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OSI Fire Make Thunder album cover
3.61 | 176 ratings | 8 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Cold Call (7:10)
2. Guards (5:03)
3. Indian Curse (4:42)
4. Enemy Prayer (4:54)
5. Wind Won't Howl (5:05)
6. Big Chief II (3:04)
7. For Nothing (3:18)
8. Invisible Men (9:54)

Total Time 43:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Jim Matheos / guitar, bass, keyboards, programming
- Kevin Moore / vocals, keyboards, guitar (2,5,8), programming

- Gavin Harrison / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Brent Stegeman

CD Metal Blade Records ‎- 3984-15051-2 (2012, US)
LP Metal Blade Records ‎- 3984-15051-1 (2012, Europe)

Thanks to Lynx33 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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OSI Fire Make Thunder ratings distribution

(176 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

OSI Fire Make Thunder reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Fire Make Thunder' - OSI (8/10)

Although OSI began as a supergroup pairing between Fates Warning guitarist Jim Matheos and former Dream Theater keyboardist Kevin Moore, a string of critically successful records has gone to establish the band with a sound that is all its own. Although it's undeniable that a great deal of OSI's initial recognition and exposure was due to Matheos and Moore's history with two of prog metal's titans, they have since developed a fairly signature sound for this project. 'Fire Make Thunder' is the fourth journey from this collaboration, and while a similar sound to those of past OSI material is still strongly evident here, the album feels no less relevant to progressive rock in 2012. Even for listeners who are not already a fan of either musician, 'Fire Make Thunder' should make for an impressive listen.

Although OSI is typically labelled as 'progressive metal', the sound is far-flung from Fates Warning's calculating fury, or the early Dream Theater's technical showmanship. The music on 'Fire Make Thunder' has some of the qualities of metal, but there is a decidedly ambient approach to the way these songs are produced and arranged. As has been the case for OSI since their debut however, the most distinctive aspect of what the band does is the unique combination of Matheos' proggy songwriting, and Moore's more laid-back sensibility. Musically, OSI here feels like a continuation of what Moore once did with his solo project Chroma Key. The sound is warm and vibrant, but the mood, more often than not, is one of melancholy and reflection. Matheos' dark instrumental ideas compliment Moore's dynamic very nicely. To top things off, virtuoso drummer Gavin Harrison (of Porcupine Tree) offers his talents as well, making for the best drumwork yet heard in an OSI record.

'Fire Make Thunder' is not much different stylistically from the ambient metal direction of what has come before for OSI, but there is a greater emphasis on the guitars than before, solving an issue I had when first listening to the band (with the album 'Free') where it felt like Matheos was not being represented as much as he should be. That being said, Kevin Moore's contributions still feel the most distinctive and indicative of OSI's overall style. Although Matheos does the songwriting, Moore's melancholic quirk weaves its way through everything he does, particularly the lyrics. Poetic and mysterious are two terms that might best describe the lyrical impact on 'Fire Make Thunder'. Kevin Moore's voice is a love-it-or- hate-it thing for metalheads, and while his delivery sometimes feels the constraints of his limited range, the warmth of his voice compliments his style very well.

OSI certainly isn't a typical progressive metal band, but fans of Fates Warning and Dream Theater likely won't be disappointed when they hear this. Even outside of that fanbase, OSI has created something that feels fresh, modern and relevant. Although the sound runs the risk of sounding a little too similar to what the band has done in the past, 'Fire Make Thunder' is an impressive, lasting, and deceptively laid-back record that should make some waves in the prog community.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For those related to the metal side of progressive rock, I assume is the name of OSI is familiar. For those who are not, let me tell you then that this project was started back in 2002 by Kevin Moore (Dream Theater) and Jim Matheos (Fates Warning), a couple of well-known musicians who gathered ideas in order to create new music. During the years, they have worked with guest musicians and singers such as Tim Bowness or Mikael Akerfeldt. And now, in this 2012 they have just released their fourth studio album, called 'Fire Make Thunder'. Here, they offer eight compositions that make a total time of 43 minutes.

It kicks off with 'Cold Call' in which we can listen to a news journalist talking as background while the electronic elements are being added little by little. The atmosphere is tense and the intensity is increasing while the seconds pass. At minute two the music explodes and shows its inherent metal tendency, mainly due to the guitar. Later Kevin Moore's vocals enter with its soft tune; I assume he is not actually a singer, however, I like his voice and he does it really well here. It is not the typical metal voice (thanks God). The programming puts different nuances that are wonderfully complemented by the physical instruments.

'Guards' has a more experimental sound, here, at first, the heavy and metal side are not that evident because it is shadowed by the programming and electronic atmospheres. I like a lot the bass sound in this track, and how it is progressing, making different changes and of course, adding a cool guitar riff in the final minutes. A contrast comes now with 'Indian Curse', which is a much softer track with acoustic guitar, a soft voice and a warm atmosphere as background. The song flows and continues like this for the next 4 minutes.

With 'Enemy Prayer' the metal guitar returns, putting that mandatory power and energy in the music, later where drums join the rhythm is accelerated and even more powerful. Then it makes some changes, slowing down the temperature a little bit, and implementing some nice figures until a cool guitar solo appears and the sound returns to its original and heavier form. This is a purely (and cool) instrumental track. 'Wind Won't Howl' has that great combination between programming and soft guitars. A minute later the vocals enter and a new keyboard atmosphere can be perceived. The music is great, charming and interesting, making a blend of prog rock with some industrial, metal and even post-rock tendencies.

'Big Chief II' and 'For Nothing' are the shortest tracks of the album, passing only the three- minute mark. The first one has a powerful tune while the vocals contrast with its soft sound; here I like a lot the drums, showing power and cadence at the same time. The second one is much calmer with repetitive guitar sound and a distant atmosphere, it reminds me a bit of Nine Inch Nails in its least experimental side. Though these two songs are not bad at all, I have to say this is the weakest part of the album, by far.

And the longest composition comes in the end. 'Invisible Men' reaches almost ten minutes of a wonderful summary of what OSI's music is about. It is flowing and progressing little by little; the programming is soft, repetitive but addictive, and greatly complemented by vocals. After three minutes there is a change, the sound volume increases and makes a brief explosion that all of a sudden vanishes; then, paused guitars enter and seconds later the metal tune joins. The music flows and takes us to different passages, one of my favorites is after eight minutes where a disarming guitar sounds, while a soft atmosphere is as background, and Moore's voice delicately appears. After that, the song finishes, as well as the album.

A very good effort by OSI, recommendable not only for metal lovers, but for those who like this kind of experimentation and mixture of elements. Without a doubt, the record deserves at least 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. This is the first OSI album not to feature guests on it. And of course they have had some significant people helping them out over the previous three albums like Steven Wilson, Mikael Akerfeldt, Tim Bowness, Joey Vera, Mike Portnoy and more. This is the same trio that were on the last album "Blood" with Matheos, Moore and Harrison. And again we do get plenty of programming and electronics. To my ears there seems like there is more ambient and dark sections on this one when compared to the previous three records, but make no mistake this sounds like OSI.

"Cold Call" is kind of cool as we get samples of a radio station broadcast that tells the listeners that the government is about to release an important emergency statement so everything is on hold. A beat can be heard as these words are spoken then it gets heavier after 1 1/2 minutes then here we go ! They are crushing it then the vocals come in at 2 1/2 minutes as the heavy riffs continue to come and go. It turns out there is no announcement forth coming much to the amusement of the announcer. "Guards" rocks pretty good everytime the guitar kicks in, especially during the instrumental section after 3 1/2 minutes. "Indian Curse" is fairly laid back with vocals. Not too impressed with the first three tracks but "Enemy prayer" is a top three for me. Everything sounds better on this track. Electronics and keys to open. It kicks in before a minute with riffs. Electronics and keys are back before 3 minutes then the drums join in. Ripping guitar before 4 minutes.

"Wind Won't Howl" is another top three. We get a beat with electronics as reserved vocals join in. It's heavier after 3 1/2 minutes. Great sounding track. "Big Chief II" is catchy with vocals and it does get heavy at times. "For Nothing" is laid back with vocals. I like it ! "Invisible men" is the almost 10 minute closer and one of the best OSI songs that i've heard. Sounds build as the vocals come in. Great sound after 3 1/2 minutes. Then we get a dark calm. The guitar starts to grind away then it kicks in after 4 1/2 minutes. It settles with vocals then the guitar kicks in again as contrasts continue. It calms right down late to end it.

This might grow on me but i'm a little disappointed with it.

Review by jampa17
4 stars GAVIN HARRISON plays the drums and composed one song for the album

Maybe if I start naming the drummer of Porcupine Tree, just maybe the people might put more attention to this great music. I mean, O.S.I is now a coherent side project with four albums and more than 10 years bringing great music to the world of prog and it's still an underdog, an unknown project. Well, this a great band and this album is maybe their most accessible for any kind of prog music fan. This is a great album to hear driving in the night through the country side. It's a vivid experience of different emotions and great moods and grooves.

Well, if you already know their other albums, you already know how this sounds: a great balance between layered keyboards, heavy guitars and soft paced vocals. The difference with their last effort "Blood", is that the music is less dark but more melancholic. The music takes you into an easy journey around a lot of landscapes and "visual" sounds. This is one of those few bands that can make interesting music and that the sounds emerge in my mind as visions. JIM MATHEOS commands the ride with great heavy guitar riffs and some really nice harmonic clean guitars. KEVIN MOORE is in charge of the ambient keyboards, sampling and his slow down tuned vocals, with that peculiar style in between depressive and sarcastic.

For those who haven't heard anything of this band but like Porcupine Tree, Oceansize, even Riverside or other alternative prog-rock bands, this band is for you. This particular album is quite accessible and short enough to make you want more. This is also a great match for those who like Moore's other work, such as The Chroma Key.

You'll find an instrumental track, based on a Harrison phrase that the band constructed from there. If you are interested in music with sense, melancholic and hard, this is a great alternative. O.S.I surely deserves more attention from the prog fans. You can start here. Fire Make Thunder is a solid 4 stars album.

Latest members reviews

4 stars What turns a "side project" into a legitimate act? If quality, consistency and a (now) 4 album discography are qualifiers, OSI is certainly a legitimate artist. Due to the quality found here and albums preceding "Fire Make Thunder" I find it surprising that OSI doesn't have a bigger following. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1064664) | Posted by Timdano | Tuesday, October 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

1 stars OSI are an abbreviation for "Office of Strategic Influence" which was also the band's first release nine years ago. The group is composed of the two famous Progressive Metal musicians Kevin Moore who has been in Dream Theater as well as in Fates Warning and Jim Matheos who still is in Fates Warnin ... (read more)

Report this review (#808965) | Posted by kluseba | Thursday, August 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is a regular guest in the stereo of my car since well over a month. In my opinion it doesn't represent a masterwork but easily the best outcome of the interesting project carried on by OSI and the apex of the band's musical journey so far. All tracks are interesting without any part ... (read more)

Report this review (#743752) | Posted by Avtokrat | Tuesday, April 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It is sometimes difficult to be critical of bands that have a strong forward momentum; as well as such luminaries as Moore, Matheos and Harrison behind the wheel. I gave this disc a couple of listens before attempting to write this review. The telltale OSI sound is clear and abundant in this ... (read more)

Report this review (#700503) | Posted by merid1en | Friday, March 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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