Over the last few years, Osada Vida has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting progressive metal exports from Poland, and although I'm only discovering them with 2013's Particles, it's not hard to understand why this band is receiving praise from prog listeners worldwide. Released on Metal Mind Productions, Particles is a strong observation that sounds fresh, modern, and inspired; if I'm being honest, it's tough to imagine any fan of melodic progressive music not enjoying the hell out of what Osada Vida has to offer.
From what I understand, Particles is the band's first album as a quintet rather than a quartet, as vocalist Marek Majewski has been added to the lineup. Vocal duties were previously handled by bassist Lukasz Lisiak, and although I'm (as of yet) unfamiliar with his singing abilities, Majewski's voice is undoubtedly an asset to Osada Vida's music. Stylistically, the album rests somewhere between classic progressive rock and progressive metal (in the Dream Theater school), but Osada Vida isn't afraid to also incorporate a few jazz fusion jams and alternative rock tendencies into their sound. Particles is also a pretty catchy album in spite of its complexity, and not unlike the classic efforts from Spock's Beard or Kansas, the strongly memorable choruses don't detract from the sophisticated compositions.
Lots of great tracks like "Hard Boiled Wonderland", "Those Days", and "Mighty World" ensure that I will certainly be returning to Particles again in the future, and it also means that this album gets a strong recommendation from my direction. With a crisp production, dazzling musicianship, and memorable songwriting, Particles is just a damn good album across the board and a great listen for fans of heavy-edged modern prog. Excellent!
1. Hard-Boiled Wonderland (6:15)
2. Stronger (4:13)
3. Fear (4:41)
4. Those Days (5:42)
5. Shut (3:42)
6. David's Wasp (6:25)
7. Different Worlds (5:32)
8. Until You're Gone (5:19)
9. Mighty World (4:56)