"The Cover Of Light" is the eighth release from this astounding Alabama prog/metal fusion band built around the nucleus of Gary Oppert (drums) and Steve Sexton (bass). Once again the guitar and keyboard work is provided by guest musicians who should now be regarded as stalwart members: Marcel Coenen (guitars) and Mathieu Fiset (keyboards). Also appearing on the album are another pair of regular contributors Jonas Tamas (guitar on tracks 2, 4, 11, 14), and Sergey Boykov (keyboards on tracks 2, 5, 7, 8). Rounding out the guest musicians for "The Cover Of Light" is Thomas Brown (keyboards on track 10), and the return of original founding member - and the 'V' in OSV - Brandon Vaughn (guitar on track 2, 11 and keyboards on track 11).
"The Cover Of Light" is a collection of 11 bombastic original instrumental compositions that should appeal to aficionados of technical prog/metal fusion in the vein of Dream Theater, Planet X, Joe Satriani, Symphony X, Yngwie Malmsteen, Liquid Tension Experiment, Alan Holdsworth, and Derek Sherinan.
The album also includes three bonus classic cover tunes - "Every Breath You Take" (The Police), "No Quarter" (Led Zeppelin), and "Comfortably Numb" (Pink Floyd).
As blown away as I was by the original material I was equally impressed with the cover tunes. Normally I'll skim through bonus tracks made up of cover tunes because they tend to be filler material, and prefer to focus my attention on the original material. But the three tracks OSV included on "The Cover Of Light" proved to be the exception.
An instrumental version of a popular tune like "Every Breath You Take" can quickly degenerate into glorified MUZAK in the wrong hands. But OSV makes the song their own and you almost forget there are lyrics. And an extra-special kudos to the band for their masterful interpretation of "Comfortably Numb". This already powerful classic resonates with a new-found infusion of ethereal crunchy metal prowess.
Stand out tracks include "Lost In Eden", the raucous "Eyes On High", "Kings And Kingdoms" which incorporates elements of Dream Theater, King Crimson and The Dreggs, the haunting Floyd inspired "Giver Of Faith", and "Broken Chains" which is reminiscent of the rock fusion albums of Alan Holdsworth's - "Velvet Darkness", "I.O.U.", "Road Games" and "Metal Fatigue".
Like the last two OSV albums I reviewed here at Prognaut ("Genesis Effect" and "7"), "The Cover Of Light" is a must have addition to the music library of any fan of prog/metal fusion. It has just the right balance of melody and menace, complete with power chords and laser light-speed arpeggios, and propelled by a tight rhythm section that brings it all together.
I'm still baffled by the anonymity of OSV in progressive rock circles, and the lack of available internet information on the band. Which is a crying shame since their talent exceeds many of the bands they are typically compared to. Highly Recommended
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on March 15th, 2015