“Fire Make Thunder” marks the fourth undertaking for the collaborative duo known as OSI. Formed in 2002 by Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos) and Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, former Dream Theater keyboardist), OSI is a long distance partnership, both musicians typically writing and recording alone and sending song ideas back and forth for further elaboration. Written and recorded throughout most of 2011, this latest release once again reflects the eclectic influences of both Matheos and Moore.
It’s pretty damn interesting listening to this collaboration. I find myself drawing images of cruising a long expanse of road on a destination to who knows where or lying on a huge pristine white quilted bed with a set of headphones on losing myself in wherever this album takes me.
Matheos and Moore have indeed managed to mix ambient beats, keys and samples with some great chunky riffs that draw to mind a truly eclectic set of tracks exactly as they say on the tin (or at least as they say from the first paragraph above quoted verbatim from their site)!
Let’s call it chilled out rock, cool metal, whatever you will. There’s sparks of neon, of being placed inside the world of Tron, where we’re not just hearing the sounds of Daft Punk but can also hear the sounds of OSI echoing throughout.
The opening track “Cold Call” and its follow on “Guards” have this chilled ambient feel that still manage to maintain the feeling even when they bring in pristine heavy riffs. The vocals play a big part in this as well though, keeping themselves haunting and distant throughout. I’m even feeling a touch of industrial edge and Nine Inch Nails creeping in throughout.
“Indian Curse” makes me immediately look towards some of the early Radiohead stuff with a very melancholic minor key that I absolutely love to bits. Probably my favourite track on the album.
We get a chance to see OSI mix things up as we move on throughout the album with a great instrumental heavy funk track, “Enemy Prayer”. I have to say I’m not really one for instrumentals at the best of times but there’s an awful lot of shades of light and dark in this one that keeps your interest without over-staying its welcome. Big and progressive for all its less than five-minute length it still brings us back into that chill out zone in places.
The second half of the album continues with a wonderful chilled out vibe through the enigmatic “Wind Won’t Howl” into the quirky “Big Chief II” that once again pulls in some great guitar work sitting alongside the soft vocals and electronica before descending into the trance like mellowness of “For Nothing”.
For the final track I get the feeling OSI threw just about everything in their repertoire together to make almost ten minutes of ambient, chilled out, cool rock in the form of the grandiose and much layered “Invisible Men”. The track absolutely flies by and sadly the ten minutes are over along with the end of the album before you know it.
This album truly is a chilled out piece of rock indeed. Highly recommended for long lazy days by the pool, cruising on the lonely highway or just allowing yourself to stop, take a deep breath and sink into your own little world.
“Fire Make Thunder” will be available from March 27th via Metal Blade Records
Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos) – guitars, bass, keyboards, programming
Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, ex-Dream Theater) – vocals, keyboards, programming
with guest musician:
Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) – drums
1. Cold Call
3. Indian Curse
4. Enemy Prayer
5. Wind Won’t Howl
6. Big Chief II
7. For Nothing
8. Invisible Men