here, in a live format, the songs have more energy, and definitely have taken on a more symphonic style. The wonderful "Medley from "Tales of the Divers" is a ten-minute piece that crafts catchy guitar licks and various synths, while the track "Fantasy" seems like a homage to Camel, and features Mohamed Alsadeqi's lyrical guitar playing, much in the style of Andrew Latimer. A few of the bands stronger tracks from their studio albums make an appearance, such as "Reflections" and "Lost and Found", and both are spirited and polished live versions that breathe new energy into the original vision that might have been intended for them.
According to the liner notes, Osiris has two new recordings in the works, both to be concept albums. This should be a real treat for progressive rock lovers, as judging by this live recording, this is a band that has grown leaps and bounds, and is ready to make the jump into more recognized prog waters.
Added: June 21st 2002
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Musea Production & Distribution
|Uzbekistan Prograssive Rock Page
Prologue. Osiris is probably the only progressive band that came out from an Arabic land. I haven't listened to their music before. However, I've heard of Osiris more than once. Having released three studio albums, apart from this one, the band broke up in 1992 and was active only six years later. Musea Records should release two new studio albums by the band within a year or so.
The Album. Frankly, I didn't expect to hear such a high quality, original, and in many ways, unique Classic Progressive from an Arabian band. (It doesn't much matter that this concert was taped to an ordinary two-track stereo tape recorder. By the way, the sound of this CD is by no means awful.) I read that Osiris play Camel-influenced Neo Art-Rock, which, in fact, doesn't meet the reality. I haven't found any influences in their music. Classic Symphonic Art-Rock during the first half of the 1970s inspires Osiris...........................
Summary. With regard to both of the compositional and performing skills, Osiris is undoubtedly one of the best contemporary bands in the camp of Symphonic Progressive. However, this band has also the trump of originality (which is the main trump of any true artist of any genre) in its sleeve. It is also must be said that Osiris are not only the excellent composers and arrangers, but also very virtuosi musicians. Yes, the combination of words "Bahrain" and (a high quality) "Progressive" sounds almost like a miracle. Don't worry: this is not a mirage, though. And don't forget that the studio Osiris albums were also released by the Museum of Muse (or the Muse of Museum, if you will.)
VM. May 6, 2002
Album Description (Reflections 1989)
Believe it or not, this progressive Rock band comes from Bahrain. Their music is very melodic and influenced by Camel or Genesis.
Sympho-prog from Bahrain, June 2, 2002
Reviewer: A music fan from Eastern Europe
Unbelievable, but Osiris is a symphonic progressive rock band from Bahrain (a little Arabic country in Persian Gulf). A must for all the fans of sympho-prog.
Editorial Reviews, July 5, 1999
Album Description (Reflections 1989)
The reissue of the first album from this Arab group. They play a refined, carefully worked-out Progressive rock with delicate and tasteful melodies. Their music remind the best Anglo-Saxon bands like CAMEL, GENESIS, CARAVAN and they like the combination between the numerous instruments : guitar, two keyboards, flute, vibes, percussion. So, their music is based upon the variety of the instrumental colors, the beauty of the climates and a great research of breaks, well-constructed arrangements. Progressive rock is a music without frontiers, everybody knows that. Bat who could imagine finding such music in the BAHRAIN Emirate on the Red sea! That is where OSIRIS is coming from and Musea has been undertaking to reissue its works. Its soft Progressive music is sung in English and includes a few eastern influences. The main sources appear to be CAMEL and GENESIS for this nice surprise.
Customer Reviews (Osiris 1)
Insane In Bahrain, October 27, 2001
Reviewer: A music fan from NYC
The tendency of Western rock bands to dabble in Eastern musical forms has become fairly commonplace and almost a cliche by now, from dilettantism ("Kashmir", "Perfect Strangers") to outright disciple hood (Ozric Tentacles, In The Labyrinth). If you've ever wondered what that formula would sound like reversed, Osiris provides one answer. An accomplished sextet hailing from the emirate of Bahrain, they play an infectious, keyboard-heavy 70s-style progressive blending elements of Camel, Yes and any number of classic Vertigo 'swirl' acts like Cressida and Gracious. (As a matter of fact, on first listen you'd swear these guys were Englishmen!) Vocalist Isa Janahi's pipes are competent but a trifle thin....the liner notes state he possessed great stage presence but there's no oomph to his delivery here, though he's not a disaster area. The real strength of Osiris is instrumental and the way they glide from full-on heaviness to delicate melodies....the compositions aren't what I'd call overly complex, but the band plays with great assurance and conviction. Guitarist Mohammed Al-Sadeqi and keyboardists Sami Al-Jamea and Abdul Razak Arian take turns sitting on top of the mix, pushing the seven tracks (and one demo bonus) with real propulsive force. The first track, "Fantasy", sets the stage perfectly with plenty of tasty Moogwork alternating with Al-Sadeqi's stinging but never overbearing lead guitar. The rest of the CD delivers more of the same retrodelic enjoyment, smooth but not slick, with the highlight perhaps the storming instrumental "Atmun". Yet another winner from Musea. Osiris, who recorded this in 1982, have a pair of follow-up albums as well, though how easy they are to find is another question
Album Description (Beyond the Control)
The Arab band OSIRIS plays a refined, carefully worked-out Progressive rock with delicate and tasteful melodies. Its music remind the best Anglo-Saxon bands like CAMEL, GENESIS, CARAVAN and the musicians like the combination between the numerous instruments: guitar, two keyboards, flute, vibes & percussions. So, their music is based upon the variety of the instrumental colors, the beauty of the climates and a great research of breaks, well-constructed arrangements. Progressive rock is a music without frontiers, everybody knows that. But who could imagine finding such music in the Bahrain Emirate on the Red Sea. That is where OSIRIS is coming from and Musea has been undertaking to reissue its works. Its soft Progressive rock music is sung in English and includes a few eastern influences. The main sources appear to be CAMEL and GENESIS for this nice surprise. "Beyond Control - Live" was recorded in 1991. The band refused any overdubs and re-working on the recording, to be more true to their music and honest to their audience: this is what happened on stage. These eight pieces combine excerpts from their first three albums together with four unreleased tracks. This surprising music is worthy of admiration, like the best Progressive rock ones.
|Music Box No 1 (1999) Russia
Osiris "Osiris 1" -1997
I think if they ask you what kind of group you know from the East who play progressive rock music, you are going to be quite? So far my self on the same question I could not provide I sensible answer. But now I can say with pride there is such a band so please meet the Band Osiris from Bahrain Island State, which is located between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The band consists from two keyboards guitar, bass guitar, and rhythm section.
The band started at the beginning of the 80's playing non-traditional from East type rock music in the style of Styx, Jethro Tull, Camel & Genesis. So they began creating music at a high professional level, and some of their compositions can even compete with the to professionals from Rock music world.
On this CD the songs are created and recorded from 1982 (The first song) to 1989 (the last song). For those who are expecting a kind of Eastern flavor and ethnical verity of the vocal parts, they sure to be disappointed. There is nothing like that on the CD, only pure Rock.