Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"O" is for...


OSI

OSI "FIRE MAKE THUNDER"

 

OSI is an American progressive experimental supergroup formed by Fates Warning guitarist Jim Matheos and former Dream Theater keyboardist Kevin Moore. The name refers to the short-lived US government agency Office of Strategic Influence which was established shortly after 9/11 to promote pro-US propaganda in domestic and foreign media.
 
OSI’s debut album debut brought together an all-star supporting cast, including Sean Malone (Cynic) on bass, Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) on drums, and guest vocals from Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree).
 
The problem with OSI is that the debut and subsequent releases have failed to live up to expectations, with Jim and Kevin never managing to blend their individual styles into one homogenous sound.
 
Until now.
 
After three albums of trial-and-error, it appears that the fourth time is the charm.

With songs that are a near-seamless blend of Jim Matheos’ riffs and arrangements with Kevin Moore’s electronics and keyboard prowess, and each member finally seems to bringing their A-game to the project, the band has an attitude and swagger that was largely missing from previous releases.
 
They’re heavier and more energetic and even the mellower sections benefit from renewed vigor. Dark and moody melodies seem to wrap themselves around the layers of synth that dominate each song, and Moore is firing on all cylinders, having returned to the experimental sounds that were bright spots on the first two OSI releases.

Although there are obviously "typical" OSI tracks, the biggest improvement comes from the increased diversity found throughout the album. T
he album definitely has more peaks and valleys than previous releases, and when it comes to tempos and moods, the songs have benefited from the more refined blend of each artist’s individual style, taking on much darker atmosphere than previous releases, with excellent interplay between Jim’s moody guitar melodies and Kevin’s layers of synth.

Although it is possible that OSI will never live up to expectations,  Fire Make Thunder is OSI’s first album that even comes close.
 
 
 
ALBUM SAMPLER

 

 INVISIBLE MEN

 

 COLD CALL

 

 

16 comments:

  1. Another new group for me. I like the sound--especially the dreamier sounding stuff.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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  2. I'm not sure this is my kind of music from the first song, here, but I'll give the others a listen.

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    1. Andrew-

      While I do branch out more normally, all of the bands for the A to Z challenge are progressive bands, although there is a fairly wide spectrum in there.

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  3. I listened to the entire Album Sampler. The lead singer has a really nice voice and many of the lyrics are very "poetic" sounding. That is a compliment on my part. I didn't always like it when the bass line was so hard played out against the softness of the lead singer's voice. I just didn't think that worked so well. Same goes with the driving guitar riffs. It was a shocking dichotomy that always startled me... not in a good way. There are probably some songs on this album that I would like in their entirety. BTW, before this posting I had never heard of this group, so... thanks!

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    1. Robin-one of the drawbacks to the newer progressive bands is that they tend to be harder, and sometimes the transitional passages make you feel like you're in a war zone.

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  4. I like them! I enjoyed everything I heard in the videos. Thanks for another band to look for! :)

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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    1. Happy hunting, Kristen!

      The advantage to prog music is the musicians tend to be prolific, so finding their side projects makes for some rewarding listening...

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  5. I really dug the first album, although agree the second one wasn't quite up to snuff.

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    1. Alex-this one is probably the best of the bunch...

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    1. Glad to turn you onto something new, Vanessa!

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  7. I love Mike Portnoy. He's phenomenal. Even tho he played in the Rev's style for Avenged, you could still see his energy coming through. Regretfully, he wasn't with them when they had their tour stop in St Louis. God, I'd have LOVED to see him.

    I like the blend in Invisible Men. I do like the blend of soft and dreamy against a harder line. But then, I like Rock. :-) They do manage to showcase the different talents of the group but they ARE playing AS a GROUP and not individuals jamming.

    Enjoyed the musical interlude...

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    1. Sia-If you like Portnoy, check out his work with the prog "supergroup" Transatlantic.

      I especially love The Whirlwind.

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  8. Replies
    1. I never seem to feel that way when I am cleaning up his hairballs or scooping his litter box!

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