When I first heard that Born Of Osiris was about to emerge from the studios with a fresh batch of tracks, the first thought that occurred to me was, if this album was going to be “The Discovery 2.0” or were they going back to same pattern they followed on “A Higher Place”. Owing to the much gossiped about departure of their colleague on the previous album, guitarist Jason Richardson, there was much speculation behind the direction the band would opt for. Safe to say, much of that had been allayed with the release of the 2 singles from the album, the first to tracks "M∆chine" and “Divergency”.
“Tomorrow We Die ∆live” comes as the 4th offering from Chicago based Prog Deathcore giants, Born of Osiris.. First thing first, those who prefer their metal sans any studio effects or anything that does not strictly fall under orthodox Heavy Metal sounds would be best seeking their share of headbangs elsewhere; for those who are game for down-tuned riffage peppered with a plethora of apocalyptic keyboard work, would be more than at home. Starting the album with the much publicised single "M∆chine", the band gives us a gist of what to expect from the album thereon. “M∆chine” is an anthem of sorts with the instruments picking up the tempo to a point where it blows up into frenzied action. Soon enough the band vies for attention at all fronts, especially Cameron Losch’s footwork and more importantly Joe Buras’ keyboard which forms a crucial part of the blueprint to any BoO number. “Divergency” picks off where “M∆chine” ended to embark on more apocalyptic, doomy keyboard soaked action. The track dances around the album title as the chorus, ending in a mish-mash of Dubstep inspired cacophony. By now, most listeners would be aware of the potential Lee Mckinney is wielding to balance a 2-men job on his own shoulder and I give him much credit with the finesse with which he pulls off his task. 4th track “Exhilarate” is a good example of how much the band has become accessible over time. It’s hard to zero in on what, but the band has somehow re-invented their approach to the same instruments that they played on the previous album and have engineered something much more enjoyable. “Absolution” highlights another new aspect of the band; Buras’ cleans. Something that we enjoyed sparingly so far, Buras’s snarly cleans add a different dimension to the vocal segment, which makes the chorus all the more catchy. Another interesting addition would be a Middle-Eastern sound tinge; prevalent throughout the album, but now in hindsight I believe it was never unheard on a BoO album before this. “Illusionist” begins in typical BoO fashion till Lee Mckinney unleashes a simple yet mesmerizing sweep to state business. What sounds most remarkable would be the bizarre duet that McKinney’s guitar layers do with the haunting keyboard.
I have usually come to associate Born of Osiris to be the soundtrack to my endless hours of Devil May Cry sword-slashing so the eloquent, diverse and melodic synth-work that Buras has in his kitty are something of a brownie point for me. Albeit every band matures with every album it releases, but to make the most of with the tools at hand is something a few are able to apply. BoO would be one of the rare bands who have coped with the immense scrutiny and anticipation they garnered with the release of their previous album and have come up with an equally promising follow up. Make no mistake, composition-wise the band is formulaic as ever: Cannizaro’s gutturals complemented by Buras’ screeches sync perfectly over the keyboard driven anthems; Lee Mckinney is yet to disappoint fans; also, the one to watch out for on this record would be the man behind the drum-kit, Cameron Losch. Consistent throughout, the album, Losch does not go out of the way to illustrate technicality, but impresses upon the listener with the sheer brute force with which he skin-slams through one track after another. Given the limited few times I have replayed the album, Losch, in my opinion did his best on “Divergency”, especially with the bridge section.
The easily negligible flaw one can point a finger at would be the lack of flow between the tracks, which poses a hindrance only after the first few spins, making it hard to differentiate between a track and the next, but that is essentially nit-picking and not big enough to belabour the band’s best efforts. I would be more worried about the cookie cutter bands that rip off BoO by the dozen but are essentially generic EDM sprinkled Post-Hardcore at the best. The crucial factor one should keep in mind while listening to the album is to stop comparing it with any of their previous works, and by previous works, I mean their last release “The Discovery”. The prime reason behind this would be the shortening of their ranks. “Tomorrow We Die ∆live” strikes the perfect balance between melody and aggression and all the elements in between to offer up a melting pot of various influences. I suppose, the variation between the new BoO album and the previous would be equivalent to the variation between Lamb of God’s “Sacrament” and “Wrath”. This is as “modern” as Modern Metal gets.
Pros: Accessible, catchy.
Cons: Formulaic composition.