Album Review: Born Of Osiris – Soul Sphere

Deathcore is a subgenre of metal blending elements of the subgenres metalcore and death metal. Metalcore is the amalgamation of metal and hardcore music, using breakdowns as a defining point. Djent (labelled as such in a sort of description of the sounds being made) uses heavy distortion, palm muting, and clever beats and rhythms. Diminished, Your Heart Engraved, and Rosecrance; all names for a group of people who would become a staple in the modern-day music scene. The reason for this prolonged list of seemingly random definitions and nom de guerre, is that it helps in piecing together the ingredients which make up (or “give birth to”, if you will…) Chicago band Born Of Osiris. The group could possibly be defined as deathcore on their initial three releases; the 2007 EP ‘The New Reign’, the debut album ‘A Higher Place’ released in 2009, and 2011’s ‘The Discovery‘. Influences of metalcore could be heard from very the beginning, but it was on the sophomore release that you started to hear subtle hints of the djent nature. 2013 brought us the most ambitious record yet from the Northland pentad. Tomorrow We Die ∆live’ found the boys dropping some of the deathcore sound to incorporate more djent and almost symphonic nuances, which left some of the original fans with a bad taste in their mouth. Keyboardist Joe Buras was also heard singing clean vocals on at least a few tracks; a tactic not used on previous releases. Regardless of the “on-the-fence” mentality when it came to this album, it was the groups best charting release yet, debuting at 27 on the Billboard 200. This brings us to our current point of focus with their latest LP, ‘Soul Sphere’.

[tw-toggle title=”About Born of Osiris”]
Genre: Metal
Label: Sumerian Records
Release: October 23, 2015
Connect: Facebook | Twitter | Home
Purchase: iTunes | Google Play

In this writers humble (yet hopefully well received) opinion, ‘Soul Sphere’ puts forth the perfect harmonization of all that has made Born Of Osiris great both past and present. Although the blast beats which are a highlight of deathcore are in short supply, the fast tapping riffs and plucking are prevalent throughout. There are still touches of djent heard, but the reigning genre is that of metalcore, strewn with Buras’ now signature sound of keyboards and synthesizers that perfectly accentuate every other element of these Sumerian rockers.

The opening track “The Other Half Of Me” begins with ominous tones set forth by Buras, followed by slamming guitars and drumming that seem to crush the very ground beneath your feet. Ronnie Canizaro makes his presence known with an intense scream, reminiscent of a battle cry that would instill fear in the bravest of hearts. This song was a perfect representation of what the band is best at, and it let the listener know that the boys were back with a vengeance.

The second song brings us to the initial single, “Throw Me In The Jungle”. Something slightly different for the group with a name that stems from the Egyptian story of Osiris and Horus. The music we all hear almost leans to a classic metal/modern metalcore feel with heavily strummed power chords and vocals subtly heard in the background as the intro is brought to its culmination and the song is pushed out in full force. This track did deliver something different than normally heard from Born Of Osiris, but was far from the biggest risk taken on this stellar album. That comes later.

BORN OF OSIRIS – Throw Me In The Jungle

ITUNES: AMAZON: GOOGLEPLAY: MERCH: VINYL Pre-Order: Mixed, mastered and reamped by: Buster Odeholm at Fatal Studios (Sweden) Lyrics: I’ll leave my blood in the city Throw me in the jungle I can finally say I’m ready Throw me in the jungle Just let my lungs

At about 31 seconds in “Free Fall” brings us some heavy djent riffage, but stays true to the heavy metalcore sound brought to us from the start of this groups career. “Illuminate” has a chant that you could almost compare with a tribal hymn which pays homage to the spirits. “The Sleeping And The Dead” showcases some of the best rhythmic displays of Canizaro’s insane vocals abilities, and “Tidebinder” is a prime example that even keyboards can sound like the most beautiful symphony with the right fingers at the helm. The second single “Resilience” is the perfect title on two accounts. One, for the simple fact that this band has exemplified exactly that in the entirety of their career; facing the loss of members and some (but not many) unfavorable reviews from fans and critics alike. And two because the song itself almost fills you with a feeling of strength in the knowledge that you can face anything and prevail. The greatest example of “thinking outside the box” when it comes to the typical tunage from these lads comes from the song entitled “The Louder The Sound, The More We All Believe”. This song begins with an almost dance-ready ditty matched with hard pounding drums, and dual vocals swooning by both Canizaro and Buras. This song brings the band closer to a straight up rock sound than ever before, without losing any of that metal edge they do so well. You must face this song above all others with an open mind, but if you do there is almost no chance you could be disappointed.

‘Soul Sphere’ shows the world that you can strive to experiment and explore all reaches of what music has to offer. Many bands do this in the hopes they don’t remain stuck in one musical form that can only result in becoming stagnant and irrelevant. Born Of Osiris pushed the boundaries with the addition of even more ambient elements, a larger use of clean vocals, and even dipped their toes in previously untested genre pools. And yes; they pulled it off in spades. This is quite possibly their greatest release yet, and I think the world will have a refreshed desire to see what else these heavy hitters have in store for us.

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