The Osiris Club - The Wine-Dark Sea album review

Consolidating second from beaked brotherhood

The Osiris Club - The Wine-Dark Sea album artwork

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There are a couple of things that strike you upon encountering London’s The Osiris Club. First off, they customarily perform while dressed as medieval plague doctors. Now, for those who’ve never had cause to have their swollen buboes looked at by time-travelling 14th-century quacks, this is quite the look: part-Goth Womble, part-Spy Vs. Spy, all pointy nose-cone and voluminous cowl. Secondly, they’re not averse to post-Crimson instrumental complexity. All well and good: they’ve certainly come to the right magazine for that kind of caper. But point A does tend to render point B almost impossible. Executing a stunt tempo change while packing shedloads of notes into every lick is one thing, but when you can’t see your fretboard for your cardboard hooter? Well, you’ve got to take your hat off to them. Nothing drastic’s happened between 2014’s Blazing World debut and The Wine-Dark Sea’s nine eloquent and accessible tracks. Sean Cooper’s vocals recall Brian Molko with fewer shards of glass in his caw, while his accompanying Club offer an HP Lovecraft-haunted refinement of avant-metal, all dark sci‑fi cinematics, compositional curveballs and rich harmonic rewards.

Ian Fortnam

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 20 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.