Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Guest review of Fire Make Thunder by OSI written by Left Hand Creation bassist Rob Holden

I would just like to take the time to introduce a guest reviewer that is helping me out by bringing you a more in depth look at some of the albums I will be reviewing. Rob Holden is the bassist of Oshawa, Ontario based metal band Left Hand Creation. They combine all types of metal and make it their own with brutal riffs and gut wrenching vocals. You can like their page here and you should show some support for local bands!

1. Cold Call
2. Guards
3. Indian Curse
4. Enemy Prayer
5. Wind Won't Howl
6. Big Chief II
7. For Nothing
8. Invisible Men

OSI is the progressive-ambient metal pairing of Jim Matheos (Fates Warning) and Kevin Moore (Dream Theatre) who have been consistently churning out albums since 2003. While the traditional method of writing metal albums have been written in stone for some time, OSI is as progressive in their recording methods as they are with their music, sending each other their own musical tracks over great distances via email to compile into a full length metal masterpiece is nothing less than astonishing, and admirable, (lazy?) I joke…

The album kicks off with the song “Cold Call” and begins with a (fittingly) cold and creepy intro played over a real life emergency radio broadcast, which grips the listener for 1:52 until the heavy guitar and drums burst into the song. The monotone vocals are reminiscent of Maynard (Tool) and Chino (Deftones), and are placed perfectly. The mood wavers not for a single moment in this 7:11 masterpiece.

As cold and groove as this album may sound, this is not just a jam album. The progressive nature continues with the second track “Guards” and blends very heavy and interesting guitar riffs into an almost industrial sounding song structure. This track is a little more upbeat, but doesn’t last long before it drops the feeling back down into the original mood.

“Indian Curse” is an ambient ballad, and is beautifully written, but nonetheless, a little boring. “Enemy Prayer” brings the heavy guitars back into the mix, but vocals take a rest for this track. 22 minutes into this album and the mood hasn’t changed much yet.  “Wind Won’t Howl” is another long ambient (boring) track. Ok, time to bring back the heavy…lets go…

“Big Chief II” is the angriest song on the album vocally, without bringing any of the heaviness from a few of the other tracks. “For Nothing” is easily the most forgettable song on the album, switching the sombre mood to a happy ambient ballad for just a couple minutes…A strange choice, in my opinion.

“Invisible Men” is an excellent ambient outro to the album, and keeps the listener interested right up until the last moment. This song is as gentle as a final punch can get, but is effective nonetheless.

“Fire Make Thunder” will certainly be a cornerstone in the progressive-ambient metal genre, and will be an emotional listen for anybody with an open mind. Though I feel like it had much difficulty meeting the expectations I got from the first track, I enjoyed every moment I spent listening to the album. I began to forget about studying the song structures, and allowed myself to be engulfed by the overall mood of the album. This is how each person should approach this album. For fans of A Perfect Circle, Opeth, Deftones, Katatonia and the like, I would strongly suggest giving this album its much deserved time in your playlist.

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