Underworld, London, UK - 21/5
Born Of Osiris
Written by: BL on 16/06/2011 18:30:36
Born Of Osiris are back and it seemed not everyone was as impressed with their last record "A Higher Place" as I was, mostly because it was far more eclectic and less straight up progressive deathcore I suppose if anything. In anycase regardless of whatever reason it may have been, "The Discovery" hopes to once and for all convince all doubters that Born Of Osiris are a force to be reckoned with. Clocking at nearly fifty three minutes of play time and fifteen tracks, "The Discovery" is a gargantuan beast of an album that sees Born Of Osiris return somewhat to a more conventional progressive deathcore style, but utilising some newer experimental elements brought about from the last album to create an album that is more focused, heavier, yet creatively and melodically explosive and thoroughly enjoyable.
The songwriting on "The Discovery" feels so much more refined and wholesome, fans who couldn't get into "A Higher Place" for being too all over the place can rest easy now. For me the most success came from the keyboards, which are back stronger than ever with their dazzling leads that colour up the rest of the instrumentation. For example on catchy pieces like opening song "Follow The Signs" and on "Ascension" they can create vivid passages which would have otherwise been fairly normal albeit simply crushing rhythm sections, and in different ways too each time - sometimes being the main hook, other times being a subtle extra melody. "Devastate" lives up to its namesake in that it is a bombtastic journey through what sounds like oblivion by being close to as heavy as the songs from their debut EP, momentary pauses where soft electronic keys and ambience pop up to add an extra dimension to the brutality and the song is mesmerising as it is caustic. "Recreate" is perhaps one of the best songs I dare say the band has written up to this point. Memorable soaring melodic lead guitars and the heavy, djenty rhythm guitars interplay feels smart yet accessible very much like Periphery, except it also feels very much like a new Born Of Osiris too.
Towards the end of "Two Worlds Of Design" the tone starts to feel a little more relaxed, chill, and almost eerie as various synths carefully accompany a closing breakdown into the following interlude "A Solution". Except it doesn't feel like a normal interlude, the soothing electronics surround tasteful clean vocals on the centre stage as nothing even remotely guitar heavy is present. Some might find a problem with the way pacing will slow down here, but I think its an effective and interesting way to space out the action, and show that there's a lot of variation in what these guys can do. "Shaping The Masterpiece" gets the show back underway with some fast and heavy guitars and some stellar drum work from Cameron Losch (who barely puts a foot or beat wrong on the other tracks) before an unexpected and unusual all electronic section closes the song out, strange and exotic vocal choir samples tangle with synthed drum beats to be one of the more interesting parts of the album. "Automatic Motion" may feel like a slight retread of some of the other earlier songs, but I like how by now I can tell, and from other tracks too that parts are getting repeated a lot more than they would have been in the past. In terms of writing good songs one should at least appreciate that by repeting key sections, it means that you will remember songs as being more individual through reinforcement. "The Omniscient" illustrates this point fairly well, being another interlude piece where a clever, but simple melodic lead guitar is brought back again and again until it sticks in your brain.
The final leg of the album is where the band start unfolding their really big guns, "Last Straw" and "Regenerate" showcase maze like technicality in arrangements, amazing feats of guitar dexterity in shredded leads, angular buzzsaw like riffs, but always maintaining strong melodic themes throughout. The latter in particular has some great tempo and mood changes to ramp up the excitement. "XIV" is the third and last interlude and the likely calm before the storm. There's a darker and almost more theatrical feel - a perfect way to create that niggling feeling of growing suspense before the grand finale "Behold" rounds things out. Everything comes together at this point and boy is this one something special - there's this awesome mechanical-sounding theme thats the foundation all the way to the end, delirious soloing guitars ebb and flow in and out like they're pouring from the cracks of the machine, and some effectively haunting electronics and synths add life to the mix.
I hesistate to flat out call "The Discovery" miles better than its predecessor, but if I had to choose I'd let this one just inch it slightly. Above all, "The Discovery" just shows why Born Of Osiris is seriously doing deathcore a service. You don't have to chug your brains out in as low a guitar tuning as possible like other more recognised deathcore bands, nor do you need to be as pointlessly convoluted and technical as possible without slowing down to let listeners pause for breath nor realise their brains have been plastered onto the wall. They've found a nice middle ground in what has been a largely flat genre in recent times that feels just right, not discarding everything that made this band stand out in the first place nor selling themselves out, but feeling like a group reborn ready to take on the world at large with fresh intent.
Download: Follow The Signs, Recreate, Regenerate, Behold
For the fans of: Periphery, After The Burial, The Contortionist, Between The Buried And Me
Release Date 22.03.2011