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.
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.