Osada Vida - 'Where The Devils Live'

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Osada Vida - 'Where The Devils Live'

A nicely shot DVD.

This Polish prog rock outfit have built up a solid reputation in their homeland, but have also seen plaudits from as far afield as Brazil. What is the attraction? Well, they play prog that emphasises their musicianship. The only formula is there is no formula. Time changes, long expansive songs that incorporate jazz, rock, metal and even electronica are the order of the day. This DVD captures them live in Katowice late last year in front of an appreciative audience. There’s a mix of tracks from their three previous albums and new song ‘Hard-Boiled Your Name’ is included too. The band are clearly having a good time on stage, indeed playing their music might be more fun than listening to it. It definitely rocks though and there’s some inventive guitar and keyboard soloing that holds the attention but the songs are often let down by rather uninspiring singing.

A short interview included as an extra on the DVD with Lukasz Lisiak and Rafal Paluszek alludes to the fact that the singing isn’t great, joking they don’t sing well. The joke might seem like false modesty but in reality it is very poor. It’s flat, monotone and doesn’t encourage the listener to engage with the lyrics. When the singing stops there are some fine prog moments and while there might be some Porcupine Tree and Pain Of Salvation elements in their sound they have ultimately managed to forge their own identity. ‘Bone’ and ‘Is That Devil From Spain Too?’ impress, the former with its prog metal power and the latter with its dreamy evocative playing that creates a mood all of its own. The closing ‘Childmare’ again is a muscly piece of work with a suitably dark feel but again the vocals could indeed give you nightmares.

As a DVD it’s nicely shot, glossy even, with a variety of angles and effects and is done well on what you imagine would have been a small budget. Although there’s some interaction with the audience later on during the performance, initially the crowd can’t be heard on the disc, giving you the impression that the band could be playing to an empty theatre. However, there are appreciative cheers towards the end of the set and even some participation with the crowd clapping along which is unintentionally amusing as hearing people trying to clap along to the tricky time changes doesn’t really work.

Their website suggests that they’ve brought in a singer for future gigs which is a step in the right direction if they want to go to the next level. Existing fans of the band should pick this DVD up as the set list differs from previous live performances and the interview sheds some light on the band’s evolution. Also, if your tastes encompass left field prog and dodgy vocals won’t spoil your fun then you could give Osada Vida a try!

Duncan Jamieson

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