close ×
+

Review: Born Of Osiris – The Eternal Reign

1200x630bb

For those of you that have been living under a rock, Born of Osiris is a widely known progressive deathcore/djent band. Their latest EP ‘The Eternal Reign’ is a re-release of their first EP ‘The New Reign’ with a bonus song. Now before I begin, I must note that for many years, I couldn’t stand the sound and style that is Born of Osiris. I respected the theoretically simple, yet practically challenging trademark that makes Djent what it is; breakdowns in ever-changing time signatures. But in particular, I did not like Born of Osiris for the plain fact that, at the time, I just didn’t get it… there’s no better way to describe it… however, having spent the year (so far) scouting on my tippy-toes for the latest releases, I have come to realize that 2017 has felt like a year where bands either get better than before, or worse than ever. This being the case, I decided to forget everything I thought I knew about this band, and start all over again.

I have already heard listeners commenting about how this release has butchered the original EP by being over-produced – these are the same sorts of people that sport Infant Annihilator merch and critique slam bands for being too under-produced. Without wasting too much time on these types of listeners, I am simply going to say that one’s preference depends purely on which one they have heard first. It’s like Holy Diver, the older listeners are horrified by what Killswitch Engage has done to Dio’s number one song because they knew Dio’s version longer, so vice-versa, the core kiddies feel that Killswitch Engage’s version is better and that the original version is somewhat monotone. In regards to comparing, I will say this much… the guitar and keyboard leads are by far better on The Eternal Reign, however the drum kicks are not as loud, and the vocals are not as gruff; sometimes that’s a good thing, other times not so. I really don’t want to spend the whole review comparing, so unless there’s a significant change, I’m just not going to bother.

‘Rosecrance’ is the opening track, and also one of few band names this group used before finally naming themselves Born of Osiris. In general, this song is very good the whole way, but at the same time, it is also incredibly frustrating. You see, there are so many good segments in this song that need to last longer but simply don’t, it is as though the song is designed to ease the listener into a groove, only to shake them completely off-balance. The opening of the song kicks off with a series of Djent breakdowns that are great and would be a strong inspiration for any drummer, but the real body starts at about thirty-five seconds into the song. It is at this point that the riff leads into what I imagine as a battle march just before it is swallowed up into the chaos of battle; with every harmonic chug, I can imagine a spear flying through the air and whole units of soldiers falling into disarray. It is then roughly at one minute and ten seconds that a melodic lead enters, this being the height of the song, quickly vanishes. At a minute and thirty seconds into the song, there is a turnaround riff which also should have gone longer, but didn’t. After some more breakdowns, keyboard harmonies, and more breakdowns, you would hope that the lead which is the height of this song would come back at some point. Forget it, it doesn’t. Still, this is an amazing song. Though, a listener may have to put the song on repeat if they want to fully absorb all of its high points.

Every time I hear ‘Empires Erased’, I am reminded of the music clip that shows the vocalist doing a back flip off a platform onstage, however I am also reminded of how there is clean singing in the chorus of this new version – in this track, I do prefer the standard barking in the older version. The riffs and breakdowns in the song begin almost as a type of dance rhythm for a funk jam. Strangely, this is one of the few songs on this EP that has a chorus, using clean vocals. I’m REALLY REALLY REALLY not a fan of the clean-singing on this track at all, but because it is sandwiched between some catchy leads, breakdowns and almost chromatic slamming chugs, I really can’t complain. There is a definite classical inspiration in the leads used to build up momentum, the leads played over the breakdowns, and even the sweet-but-short keyboard solo. I have actually played this track to a Mozart enthusiast, they not only agreed, but loved the whole song and took further interest in the band – it’s amazing what gateway songs we come across.

The opening diminished arpeggios really suit the title of the track known as ‘Open Arms to Devastation’; somehow the mood of these riffs comes across as an acknowledgement to a tragedy of some kind. The vocals match the distress and misery just as well. Unfortunately, the mood is quickly compromised for a happier tune, in particular the happy sounding keyboard solo. For a little while, this keyboard solo matches the breakdown under it, but I really wish it wouldn’t have gone a higher octave – the mental image of a rainbow just doesn’t work for the tragedy that this track focuses so passionately upon. We get to hear more segments of the diminished chords, and a few more moody vocals, but it is difficult to keep these arms open to devastation seriously when the happier tunes have set off a glitter bomb in them. Old and New, I like this track, but every time I listen, I have to endure that keyboard solo.

For a whole minute, it is very difficult to listen to ‘Abstract Art’ as it seems to come about as a soundtrack to the three stooges blindly stumbling, tripping over, and fighting in the dark… but then, comes the lead harmony. Honestly, the lead could not have come in at a better time. It saves the song from being skipped or ignored. From there on out, the breakdowns just keep getting better and better with the vocals and high screams. It becomes a very neat hurricane of perfectly inter-twining rhythmic chugs and the strange clockwork fx to fairy-sounding keyboard solos. The shredderific integrity of the guitar solo could have been inspired by Dream Theater’s John Petrucci as it had a strong resemblance to some of the licks from the Images and Words album. I think abstract art is an understatement and a half of a title to name this track, Masterpiece would have been far more suitable – at least after a minute into the song. This is one song that is definitely better than the older version.

Have you ever seen a mixed martial arts match where the aggressor rushes in swinging then shooting for a take-down at a speedy pace? Only to then clinch the opponent against the fence and take them out with a guillotine choke? Well, ‘The New Reign’ track comes out shooting straight punches in the form of chugging rhythms coated with melodic licks for a total of thirty seconds. It seems to then take you for a snooze, because the next fourteen seconds sound like a lullaby. Now jokes aside, I’m not trying to poke fun, instead I want to illustrate how impressive this is. You see, as connoisseurs of music, we take such transitions for granted without realizing how difficult it is to go from poly-rhythms, breakdowns, and growls, to a sudden relaxed dreamy state – without completely ruining the flow of the song… To these guys, such transitions appear so simple, but if you’ve heard enough mathcore bands on bandcamp, you know that there are many bands struggling to make such transitions possible, and you thereby don’t need me to tell you that this track is nothing short of brilliant. Nevertheless, the song continues to another soft to hard transition taking the forms of styles loosely resembling death metal and pop rock. If however transitions are not impressive to you, I believe the height of this song may be the guitar solo trickling over the chugging breakdown.

I’m not really a fan of the opening breakdown to ‘Brace Legs’, but there is a quick recovery in the form of chromatic chugging that leads into a tremolo-picked tail riff. This is as close to death metal as we are ever going to hear on this EP. Then to add variety, the melodic point of this song is a beautiful keyboard solo. When the chromatic chugging slows down, there is a point in this EP where the vocals are at their absolute deepest, this kind of reminds me of Dying Fetus. Unlike many songs on this EP, this song doesn’t feel like it’s not long enough, it’s just right. I do wish some of the other songs would have been just a little longer, then again, I guess it’s better to leave your audience wanting more, instead of outstaying your welcome.

‘Bow Down’ is a track that has been covered to death by numerous bands. It feels like a proper beatdown song for the first thirty seconds with its hostile lyrics and menacing breakdowns. The track then moves in a prog direction as we hear yet another Petrucci-sounding lead. I think the band put that there specifically for the purpose of avoiding any possibility of sounding generic, because the hostility and menacing continue right from where they left off. The majority of this track would definitely please any listeners involved in any bare-knuckle activity – not that we would condone that.

Every time I listen to ‘The Takeover’, I am surprised as to how clearly I can hear the lyrics. The thrash beats transitioning into rather upbeat breakdowns make this the ideal track to have on your jogging playlist. Though, if you’re not a jogger, this is also a song you’d want to experience in the mosh pit. However, for this track in particular, I think the highest point is the keyboard piano harmony serving as a beautiful outro. Tracks such as this one merge thrash elements with melodies that would complement Disney cartoons. I remember a time when something such as this would have been dismissed as fruity due to being so unconventional. But today, as listeners and musicians, we are slowly becoming a generation that is more mature and cultured with our connection to music. It just makes me curious as to the future direction of heavy music – it’s true that we’ve had a few hiccups here and there in deathcore changes, but hey, the pedestal of champions is built upon the backs of broken competitors.

The final is a bonus track called, ‘Glorious Day’. This is clearly supposed to be a happy song and I’ve listened to it many times, but I just can’t appreciate it as this song definitely feels like the pineapple in the pizza. For one, the keyboard sounds like a phone ringtone – if you have worked in an office environment for long enough, you grow to hate every type of ringtone there is. Secondly, the song doesn’t really go anywhere with its snaking structures. Beyond that however, the remainder of the song is salvaged by brief breakdowns and poly-riffs only to be cut short after the very well-played guitar solo.

Overall, Born of Osiris has really won me over with this EP, I give it an 8/10. I feel as though I have now been conditioned to understand and appreciate their music well enough to listen to some of their other material, as I’m starting to like other songs I previously couldn’t stand. I really hope newly-written material won’t be too far away.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus
pinterest



No Response

Leave us a comment


No comment posted yet.

Leave a Reply