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lunes, 26 de octubre de 2015

Osiris - Osiris (1981)

Artista: Osiris
Álbum: Osiris
Año: 1981
Género: Neo-progresivo
Duración: 43:17
Nacionalidad: Reino de Bahrein

Lista de Temas:
1. Fantasy
2. Sailor on the Seas of Fate
3. Struggle to survive
4. Atmun
5. Embers of a Flame
6. A Story of Love
7. Paradox in A Major
8. Look Before You Leap (bonus track)

- Mohamed Al-Sadeqi / guitar, vocals
- Abdul Razak-Aryan / keyboards, vocals
- Nabil Alsadeqi / drums
- Sabah Alsadeqi / lead vocals
- Abdul Razzak Arian / organ and other keyboards
- Nader Sharif / piano and other keyboards
- Ali Khonji / bass

Muchas veces hemos hablado que cuando los gigantes dinosaurísticos del rock progresivo declinaron ante los $onido$ ochenteros, entregándose a esos sonidos donde primava lo comercial a lo artístico, en muchos otros lugares, generalmente fuera del circuito comercial mayor, aparecieron diversos grupos que, aunque con nula difusión, escaso público, pérdidas económicas y todas las contras que se puedan imaginar, mantuvieron en alto el espíritu primegéneo del rock progresivo con la frente alta y el corazón palpitante. En todos los lugares del planeta sucedió eso, recordemos a Hungría por ejemplo, ni hablar de latinoamérica, y otros tantos lugares que hemos estado explorando a través de este blog... hasta en un ignoto reino de 500000 habitantes llamado Bahrein, que es el país más pequeño de la región del Golfo Pérsico, en Asia. De allí es éste grupo que nos trae Alejandro en un nuevo aporte para la comunidad cabezona.

Alejandro nos manda un ripeo creado por él mismo en base al disco original. Sí, el disco también llegó a la Argentina y hay gente que lo tiene, no serán muchos, pero Alejandro es uno de ellos y lo comparte con ustedes.

Osiris is the only Progressive Rock band from Bahrein. This band plays a refined, carefully worked-out progressive rock with delicate and tasteful melodies. The sound of this group reminds the British prog bands of the 70's like Camel, Genesis, Caravan and they like the combination between the numerous instruments: guitar, two keyboards, flute, vibes & percussions. Their nice melodies and subtle musical structures are close to Camel, with a touch of Genesis and Yes.

Pueden escuchar cómo suena esto...

Como país, Bahrein es independiente desde 1973, y forma parte del protectorado británico, pero también es naturalmente árabe, lo que ocasiona las dos grandes influencias culturales que definen el progresivo de éste grupo: por un lado un progresivo clásico, melódico, definido por sus cambios y cantado en inglés, más una ligera pero evidente esencia árabe en sus arreglos musicales. Editado de manera totalmente independiente por sus propios músicos, éste disco se vendrió relativamente bien a pesar de que el conjunto era completamente desconocido: 1000 copias se vendieron en Bahrein, y 2000 copias extras fueron vendidas en Filipinas. Pero el disco también se dió a conocer al público progresivo que lo aceptó de buena gana. Y es que el disco, sin ser ninguna maravilla, tiene igualmente la suficiente calidad como para que varios de los dinosaurios tambaleantes de aquella época les tuviera razones de envidia. Un sonido compacto, mucho sentimiento y un aire a Camel, Genesis y Alan Parson Project, mucha limpieza y musicalidad en cada uno de sus temas para un disco elegante, parejo y con buen sonido. Un total de 6 discos ha engendrado esta banda a lo largo de su historia, siendo éste el primero. Les comento que a medida que el tiempo pasa los discos del grupo van siendo mejores, mientras que se acentúa el sonido de su propia tierra en sus producciones, pero no nos adelantemos.
En todo caso, éste es un ecelente debut para cualquier banda de cualquier lado del mundo.

Vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés y los dejo con el sonido de Osiris para que se maravillen con el producto del Reino de Bahrein.

This is the OSIRIS' debut album, a band from... Bahrein! Released in 1981, it's maybe the first neo progressive stuff ever done, and quite good.
Taking elements from GENESIS and -specially- from CAMEL, OSIRIS shows a not really high complex composition level, but plenty of changing signatures, melodically nice and rythmically strong. Sometimes, however, I can hear the typical commercial feeling later developed by IQ, PENDRAGON and similar style bands.
The main instrument is the electric guitar, sounding even heavy sometimes, while keyboards have a "support" role. Nevertheless, the band achieves very symphonic moments along the album, standing out the first track "Fantasy".
Good album, well worth a listen.
Marcelo Matusevich

This album has two very big surprises for you...Firstly,of course,it's the country,from where the band hails : Bahrain!!!Yes,in the depths of Arabia...It's unbelievable to imagine how this guys even did know what progressive rock is!...Secondly comes the similarity of this band with CAMEL...Did CAMEL move to Bahrain in the 80's?...Of course not,but this is a majestic rip-off...
Let's talk about the music...The production isn't the best,but I didn't expect much more,we talk about Bahrain here,this is mostly a amateur effort and for such a category I could say it is bearable...Don't search much for influences...The band is just in love with CAMEL and that's obvious in every track...CAMEL went a bit mainstream in the 80's but we're talking about imnfluences from their 70's stuff here...Alternating excellent fast and emotional solos,a few complex moments with time signatures,smooth organ exchanged sometimes with flashy synthesizer lines,very tight rhythm section!...We have to deal with some amazing music hee,very well composed!...The vocals aren't the strong point of the band but neither was Andy Latimer's voice the strongest point in CAMEL's releases...And it's needless to say that the vocalist of OSIRIS tries hard to sound like Latimer...No surprise...
This is a wonderful album...I admit that my true rating is 3.5 stars but I'll upgraded it to 4 considering the country of origin,the very good and tight composing and the year of this release (prog was almost dead meat by 1982)...And one last thing...This guys managed to teach us that in order to play prog rock you don't have to be virtuoso...You just need to love what you do!Well done,OSIRIS!...

OSIRIS has been around 30 years now, although they have not been very prolific in terms of releases. Their self titled debut is arguably their best, incorporating influences from 70s guitar led symphoni bands like CAMEL and GROBSCHNITT. The middle eastern roots are generally subtle, but their presence, along with the extremely melodic nature of the songs, gives OSIRIS a richness and profundity often lacking in better known groups in the "neo" style.
The album really plays out well from beginning to end: the opener "Fantasy" is one of the best cuts, a rambunctious ditty with plenty of great keys and guitars. The vocals are better than in most prog, although this observation may simply reflect the band's self awareness in these matters. They don't try to hit the highs and lows but rather plumb a midrange without sounding monotonous. Even if the voices are not to your taste, the arrangements surely will be, and the band tends to favour long instrumental breaks.
By far the longest cut is "Sailor on the Seas of Fate", commencing with seagull sounds before vintage organs and synthesizers insert themselves in a low key manner. Then comes one of the more Arabic sounding passages, thanks to the melody and the percussions, which are also strangely melodic. Mohamed Al-Sadeqi's guitars complete the long intro to vocals accompanied only by electric piano until a monster riff comes in. The last 4 minutes are an extended instrumental feast reminding me of early ALAN PARSONS PROJECT.
"Struggle to Survive" is another gem, with reflective and more upbeat sections including heavy guitar and keyboard james blended with ease. Sabah Alsadeqi's voice is at its best here. I don't mind the background keys that sound like they may be mellotron...at all. "Atmun", as its title suggests, is another track that somewhat captures a Bahraini spirit. All instrumental, its overall percussive nature is broken a few times by find lead guitar work. "Embers of a Flame" is actually reminiscent of KANSAS in their heyday, and it is at this point I start to feel that vocal melodies are being recycled. Still entertaining for sure. The same applies to "A Story of Love", although this one is a bit better. "Paradox in A Major" begins in a very Arabic sounding electric guitar flourish before becoming another mid tempo number, although the later instrumental section is very enjoyable. The "Bonus" cut is a great prog-pop number, that I guess the band didn't initially include on the LP. It's certainly the most accessible track herein.
I highly recommend this album to neo or symphonic fans, and even for historic reasons as one of the earliest neo prog albums. How much influence they actually had on the next wave is unknown, but I assume it is not nearly as much as they deserved.
Keneth Levine

Neo-prog from Bahrain you say? Yes, it's true. Osiris surprised probably everybody in the world of music when they appeared at the beginning of the 1980's sporting their impressive brand of neo-prog, showing just how far the many tentacles of progressive rock could reach. Very much a DIY album made by a bunch of admittedly rather talented(and, one suspects, rather wealthy) Yes-and-Genesis fans, Osiris' eponymously-titled debut should have been an amateurish mess; it's not, and for those of you out there who fancy a bit of Marillion or Twelfth Night the surprise will be all the greater. Simply put, 'Osiris' is an excellent slice of 1980's prog, as good as anything by the era's big boys, such as the previously-mentioned twosome, and far better than anyone should have dared to expect. The recording is a bit rough around the edges, due to the lack of decent recording facilities in Bahrain circa the early 1980's, but songs such as the jangling opener 'Fantasy' and it's impressively epic follow up, the 11-minute-long 'Sailors On The Seas Of Fate', still sound great. Particularly impressive are Abdul Razak-Aryan's lush keyboards, which coat the whole album in a glowing array of sounds and textures, whilst lead- guitarist Mohamed Al-Sadequi is a genuine Arabian Pete Holmes. The vocals do tend to get lost in the slightly weak mix(again, a consequence of the low-budget recording conditions) but in truth it's a bit of a moot point. Osiris' music is good enough to render these deficiencies un- important and fans of all good neo-prog will be more than happy to add an other great album to one of the smallest sub-genre's of prog. Highly recommended.
Stefan Turner

How these Arab brothers from Bahrain got into progressive music is an interesting read to say the least. They certainly had parents who were open and supportive to whatever they wanted to do. So when the one wanted to play drums and the other brother guitar the parents provided the instruments and the lessons.Their older brothers and sisters were into jazz,classical,folk and rock so they were exposed to a lot of music growing up. After reading good reviews for YES and JETHRO TULL the brothers took the plunge and their love of prog began. They continued to play and learn their instruments even when off to University,the one to England the other to the USA. When they came back in 1980 the search for serious band mates began.This is the result right here,their first album released in 1982. "They chose the name OSIRIS from Egyptian mythology not only for it's sound but it's references to Arab culture,youth and fertility". By the way this band is still playing in 2010. Before i start i have to say that the music here is very much like CAMEL's first two albums.The vocals and style especially. I'm not sure about the Neo-Prog tag here actually, but maybe that's more to do with following releases.
"Fantasy" is my favourite track. The synths and guitar build as drums and bass join in. Check out the drumming after minute ! It then settles and vocals join in. How good is this ! So moving. Drums and keyboards after 4 1/2 minutes are killer to end it. "Sailor On The Seas Of Fire" opens with the sounds of sea gulls as organ,percussion then guitar join in. A calm after 3 1/2 minutes as vocals arrive.The drums and bass are back then it kicks back in.Guitar leads after 5 1/2 minutes then a calm arrives a minute later. Strummed guitar and keyboards with cymbals lead here. Electric guitar 8 minutes in as it builds.The synths are great.
"Struggle To Survive" has this powerful intro but then it settles before a minute.Vocals follow.I like the crisp drumming here. This is very CAMEL-like. Raw guitar after 2 1/2 minutes as he proceeds to light it up. It settles back with vocals then kicks back in again. Great tune. "Atmun" has a good rhythm to it. The guitar starts to lead before 2 minutes.The organ before 4 minutes is brief as the guitar dominates on this one. Embers Of A Flame" features strummed guitar early but it turns heavy quickly. A calm with vocals follows. Check out the guitar after 2 minutes as it takes off. Synths then organ late. "A Story Of Love" is another CAMEL flavoured tune with drums and guitar standing out. Vocals before 2 minutes and they come and go on this one. "Paradox In A Major" opens with guitar followed by vocals.The guitar is back when the vocals stop as contrasts continue. "Look Before You Leap" opens with synths and a beat. Vocals after a minute as guitar comes and goes.
The Al-Sadeqi brothers are exremely talented,i'm so impressed with the drumming and guitar work on this one. A solid 4/5 stars.
John Davie

For me Osiris a real sensation. These guys are (or were perhaps) from Bahrain - the country in which I would rather expext that rock music is forbidden. Their first album is very Camel-influenced, but that's not a bad thing at all. Don't forget this album was recorded 24 years ago, when most of the so-called neo-progressive band didn't exist. The music is fresh, very keyboard oriented, and when you keep listen to this album, you even forget their worst side - the vocals. I give this one solid 4,5 / 5 stars. Enjoy.

With their debut album Osiris offer some very nice but not overly complex symphonic prog. All the songs rely heavily on keyboards, but the guitarist really shines with excellent solos popping up everywhere. The vocalist isn't super great, but is effective and doesn't detract from the music at all. Production quality is fairly good, perhaps surprisingly given that the band is from Bahrain, but there are a few moments where the vocals seem to get lost in the background a bit.
The best song on the album is easily Fantasy, which is actually phenomenally good - this album may well be worth purchasing for this track alone. It includes some great keyboards and wraps up with a very Camel-esque guitar passage.
Only slightly less amazing is the epic Sailor on the Seas of Fate. This opens with some very enjoyable Arabic-sounding drumming. The vocals are also really good on this track. As mentioned, the vocalist is by no means great, but this one suits his voice perfectly.
The rest of the listing isn't bad, but nothing really grabs like the first two tracks. They all feature soothing keyboards and there's at least one nice guitar passage per track. The instrumental Atmun is probably the best of the rest.
The CD reissue also comes with a bonus track: Look Before You Leap, which is more arena rock than anything. It wouldn't sound out of place on a Foreigner or Asia album. It's not a bad song if you like that sort of thing, and it's easy to skip otherwise.
Overall, this is an average symphonic prog album. Fantasy and Sailor on the Seas of Fate are masterpieces in themselves, however, so this gets a four.

Osiris are often described as the first prog band from Bahrain, and this album, their first release, is quite an amazing statement. A debut this musically accomplished would be notable from any band, but to be the very first from its country is quite remarkable indeed. The members of Osiris clearly had a passion to create quality prog and went to great lengths to do so. Their efforts well and truly paid off with this album.
The melodies on the album are very strong and the instruments all fit together cohesively. Instrumental interludes are inserted at appropriate points and performed with great competence. Guitars and keyboards share prominence for leads, with Embers Of A Flame providing a good example of this, and there are rare allusions to the musical heritage of the band's homeland. Generally, however, the band's sound is similar to classic seventies prog - think Genesis, Camel, and to a lesser extent, Yes. However, unlike much sprawling classic prog, all but one song on this album are around the 4-6 minute length. The comparatively compact nature of the songs seems to work well as it keeps the band's focus, and the individual songs function together as a cohesive whole.
Highlights include Fantasy, Embers Of A Flame, A Story Of Love, and Look Before You Leap. Check this band out if you're into classic prog, or if you're just curious to hear a Bahraini take on modern music. All of the lyrics are in English, which is a little bit of a shame as I enjoy Arabic singing. If you were not informed of Osiris's origins, I am sure they would give the impression of being a member of the prog scene in the UK in the first half of the seventies. Had they been part of that scene, they would have been one of its very best bands.
Stumbling across your old reviews can sometimes be a bit embarrassing. This is a case in point for me. I'm mostly disinterested in prog of any kind nowadays and on the couple of occasions I've listened to this album over the last few years it's come across as competent but largely uninteresting prog with a few too many cliches, both lyrically and musically. However, if you're a big prog fan like I was in 2005-07, I'll leave up my old review since it may be relevant to your interests.

Prog rock from Arab countries is totally unheard of. Much prog rock that originated in the Middle East came from Israel. It's easy to understand how the Arab countries never gave us much prog rock: many of them have governments and religion (Islam) that often frowned on rock music. But there's one Arab prog rock band and that's Osiris, from Bahrain!
Many times Western bands would incorporate Eastern styles in their brand of music, Ozric Tentacles being that prime example (Ed Wynne always showed a fascination for Egyptian culture and mythology), but it's less common for Eastern groups trying to imitate Western styles, and this band from Bahrain does everything to sound like a British prog rock band.
Many people refer to this band as a neo-prog band, but this 1982 debut has a more classic '70s prog sound, so you shouldn't be scared off if you're thinking these guys are like Marillion, because they're not (they have following albums which I guess are more neo). Sabah al-Sadeqi's vocals sound much like Camel's Andy Latimer. Two other guys are credited to keyboard duties, Abdul Razak-Arian, and Nader Sharif. There don't appear to be any '80s keyboards, the polyphonic synth is really a Solina String Ensemble, with Mini-Moog, Hammond organ, and electric piano. It's also worth noting Mohammed al-Sadeqi and his guitar playing, he really dishes out some heavy guitar riffs to go with the music. All the vocals are in English (obviously, as no one ever attempted Arabic in a prog rock setting).
Frequently I hear Camel comparisons, probably due to Sabah al-Sadeqi sounding like Andy Latimer, but mainly it's in the late '70s prog vein (with little '80s influences), perhaps a little bit of the German groups of the time.
Remember that this came out in a bad time for progressive rock, but is better than most everything else that came out in 1982, but I'm glad this came out, this is truly an album worth having!

An impressively accomplished prog rock debut. This band's origins in Bahrain seem to have given them a certain amount of notoriety but it really shouldn't be allowed to overshadow the band's musical abilities, which are formidable. Nor should their origins be taken to imply any sort of fusion of Middle Eastern influences in their music. This is straighforward, Anglo-American style prog.

You get an album of very good progressive rock with this release, and then suddenly a closer that sounds very influenced by the debut of Asia. I mean, try to compare it to "Sole Survival" and be surprised. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course and it's a very solid disc overall.

Espero que disfruten este disco porque tendremos más de Osiris en el blog cabezón, para que se sigan maravillando de todas las maravillas sonoras que vienen de todas partes del mundo.

8 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac - No CUE - No Log)

  2. En cualquier momento El Vampiro postea algo de Transilvania,grabado en el castillo de Dracula.....unplugged.

  3. Respuestas
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Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).