Osiris Beyond Control - Live (Musea, 2002)
Hailing from Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, progressive rockers Osiris released three albums of Genesis/Camel style prog through the mid to late 1980s. The band reformed in the late 90s, prompting French light prog label Musea to re-release these old albums and Beyond Control - Live, a live recording dating from Osiris's heyday in 1991.
This show was recorded straight to ordinary two-track tape, with no intention of ever releasing it. The band stumbled across the tape a decade later and admirably decided to release the live tracks unaltered. Except for the tacked-on chanting intro, Beyond Control shows a truly live prog experience, down to the band extolling the audience to wave their hands. Unfortunately, cuts in the original master tape necessitated fade-outs on some tracks, and "Fantasy" ends just as the band starts to stretch into an interesting solo section. The vocals have a nasal tone and the guitar leads occasionally drag, but overall the sound and playing are top- notch for a live record.
The eight songs include three instrumentals and five songs with short vocal passages. "Reflections" offers the most engaging prog moments, especially in the Genesis-style recapitulation just before the finish. "Medley From 'Tales of the Drivers'" builds slowly to a middle section that drags with long guitar solos. The lyrics stumble through predictable phrases, but this is not uncommon for lyricists writing in their second language. The extended vamps feature flashy guitar leads rather than integrated guitar and keyboard jams, but for the most part Osiris keeps the instrumental sections concise. The chord progressions expand on familiar resolutions and the rhythms occasionally stray into snappy prog meters, like "Fantasy." The melodies include a subtle Arabic feel, but the note choices all retain context within the 70s English prog style.
Beyond Control offers an unaltered time capsule of the live Osiris show in 1991. The liner notes promise two new Osiris concept albums, "Tales of the Divers" and "Visions from the Past," coming soon on Musea. If Osiris still has their former level of melodic prog in the 70s Genesis style, their new music could be equally well received a decade after this live performance.
Reviewed by Scott Andrews [firstname.lastname@example.org]
1. Medley From "Tales of the Drivers" (previously unreleased) 9:45
2. Reflections 5:50
3. Until We Meet (previously unreleased) 7:16
4. Wasted 8:13
5. Once upon a Time (previously unreleased) 5:36
6. Bird of Prey (previously unreleased) 5:40
7. Lost & Found 5:57
8. Fantasy 5:20
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
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