Review by Dan Perks
Chicago five-piece Born of Osiris have built up a solid reputation as one of deathcore’s most promising bands and now, back with the follow up to 2011’s The Discovery and possibly their most mature album yet, comes album number three, Tomorrow we Die Alive. Opening with the four-and-a-half minute barrage of atmospheric synths and stabbing staccato riffs of ‘Machine’, sweep picking harmonies cascade under the guttural screams of vocalist Ronnie Canizaro and Joe Buras’s synth-work. With the hugely self-empowering lyrics like “Separate yourself from the machine / Embrace your own identity’ giving the song a powerful aura, it’s like a tidal wave flowing through the whole album. Questions about our existence, the universe, and what we will be become as a race are powerful and deeply thought-provoking.
To complement the maturity in the lyrical content, Born of Osiris have created a massive soundscape. Behind the slightly generic Djent/deathcore riffs and drumming are subtle electronic synths that vary from tumbling droplets of sound into the massive Dimmu Borgir-esque symphonic intro to ‘Vengeance’. Perhaps the most ear-catching use of electronics comes at the end of this track when the song drops out of a sweep picking beatdown into what could easily be an early Caspa dubstep song. The guitars on Tomorrow We Die Alive also play a diverse role in the soundscape of the album. From the low chugging riffs to the nuances with a slightly eastern promise vibe, eerie note is placed to complement the other elements in each song. On the track ‘Absolution’ the guitar work is most prominent. Throughout the song there are little fret slides and harmonics that are all perfectly placed to fill the ever expanding feel of the song and the melodic, picked intro leads into arpeggios and hammer-ons that grow into an up tempo metalcore riff.
There is so much to love about this album, so many positives and talking points that I wanted to give it a full score, but the more I listened to it the more I felt disconnected from it. It begins to wear thin after a few listens, the aggression and raw heaviness from the band’s earlier works missing as it feels slightly clinical. After the initial awe of how well the album is put together, there is very little pull or hook into the tracks and it can sometimes become background music. Nevertheless, it will stay on my playlist for some time.
7 out of 10
- The Origin
- Aeon III
- Imaginary Condition
- Source Field