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OSI: Fire Make Thunder

The term 'Supergroup' is battered about all too regularly now but OSI could be termed simply as a collaboration rather than group. Comprising of Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos) and Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, former Dream Theater keyboardist) and also returning as the band's session drummer is Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree. With a line up like that what you expect is pretty much what you get, strong atmospheric dreamscapes with a sporadic push into heavier guitar territory. The seven minute 'Cold Call' kicks things off with a strong build up that soon makes way for the guitar crunch, sounding industrial at times but with an emphasis on layering the atmosphere as opposed to all out power. Instrumental track 'Enemy Power' is simplistic in its delivery but powerful in its execution, it could easily stand alongside anything by Rush, delivering some axe attack throughout. The albums vocals suit the mood perfectly, do not expect powerful 'Jorn Lande' moments but a more subdued subtle attitude is what we get. Turning this album up loud, sitting back and truly soaking in the atmosphere that this album delivers is what Fire Make Thunder is all about. If you're after something a little more deep and meaningful in your music collection then this fourth release by OSI is certainly worth delving into, punchy, glorious soundscapes….Over and out!

Track Listing
1. Cold Call
2. Guards
3. Indian Curse
4. Enemy Prayer
5. Wind Won't Howl
6. Big Chief II
7. For Nothing
8. Invisible Men

Added: April 14th 2012
Reviewer: Mark Davies
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2853
Language: english

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OSI: Fire Make Thunder
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-04-14 08:41:48
My Score:

Album number four from the duo of guitarist Jim Matheos (Fates Warning - Arch/Matheos) and keyboard player Kevin Moore (Dream Theater - Chroma Key), finds OSI moving away from the guest star route that has seen the likes of Steven Wilson, Mike Portnoy, Mikael Akerfeldt and Joey Vera lend a hand in the past. In fact other than the main duo the only person to appear on Fire Make Thunder is Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison, who even though he co-wrote one of the songs is merely listed as a "session musician".

So the supergroup tag may have been eschewed, however the intense, dark atmospheric approach that OSI have favoured on their first three albums certainly hasn't. Moore sets the scene with dense atmospheric keys-work, while Matheos adds gritty, almost industrial like guitar punctuation to create a more intense and foreboding feel. With no guests in sight, Moore has taken on the mantle of vocalist and while his speak in tune style may not be the most conventional, it certainly adds to the uneasy quality that makes OSI the outfit they are. Opening with the best track on show - "Cold Call", Matheos gets the chance to show off his bristling brutal side, as well as the more intricate counterpoints that make you lean towards the music to take it all in. At times this is more like a film-score, with "Indian Curse" crawling along on gently strummed and picked guitars which reverberate and echo into the darkness. In these surrounds, the choice of Moore as vocalist really stands out, with his eerie tones adding to the intense, dank feel. "Enemy Prayer" follows, where the aggression is toned up, however this doesn't provide a release from the gloom, instead adding to the already threatening air of this album. In the wrongs hands songs like these could feel impotent and forced, but with Moore and Matheos trading off the ever evolving percussion, the sharp pin-pricks of melody that pierce the gloom, make this a far more carefully crafted experience. Little stabs of piano, or strikes of chords break through the riffs to reveal a gentler if equally stark core, resulting in an album that somehow seduces you into the dangerous territory on which it walks.

Even with all the little splashes of intricate colour that keep you listening intently, some undoubtedly will find Fire Make Thunder to be too one dimensional. However there's no denying the subtlety, precision and care that has gone into making another captivating, if at times overly intense, OSI record.

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