There was a point in my life (not too long ago) where I didn't look for much in music beyond endless chugging, aggressive screaming and the ability to spark some kind of hate inside me. As I grew older, I yearned and searched for something more. Maybe slower, more emotional music. Maybe something that was more melodic, or something that sounded like organized chaos that a band slapped onto a disc. Then, a band I had listened to once or twice before, released an album in 2011 that had it all. This band had found the middle ground between what my younger and older self desired and knew how to blend it all together into something beautiful, but at the same time, something terrifying. As you may have guessed, this band is Born of Osiris, the five-piece progressive deathcore outfit from Chicago, IL., and the album that I refer to is the previous release, The Discovery. Since Born of Osiris released The Discovery, the band has been under careful scrutiny by fans all over the globe to see what direction will be taken in the music and if the members can successfully outdo themselves with their next release. On August 20, people can finally make that decision themselves with Born of Osiris' new album, Tomorrow We Die Alive, being released under Sumerian Records.
The first track, "Machine," was released as a single and is a very solid way to start the album, beginning with a very distinct war march-like beat. One thing that I noticed is that this song sounds like The Discovery 2.0. The vocals have not changed at all from The Discovery and the song structure seems to be the same as anything on that album as well. Some might argue that Born of Osiris has reached the top of the pinnacle and there is nothing the members can really do to improve upon their music, which I will address later. If you are someone who didn't enjoy The Discovery, then you will most likely not have a change of heart in the first track. However, if you are one of the many that did love The Discovery, then you will feel right at home amongst the "djent" guitars, progressive riffs, raspy vocals coming from both vocalists, earth-shattering drumming and more than enough pinch harmonics to keep fans of Emmure happy.
In the next track, "Divergency," Born of Osiris adds some diversity with a new instrument that I am not able to identify which creates a nice middle eastern ambience. The ending of this track also features a dubstep-like breakdown that fits in pretty well with everything else. The third track, "Mindful," has a weak intro until about halfway through when it really picks it up. This track also introduces the cleans on Tomorrow We Die Alive. These cleans that Born of Osiris has decided to use on this album sound a lot like Northlane's cleans from Singularity, but to me, they fit much better with Born of Osiris than with Northlane. Past the third track, the cleans are used in abundance. Since Born of Osiris didn't exactly improve on any previous aspects from The Discovery, it seems like a whole new component was added.
The seventh track, "Aeon III," begins with a slow, quiet intro and yet another unknown instrument that builds up until the vocals kick in and take over. The guitar riff in the first half of this song is absolutely incredible, and it sounds as if it belongs in the soundtrack of a video game. This is easily one of my favorite songs that Born of Osiris has written to date. The ninth song, "Illusionist," also features some amazing guitar work and layers the guitar and synth wonderfully towards the end of the track. These are two more standout tracks on Tomorrow We Die Alive, while the others between them fall flat.
While I have mainly spoken highly of Tomorrow We Die Alive, it feels like an unsatisfying follow up to The Discovery. That does not mean that I do not like the album, but it doesn't quite live up to the band's previous work. One thing I loved about The Discovery was the variety between each track – which is something I struggle to find on Tomorrow We Die Alive. While some tracks on the new album were downright amazing and breathtaking, others failed to catch my attention in the same way and were subpar when compared with the rest of the album. Nevertheless, there were still plenty of memorable parts on the album, such as the in ending of "Source Field," the "this is bigger than you and me" chorus found in "Machine" or the groovy outro in "Vengeance." The production on the album is absolutely perfect; the guitars, vocals, drums, synth – and everything, really – can be individually picked apart but also listened to as a whole.
With Tomorrow We Die Alive, Born Of Osiris will certainly catch a few more people's attention and please any previous fans. Despite the few flaws and quirks, this album is yet another great release under the band's belt. Sumerian saw the potential that this band had and made an excellent choice in signing the band. I'm expecting more good amazing releases from these guys in the future. Hopefully, something that can surpass both The Discovery and Tomorrow We Die Alive. I know that this band has it within them to do it.