Rating:
8.2
OSI - Fire Make Thunder
23 March 2012


01. Cold Call
02. Guards
03. Indian Curse
04. Enemy Prayer
05. Wind Won't Howl
06. Big Chief II
07. For Nothing
08. Invisible Men


Another metal "dream team." Every once in a while, one comes around that actually lives up to the hype surrounding the members. Usually, it means a bunch of well-known names used to sell an otherwise mediocre product. Luckily, the two members of OSI seem to be a pretty cohesive writing force, as Fire Make Thunder is as interesting as it is well put together.

Let's get personal here for a second, folks; I don't like prog. Sure, there is those "progressive-[insert suffix here]" bands I enjoy, but for the most part, it's not an attraction for me. Names like Mike Portnoy and Steven Wilson carry no selling value. Dream Theater do nothing but bore me at the best of times, and I seem to be the only metal fan who thought Arch/Matheos's Sympathetic Resonance was just "ok".

All that being said, this is a really cool little album. There's an incredibly distinct feeling of organic meets electronic going on here. Certain segments really seem like they belong in Tomahawk's Anonymous; drenched in influence from traditional Native American music, yet played with extremely inorganic sounding guitar tones. Mixed in between there is some keyboard synths that drift between the folky and cyber-electro sounds. The percussion runs parallel with the rest of the album; it weaves in and out from modern intricate prog drumming, to more simplistic, primitive rhythmic patterns.

The vocals seem to exemplify exactly what is wrong with this album, though: Too gentle. It's a shame, because Jim Matheos does a great job here when he bursts through with some catchy, flowing, yet heavy riffs. Too bad these types of riffs appear far too infrequently. The vocals just seem to pronounce this; they never seem to rise above a slight whisper or a soft chant, which gives the impression this would have better been left as a purely instrumental album.

Ignoring how it lacks in bombast, Fire Make Thunder is still a very thoughtful album. A definite recommendation for people who enjoyed Tomahawk, but would have liked to see them take a slightly more "metal" direction.


Band profile: OSI
Album: Fire Make Thunder


 



Written on 03.04.2012 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC, now semi-retired.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 24  
Users visited: 174  
Search this topic:  


Introspekrieg - 03.04.2012 at 09:57  
The lack of bombast is exactly what I love about OSI, there is an ambient quality. Their choices in sounds and segments seem to have an overall fluid balance to each album, sometimes dynamics can play a crucial role in the listener's experience. Great review though, I appreciate the good rating too... (although numbers compared to words mean nothing)
Doc Godin - 03.04.2012 at 09:59  
Written by Introspekrieg on 03.04.2012 at 09:57

The lack of bombast is exactly what I love about OSI, there is an ambient quality. Their choices in sounds and segments seem to have an overall fluid balance to each album, sometimes dynamics can play a crucial role in the listener's experience. Great review though, I appreciate the good rating too... (although numbers compared to words mean nothing)

I probably should have mentioned that, I didn't get a sense of ambiance where I felt the bombast was lacking.

Eye of the beholder I guess.
Milena - 03.04.2012 at 10:17  
Couldn't have been more right about the "dream team", I don't think there is a prog fan who doesn't shiver with excitement on the thought of Kevin Moore collaborating with Jim Matheos (you can't get any better than that really) on something that has become more than just a "project", a "thing". I guess the fact you like this album speaks for itself, this is a really good release that transcends genre boundaries and can appeal to a lot of people. Nice job on the interview too.

A little thought on the Arch/Matheos thing - although most people, me included, would disagree that the level of meandering was on par with younger prog bands who have not grasped the concept of subtlety, it still didn't magically and fully unfold itself for me during the first or the second listen like most of prog albums do, and it had to do with John Arch's vocals, which are way too heavy on top of the whole thing and which need a lot of getting used to. For me they changed the "taste" of the whole album, and other folks had other problems with the album - the fact we didn't choose it for a nomination despite all of us listening to it says something. So it's not like you're alone in your opinion
Ivor - 03.04.2012 at 21:29  
This OSI album is captivating. I loved the first one although it took me a while to appreciate it, but it was totally worth it. 2nd and 3rd have largely passed me by. This one, however, clicked on the first listen. The contrast of heavy riffs and the ambient electronic background works wonders. And Moore's voice, suites it. Not sure what would be the result with harsh vocals. Can't picture it, to be honest. Not I think I would particularly like it, was it the case.

And btw, I'm with you on Arch/Matheos - absolutely fail to see what's so special about and why people like it.

I.
Troy Killjoy - 03.04.2012 at 23:04  
This review is far too short for a prog album. Milena's response was 3/4 of what you said!

(Just to clarify, this is a dig at prog, not the review.)
tea[m]ster - 04.04.2012 at 00:55  
Doc, is this the first OSI album you've listened to? Every album of theirs the vocals are calm and serene and mostly take a back seat to the music. The electronics and samples and the way Jim records his guitars have always been A and 1A of importance in producing OSI's unique sound.

Nice job with the review even tho I'd like to see a prog-metal fan review it too. Get both ends of the spectrum.
Introspekrieg - 04.04.2012 at 01:46  
Written by tea[m]ster on 04.04.2012 at 00:55

Nice job with the review even tho I'd like to see a prog-metal fan review it too. Get both ends of the spectrum.


I think he did a pretty good job of reviewing it, wrote exactly how he heard it. A prog-metal fanboy (like me) probably wouldn't have the distinct clarity of a fresh introduction to the band.
strade - 04.04.2012 at 02:03  
Holy shit, how did I miss this? I had no idea a new OSI album was coming out. Will be listening to this ASAP.
tea[m]ster - 04.04.2012 at 03:29  
Written by Introspekrieg on 04.04.2012 at 01:46

A prog-metal fanboy (like me)


And me.

I would like to see a review from you or Mora too.
Merchant of Doom - 04.04.2012 at 12:57  
Same old shit...
Spirit Molecule - 04.04.2012 at 13:16  
Still haven't checked the album out, the pre order sold out before I could get it :/ Anyway will check it out soon.
Milena - 04.04.2012 at 13:35  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.04.2012 at 23:04

This review is far too short for a prog album. Milena's response was 3/4 of what you said!

(Just to clarify, this is a dig at prog, not the review.)

More than half of it was about that Arch/Matheos album he mentioned
BloodTears - 04.04.2012 at 20:20  
I'm enjoying the album thoroughly. I was scared it would disappoint me but no, everything I liked in them is still there. It's just such a great combination, the electronic/keyboards side and the heavy guitars which fit just right.

I quite like Moore's vocals as well, they are what they are. It's almost withholding and refrained, but I can see why some people would dislike it.
JohnDoe - 04.04.2012 at 20:31  
Nice review from Doc, did not expect him to give this band a listen, no offense

I love this album; I heard an on line interview with Kevin who said they would like to go on tour, now that would be awesome.
Milena - 04.04.2012 at 22:31  
Written by BloodTears on 04.04.2012 at 20:20

I quite like Moore's vocals as well, they are what they are. It's almost withholding and refrained, but I can see why some people would dislike it.

I remember hearing the demo of "Space Dye Vest" with Kevin's vocals laid down in a similar fashion a couple of years ago and thinking "boy, I want an album full of this". And then I found out about the existence of OSI
tea[m]ster - 04.04.2012 at 23:36  
Written by JohnDoe on 04.04.2012 at 20:31

I love this album; I heard an on line interview with Kevin who said they would like to go on tour, now that would be awesome.


Don't know how Jim Matheos does it. His plate is always full!
Milena - 05.04.2012 at 00:11  
Written by tea[m]ster on 04.04.2012 at 23:36

Don't know how Jim Matheos does it. His plate is always full!

Let's ask Dan Swanö
BloodTears - 05.04.2012 at 22:06  
Written by Milena on 04.04.2012 at 22:31

Written by BloodTears on 04.04.2012 at 20:20

I quite like Moore's vocals as well, they are what they are. It's almost withholding and refrained, but I can see why some people would dislike it.

I remember hearing the demo of "Space Dye Vest" with Kevin's vocals laid down in a similar fashion a couple of years ago and thinking "boy, I want an album full of this". And then I found out about the existence of OSI


It's a shame DT never play that song live since it's Kevin's song. I would love to see that live. Did you listen to OSI's previous albums? They are definitely worth it.
Milena - 05.04.2012 at 22:43  
Written by BloodTears on 05.04.2012 at 22:06

It's a shame DT never play that song live since it's Kevin's song. I would love to see that live. Did you listen to OSI's previous albums? They are definitely worth it.

Rudess and LaBrie play it sometimes, but that's not the same.
Yes, I have, I have listened to the first one, which is excellent, and sampled a bit of the middle ones.
Marcel Hubregtse - 05.04.2012 at 22:47  
I liked their first couple so I thought I'd give this a try... but this is immensely boring. Arch?matheos though not brilliant still pisses all over this monstrosity of eeak boringness.
JohnDoe - 06.04.2012 at 01:28  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.04.2012 at 22:47

I liked their first couple so I thought I'd give this a try... but this is immensely boring. Arch?matheos though not brilliant still pisses all over this monstrosity of eeak boringness.




Well, I'm not surprised you don't like it.
Milena - 20.04.2012 at 11:32  
Written by BloodTears on 05.04.2012 at 22:06

It's a shame DT never play that song live since it's Kevin's song. I would love to see that live.

Btw, when I said it's not the same, I didn't mean I don't want to hear Rudess playing it... I listened to their live version on youtube and the quality of the video doesn't do it justice at all, but what sucked to me while watching that video were the people's comments. Since there weren't any samples and since there weren't any other instruments but piano and voice, and the song relies on that to create variety, Rudess had to improvise around it a little bit, and it generated all the usual "Rudess sucks, Moore was king" comments. I wouldn't have a problem with that if all those people weren't around my age, which means they were toddlers while Moore was playing in DT. They just adopted someone else's opinion.

I mean, sure, Moore was/is great at creating atmospheres, he went to play ambient music after DT after all. But hating Jordan just because he has a different style, and blaming him for Dream Theater's change in direction isn't a nice thing. People forget that DT used to shit brilliance during the 90's, and on songs that Moore had nothing to do with too.
BloodTears - 20.04.2012 at 20:53  
Written by Milena on 20.04.2012 at 11:32

Btw, when I said it's not the same, I didn't mean I don't want to hear Rudess playing it... I listened to their live version on youtube and the quality of the video doesn't do it justice at all, but what sucked to me while watching that video were the people's comments. Since there weren't any samples and since there weren't any other instruments but piano and voice, and the song relies on that to create variety, Rudess had to improvise around it a little bit, and it generated all the usual "Rudess sucks, Moore was king" comments. I wouldn't have a problem with that if all those people weren't around my age, which means they were toddlers while Moore was playing in DT. They just adopted someone else's opinion.

I mean, sure, Moore was/is great at creating atmospheres, he went to play ambient music after DT after all. But hating Jordan just because he has a different style, and blaming him for Dream Theater's change in direction isn't a nice thing. People forget that DT used to shit brilliance during the 90's, and on songs that Moore had nothing to do with too.


Rudess enjoys doing these long improv things with every song he plays. He has a version of Porcupine Tree's "Lazarus" with Steven Wilson (I suggest it on YT), where that actually works. Sometimes it's a matter of taste but I don't necessarily blame him for the lame road DT is taking. It's a collective effort although I do think sometimes the keyboards get in there just for the sake of being in there instead of having a point. But for younger people who only know DT's latest albums, think "Octavarium" and see what a good job Rudess did there.
Milena - 20.04.2012 at 21:03  
Written by BloodTears on 20.04.2012 at 20:53

It's a collective effort although I do think sometimes the keyboards get in there just for the sake of being in there instead of having a point. But for younger people who only know DT's latest albums, think "Octavarium" and see what a good job Rudess did there.

Yeah, it's... it's his style. He's that big scale prog rock player I guess. I don't always like it, I used to dislike it pretty much before I got more seriously into DT, but when he's good, he's "Blind Faith"-good. It's a question of whether or not Moore or Sherinian would fit into today's DT anyway, but I'm happy with having the best of Moore in OSI now... I'll probably seek out Chroma Key as well, some of the tracks I've sampled sound quite nice. Moore-ish.

But Jordan is probably the most likeable as a person out of all three DT keyboard players, so that's a huge plus for him.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Reviews R.U.S.T. - Forged In The Fire Of Metal 6 09.09.2011 by Cynic Metalhead
Reviews High On Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis 6 17.04.2012 by R'Vannith
Reviews 3 Inches Of Blood - Fire Up The Blades 6 17.11.2009 by BoxCar Willy
Reviews Crowned By FIre - Prone To Destroy 6 03.12.2011 by Troy Killjoy
Reviews Royal Thunder - CVI 6 17.05.2012 by Nosurper



Hits total: 3049 | This month: 47