OSI - 2012 Fire Makes Thunder

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ARTIST: OSI
ALBUM: Fire Makes Thunder
LABEL: Metal Blade
SERIAL: 3984-15051-1
YEAR: 2012

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Jim Matheos - guitars, programming * Kevin Moore - vocals, keyboards, programming * Gavin Harrison - drums

TRACK LISTING: 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

RATING: image

WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

Obvious fans of the 'less is more' principle, OSI somehow managed to cram all the defining principles of their music, and make them sound good while doing so, on a 43-minute-album.

The Songs

'Cold Call' is the James Dean of OSI songs, offset by a long string of spoken word samples and whispers, with a huge riff and lots of intertwining melodies and aspects that all come together in the end, with a rather slow groove.

'Guards' is much more upbeat, having a sequenced drum beat and a developed, slick as all hell bass line, as well as a hammering guitar riff that sets the point straight along with the repetitive 'we're calling' vocal motif.

'Indian Curse' is a nice breather with some acoustic guitars incorporated within it, and during it you can, for the very first time, notice how Kevin Moore's vocals have evolved from an almost spoken-word style into actual, somewhat 'professional' sounding singing, although, of course, I liked them from the very start.

'Enemy Prayer' is a non-orthodox progressive metal instrumental, because it has several culminations and releases of tension.

'Wind Won't Howl' has vocal melodies very much reminiscent of 'Radiologue' off their previous album, and contains some of my favourite melodies to hum, and I simply adore Kevin's unobtrusive 'one, four, three' whispers before the beginning of the verse.

'Big Chief II' is rather weird - ungrammatic lyrics abound and the stark shortness of it is surprising - and I do think the album would have benefitted greatly from having it expanded.

'For Nothing' is a heart-warming further musical exploration of some of the ideas Kevin penned down on his final Chroma Key album, 'Graveyard Mountain Home', dripping with organic keyboard sounds and a simple drum loop.

'Invisible Men' presents a break from the tradition of having a slow, simple song as a closer on OSI albums. It is also the only epic the band's ever written, and it's probably their seminal track, containing everything that's good about their music. It's like a deja vu wrapped in a dream about a car chase shared by two people who never drove before in their lives - outlandishly good and unsettling in the same time.

In Summary

Since the music these two make (with the stellar help of their two drummers and some guest musicians that have been a part of the OSI story so far, of course) is unique and special to my heart, I was a little disappointed that this album was shorter than the usual 'order', since they only publish them once every three years anyway.

The next one arrives in, 2015? Welp, I'll have to wait a little longer, and now I almost envy the people who still haven't heard the band, as they have an overwhelmingly good back catalog to explore.


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