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OSI And the Jupiter - Stave Award winner

OSI And the Jupiter
Stave
by Kevin Lewis at 18 October 2021, 3:02 PM

OSI AND THE JUPITER is an atmospheric, Neo-Folk project from the Appalachian Region of Eastern Ohio in the United States. Using a variety of non-standard instruments like cello, organ and drone, they create ethereal tunes that are both mystical and traditional. "Stave" is their fifth record and was released on August 27, 2021, via Eisenwald Records.

The album opens with “To Reap What Has Sown,” a nice, slow track that opens with an acoustic guitar and what I think is a cello. The tone is a little dark and the lower end instruments keep that feeling going, even when the higher strings, violins maybe, come in and go a bit lighter in tone. The song is relaxing even though there is a bit of tension.

Many of the songs are instrumental, and the songs with lyrics are minimalist in their application of vocals. This is part of what gives me a bit of peace. So many songs these days are full of angst, fear, drama or chaos. This is gentle, restful, tame. The occasional chants, like in the middle section of “Stave” provide an almost restful tone that gives me a sense of ease and comfort.

Wights,” a song that features Anilah, has a lighter tone than some of the earlier songs. The vocalizations are again ethereal and immensely soothing. They come more to the front of the song, rather than moving along underneath the instruments to just add some interesting textures. This is an overtly ambient song.

At over 8 minutes, “Eihwaz (The Beating Heart of Yew),” is a slow starting song and an album of slower songs. It builds, adding instruments slowly, growing and expanding into a bigger soundscape, taking us on an almost spiritual journey. The delicate strings, along with the dark, rich synth sounds provide a contrast that is eerie and intriguing at the same time. This is a song which could help me meditate and relax, getting into a properly aligned state of mind.

Appalachia,” which I can only assume is about home for these guys, talks of traveling the road back to Appalachia, an incredibly beautiful region in the eastern half of the United States. Rich in history and heritage, the region is often described in rustic terms. A Google search for images turns up massive forests, rustic cabins and old railways. Some of those images are as beautiful as the music playing while I search and read.

The record wraps with an instrumental, almost Muzak-style, version of THE MOODY BLUESNights In White Satin.” Going instrumental gives the song a much more haunted feel than the original. The song is stripped down, fewer instruments playing, less grandiosity at the climax. It is a stunning version.

Writing reviews of metal records, mostly thrash, progressive and symphonic metals, I often forget there is music out there that is meant to soothe and relax. When I come across something like this, it always catches me a bit off guard, but I always end up appreciating it more for its’ ability calm my nerves and my soul. Sometimes I forget that I need to come down to Earth and just co-exist with everything in peace and harmony. That is what OSI AND THE JUPITER have done for me this week, and I think them for it.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  10
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. To Reap What Has Sown
2. Stave
3. Cosmic Creation Through Primordial Void
4. Folk of The Woods
5. Wights
6. Old Ways
7. Inner Flame
8. Mountain Shamanism
9. In Death (Carry Me Home)
10. Eihwaz (The Beating Heart of Yew)
12. Appalachia
13. Nights in White Satin (MOODY BLUES cover)
Lineup:
Sean Kratz– All music/lyrics/instruments (except as noted)
Kackophonix – Cello
Guest appearances:
Anilah – Vocals on “Wights
Michał Krawczuk – Vocals on “In Death”
Record Label: Eisenwald
     


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