The Osiris Club - The Wine-Dark Sea album review
Consolidating second from beaked brotherhood
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.