Shrouded behind the white beaked masks and black capes of the historical plague doctors, there’s far more to conceptualists The Osiris Club than a creepy image and dark sounds.
Limelight: The Osiris Club
London-based prog lovers conjure up a conceptual avant-metal band.
Rummage through their record collection and you’ll find Killing Joke next to King Crimson and heavily rotated classics by Cardiacs, Goblin and Voivod. Such diverse inspiration can be clearly heard through their richly layered sonic theatrics that have already caught the attention of European audiences.
Image-wise, you might be forgiven for assuming they’re all staunch occultists, but their roots are far less sinister. “Our band name is a nod to the secret occult society in Mike Mignola’s Hellboy universe,” explains the band’s co-founder, drummer and illustrator Prestidge, who also plays with Angel Witch. “Although the album title Blazing World comes from a Margaret Cavendish novel, which was written around the time of The Great Plague, it was also used by Alan Moore in The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”
Prestidge himself illustrated the Lovecraftian album artwork, featuring an array of half-man, half-beast characters and a Stargate-inspired portal device.
The Osiris Club all started off four years ago when Prestidge and guitarist Fullard decided to combine their influences on an instrumental act. This gradually grew into an unearthly musical beast and a band in its own right. “We had different ideas,” explains Fullard, “so when we were writing, we’d break things up and rearrange them to make it sound bigger.”
Bringing in vocalist Oakes further changed the dynamic, and their sound has been augmented by lyricist Paul Fyfe from the doom band Winters, whose written words complement the vocalist’s own.
Their debut was recorded using analogue gear and mixed in Seattle by Randall Dunn, whom Fullard met via experimentalists Sunn O))). “He asked us if we wanted to make a really heavy album or something that sounds like a 70s prog record,” says Prestidge.
The band naturally chose the latter and couldn’t have been happier with the result. Fullard recalls: “Watching Randall mix, he wasn’t sitting at a computer – he was running around, patching things in, listening at the controls. He captured a moment in time and kept it real.”
Fullard and Prestidge are quick to point out that The Osiris Club is a real band with full-time members and not just a ‘project’ – they’ve even begun work on their second album. “There aren’t any concepts yet but there’s no shortage of riffs!” reveals the drummer.
Although they’re not on a fixed deadline just yet, Fullard confirms that this one won’t take quite as long to put together, and he hints at a possible change of image to accompany it.
With such strong foundations, it’s hardly surprising that the band have grand designs on expanding their dramatic stage show and spreading their cloaks further afield.
Reutt (guitar), Bunting (bass), Prestidge (drums), Fullard (guitar), Oakes (vocals), **Matt **(live keyboards/electronics)
Twisted psych-prog with a heavy helping of classic post-punk and 70s horror movies.
Blazing World is available now via Indie Recordings