Inside Out

For the third time, Jim Matheos and Kevin Moore have combined progressive metal and ambient electronica, producing an intriguing genre-bending album. This release welcomes Gavin Harrison on drums, with guest vocals on one track by Mikael Åkerfeldt.

The paradox of capacious atmospheres against thick riffing, over Moore’s terminally laid-back vocals, seems designed to demand repeated listens for full appreciation. Heaviness is present but restrained, with the meticulous groove of the drums and the exacting guitar chops employed in direct service of the overall compositions, or not at all. Albums with this much programming often sound artificial, a problem Blood deftly avoids — the production is perfect, but also alive and breathing, leaping from the stereo to reward the careful listener.

OSI’s newest is one of those uncommon, diverse and nuanced records that you both love getting lost in and playing — loud, on real speakers — for anybody who is willing to listen.