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jueves, 29 de octubre de 2015

Osiris - Reflections (1989)


Artista: Osiris
Álbum: Reflections
Año: 1989
Género: Neo-progresivo
Duración: 47:19
Nacionalidad: Reino de Bahrain


Lista de Temas:
1. Shades of Gray
2. Lost and Found
3. The Circle
4. In The Corner
5. The Prisioner
6. Fire and Ice
7. Reflections

Alineación:
- Mohammed Alsadeql / electric guitar; backing vocals
- Sabah Alsadeql / lead vocals
- Nabil Alsadeql / drums & percussion
- Ali Khonji / bass guitar
- Nader Sharif / piano, keyboards
- Abdul Razzak Arian / organ, keyboards


Álbum oficial de estudio número 3, desde los Emiratos Arabes hasta tu casa gracias a Alejandro que lo comparte a través del blog cabezón. Como siempre, y ya que Bahrein, como protectorado Británico hasta 1973, tiene una mezcla de culturas, la música de estos tipos está influenciada por dos grandes vertientes como lo son el progresivo inglés tipo Camel pero con algún ligero toque árabe. Genesis o Caravan son un buen referente para la música de estos muchachos.
Su formación original ha sufrido algunas modificaciones. Desde la publicación de su primera producción en el año 1982, disco homónimo que ya hemos presentado, el grupo se muestra cada vez más sólido. La música de Osiris continúa siendo de melodías agradables y con estructuras musicales muy sutiles, siendo una característica suy estilo centrado no en la originalidad sino en el sentimiento puesto en cada interpretación (no por nada hasta pareciera que Latimer podría llegar a participar de éstos discos). En resumen, un interesante grupo de progresivo que va más allá de muchos de los grupos que hacen este estilo, estos árabes han sabido crear su propio estilo no tanto en base a un sonido o una estructura original, sino más bien por algo más intangible que tiene que ver con la sensibilidad en la interpretación de cada track, comprometidos con el buen sonido y (aunque sin grandes pretenciones ni pomposidad) muy afilados en lo instrumental. No escucharán grandilocuencias musicales de los grupos de antaño o suites complejas pero tampoco cosas banales... si les gustó lo que hemos publicado hasta aquí de este grupo, en cada álbum les gustarán más y más.


Los amantes del rock sinfónico más melódico seguro que adorarán este tercer disco, casi inédito, que se publicó (tan sólo en formato cassette) entre 1987 y 1989, grabado totalmente en el estudio privado del grupo (originario de Bahrein), y que fue distribuido casi exclusivamente (500 copias) entre las emisoras de radio más influyentes del momento. Debido a problemas económicos, derivados en parte a que el grupo no podía actuar fuera de las zonas limítrofes ya que era muy costoso mover un equipo de cuatro toneladas y media, Osiris no pudo continuar con la excelente carrera que había comenzado y que veía su cenit con este Reflections. Sin duda este es el mejor de los publicados anteriormente por el grupo (Osiris y Myths and Legends) , porque el grupo alcanza aquí la mayoría de edad en calidad. Mucha de la “culpa” de todo ello es la existencia de dos magníficos teclistas, Abdul Razak-Arian (Roland, Micromoog, Korg M1, Korg Trident) y Mohammed Shafii (que además de múltiples Moogs y el Memorymoog, cantaba y tocaba la flauta), además de un excelente guitarra, Mohamed Al-Sadeqi, y una más que eficiente base rítmica de la mano de Nabil Al-Sadeqi, batería, y los bajos compartidos del guitarrista citado y de Khalid Almutawa.
Aquí se recogen todos los temas originalmente editadas en Reflections, más el tema inédito Fire and Ice 5:46. El sonido del grupo es una mezcla entre Camel y los momentos más dulces de Pink Floyd, dando lugar a pasajes delicadísimos llenos de melodía. Todo sin olvidar una complejidad instrumental casi dominante a lo largo de todo el disco. Su tema de inicio, Shades of Gray 9:13, podría pasar perfectamente por un tema de los últimos y mejores Pendragon, hasta parecerse los dos grupos como dos gotas de agua en cuanto a sonido y calidad instrumental. Y es que Pendragon deben mucho al sonido Camel y Pink Floyd, por si algún despistado aún no se había enterado.
Pasajes de Lost and Found 5:51, The Circle 7:05, In the Corner, The Prisoner 9:06 o el final Reflections 5:25 sitúan a este grupo, un desconocido para mí, entre uno de los mejores de la década de los 80 y de todas las restantes y venideras. De verdad que un disco como este es todo un lujo para un amante del verdadero rock sinfónico.
Delicadeza, complejidad, melodía, sencillez, lirismo… agítalo y tendrás Reflections, una obra maestra.
Jose Luis Martínez

Creo que ha quedado todo en claro y no tengo más para agregar. Un disco que no es ninguna maravilla pero tampoco es para dejar de lado y asegura buenos momentos. Música del alma, más bien sencilla, inspirada, bien interpretada y con mucha sensibilidad. Vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés para cerrar el tema...

Those musicians like multiple combinations between numerous instruments (Guitar, two keyboards, flute, vibraphone & percussions). Despite their origins, their music doesn’t sound old and proves to be as strong, elaborated, virtuoso and inspired as that of equivalent Anglo-Saxon bands (CAMEL, CARAVAN, GENESIS, FINCH…) with an instrumentation worthy of the best. As a bonus, some welcome oriental influences can be heard in some parts. Only issued as a promotional tape in 1989, “Reflections” shows a luxurious and highly sophisticated fresco. “Beyond Control – Live” comes from a 1991 concert. The band refused to use overdubs to remain honest with their music and audience.
Those eight tracks blend extracts of their three albums with four previously unreleased compositions. This surprising music can easily be compared with the best, both in composition and in interpretation !
mrgeorgecraven

'Reflections' is the only Osiris release I know so far, and though it doesn't impress me to the point of turning me speechless, I must say that it's a good recording where the main features are the ellegant layers of keyboards, and the well crafted solos on guitar and synthesizer. Following in a vein similar to TSF/ST-era Camel, Osiris created and performed a modernized symphonic prog parallel to the road that many other 80s neo-prog bands took. Keyboards are prominent here, since the two players handling them usually are in charge of creating stylish atmospheric ambiences upon which the chords played on (other) keyboards and guitar are displayed. The opening track 'Shades of Gray' serves as a perfect sample of Osiris' prog approach - delicate arrangements, pleasant melodies and harmonic bases, predominance of keyboards and occasional guitar bursts. Other notable tracks are 'The Circle' and 'The Prisoner', which keep the same trend while incorporating some tempo and mood twists, tenderly. The former has a sung part and a final instrumental one: the sung part sounds like some sort of mixture of classic Asia and Mike & the Mechanics, while the instrumental part includes a typically neo motif that sounds quite related to 90s Pendragon... although the album was recorded in the 80s. The Pendragon predating thing goes on in 'The Prisoner', albeit bearing a punchier mood during the instrumental interlude, similarly to IQ in the early 80s: these two songs keep me thinking that "Reflections" might as well be a forgotten prog classic. The two instrumental numbers, 'Lost and Found' and 'In the Corner', are my personal faves: the former starts with a simplified hint to Holst's 'Mars', making things a bit tense onwards until the ending, without dropping out the cachiness; the latter is rockier, the most agressive piece of the album actually, with a moderate Emersonian use of organ, a harder use of the guitar, and even a certain fusion-esque touch somewhere in the middle. The last two songs find the band exploring again their poppier side, just like 'The Circle' but without further elaboration. "Reflections" is one of those records that don't need to be magnificient nor overtly original to be enjoyed by those who have a special penchant for good melodic prog: a good addition to any prog collection with room for neo.
Cesar Inca

Ever heard of Bahreini prog? While I had been aware of this group for well over a decade, I had actually never had the chance (the will or need either I must admit) to discover them until I chanced over in my library's catalogue last month. Needless to say that being such a fan of neo-prog, I wasn't all that keen on checking them out right away, but in a week where other orders where on hold, I indulged.
Reflection is the group's second album, plus a bonus track that "intrudes" into the album's track succession, without sounding out of place. While the group's origin was definitely a determining factor in my decision to rent the album, I must say that one can only be quite disappointed that the group does not present a bit of their natural and personal heritage in their music, this is obviously the oeuvre of a quintet of young modern Arabs that had been reached by the 70's prog giants and this had hit them sufficiently hard and long that in the late 80's they managed to get a group together and play their rendition of their influences and loves. And this second album is a typical product of the 80's symphonic neo-prog scene, sounding as good and professional as Pendragon, IQ or their Japanese counterparts of the era and often they sounded even better (but certainly not more adventurous or original) because some of those groups were facing hard time and artistic lows throughout the late 80's.
While I believe that Osiris' (can you imagine this group still presenting themselves to the name of a "pagan" god these days in the fundamentalist Gulf States?) best asset was its exotic provenance, they completely missed out on it, by simply developing a very- conservative prog rock. I think that they might hold a much greater place in prog's history had they instead given us an ethnic-sounding symphonic prog, much like the semi-French, semi-Turkish group Asia Minor had given us two album that are real classics. While I am reputedly not a neo-prog fan, and I think Osiris missed out on their best bet (not only in terms of their origins, but in being original also), I still think that if conventional neo-prog is your thing, you'll not regret trying them out;
Sean Trane

In the difficult environment for adventurous music of the 1980s, it was remarkable that Osiris could start the decade so strongly. Unfortunately, by 1989, even Osiris had decided to graft a metallic sheen onto their warm progressive flesh. The production and arranging is far more cavernous here, which is not to my taste. The lyrics, never the group's strong suit, are even weaker than usual. Osiris' strengths were melody, enthusiasm, and arrangement, but for the most part they are given short shrift here.
All that said, there are plenty of fine instrumental passages here, particularly in "Lost and Found", "The Circle", and "Fire And Ice", which compensate for horrid faux metal (think Eloy circa "Metromania") on "In the Corner", the atonal "Prisoner", and the general cheesiness of "Shades of Gray". Even the title cut is a bit of a letdown, being somewhat banal. It turns out that the track is best heard live, where it receives the breath of life on "Beyond Control-Live" just 2 years later.
While I admit there is plenty to like in this flawed release, upon reflection, this would be the last of the 3 1980s albums from Osiris that I would recommend.
Keneth Levine

Now by the end of the '80s Osiris reached to number 3 album in their career named Reflections from 1989, aswell re issued by Musea in 1998. Well despite the negative rates and reviews by some listners overall I find this album to be their best by far. Is their most mature work, their inventive one, the passages has no flows and the musicianship is excellent. The melodic aproach of the album this time little more towards neo prog but aswell they never forget the symphonic roots, the resoul is a pretty stronfg album I might say. From the opening track Shades of grey, to the last track Reflections Osiris done a very strong job here. I like all the arrangements here, alot to enjoy like on In the corner, The circle or Lost and found are very enjoyble tunes that shows that they were still in bussines. From passages, smooth and elegant that reminds me of Camel to more symphonic parts not far from Genesis or the neo elements added not far from IQ - Osiris really done some great moments on every pieces. Very elaborated sound, where keybords and guitar are a special role, lush passages and damn good rhythmic section. I like a lot this album, to me is defintly their best one and desearves from me 4 stars easy. One of my fav albums ever eswell, I'm in the minority here with my rate but is how I see it. Excellent album.
Bogdan Olariu

Line-up changes continued for Osiris through the mid-80's.Lead singer Isa Janahi and Debbie Moss had to leave the band and their replacement was Mohamed Shafii, who could play keyboards, flutes and sing.They had a good opportunity to play in Phillipines, where they were quite popoular, but lack of finance prevented the tour.However they reached a few TV broadcasts and played a small number of lives in 1986'-87', even if line-up shakes always struck the band.The younger of Al-Sadeqi brothers, Sabah, returned from the USA and provided vocals for the new album, which started to be recorded in the band's own and new-established Osiris Studio.During the process Khalid Almutawa left Osiris and bass duties were handled by Mohammed Al-Sadeqi until the arrival of 18-years old Ali Khonji.Sami Al Jabea provided additional keys on ''Reflections'', originally released in 1989 in cassette format in about 500 copies.However the album never got a proper vinyl issue and only came to surface many years later by Musea in CD format.
For the most of its part ''Reflections'' shows a tendency by Osiris to flirt with the 80's British Prog sound, sounding pretty similar to PENDRAGON, even having a more pronounced keyboard presence and more balanced guitar textues.This does not mean that the level of the compositions is decreased.Osiris still played a phrenomenal Progressive Rock with strong CAMEL and GENESIS vibes, led by incredible melodies, memorable solos, flashy keyboards and dreamy atmospheres.Vocals appear to be the best ever provided by the group, displayed with an almost perfect English accent.While the production is not of first class, it is sufficient enough to support Osiris' slightly updated style.The music is simply great, absolutely melodious and perfectly executed, full of dual keyboard lines, extended instrumental ideas with bombastic moves and lots of changing climates.After the middle the sound becomes more vintage-friendly, always based on the British school of Prog Rock.Razak-Aryan appears to use a Roland organ in order to deliver an old-fashioned touch in the keyboard parts, which sounds extremely charming in combination with the Moog synthesizer of Mohamed Shafii.Moreover the CAMEL influences start again to dominate the music.From the fiery guitar moves the music suddenly passes through more emotional soloing, while melodic flute lines eventually take a role in the instrumental lines.Rich, elaborate arrangements full of finesse and high quality.
Well, these guys came from Bahrain, but you should actually start to take them seriously in the worldwide prog scene.Yet another winner by Osiris, impressive Symphonic/Neo Prog with dramatic, dense and grandiose musicianship. Highly recommended.
apps79

Espero que lo disfruten, eso sí, no conseguí ningún video de este álbum.


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