OSI’s fourth LP one of the best of 2012

The best comes to those who wait.  Who hasn’t heard, spoken, or written that old adage?  Well, in the case of prog-rock supergroup OSI (Office of Strategic Influence), the best–so far–has come.  The band–Kevin Moore (Chroma Key/ex-Dream Theater), Jim Matheos (Fates Warning), and Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree)–has rewarded fans who have waited since the release of its 2009 release, “Blood.”  Simply put, the band’s fourth full length studio effort, “Fire Make Thunder” will be making fire and thunder of its own among fans once it drops.

“Fire Make Thunder” is without a doubt a work of genius.  It is collectively some of the band’s best work to date.  The album starts off soft, with “Cold Call” and ends just as soft with the eery final tones of the album’s closer, “Invisible Men.”  In between these two tracks is a collection of works that make for an album that real prog-rock fans will love.  “Fire Make Thunder” opens eerily, with an announcer speaking about an emergency of some type.  That’s overlaid by the electronics and keyboards that fans have come to know from OSI.  That opening leads into a solid, heavier sound that doesn’t let up until the album’s third song, “Indian Curse.” 

Lyrically speaking, Indian Curse” comes across almost as a history lesson of sorts.  The lyrics seem to speak of the journey of the Native Americans, including their eventual forced removal of their people from their land.  The accompanying music would seem to enforce that theme, too, as it has a rather subdued feel.  It isn’t the only interesting change of sound for OSI this time out.  The bittersweet sound of the album’s penultimate song, “For Nothing” is painful, yet somehow something so beautiful.  Maybe it’s the strains of the piano in the background that really help set the mood.  Regardless, it’s definitely one of the album’s standout tracks.  The full-on instrumental “Enemy Prayer” is another of the album’s real standout songs.  It’s one more piece of evidence that a rock song doesn’t always have to have lyrics to be a great song.

“Fire Make Thunder” has far more great pieces that could be dissected.  But to do that would require far more time than would be needed to properly do service for this album.  So suffice to say that whether for any of the pieces mentioned here or the others not mentioned, OSI has crafted in its new full length studio release, “Fire Make Thunder”, not only another great album, but perhaps its best album to date.  Fans who want more information on the band or its new album can follow the band online at http://www.osiband.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/OSI/203893353038854?sk=wall  and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/osi_band.