Born of Osiris – Soul Sphere
Release Date: October 23, 2015
Born of Osiris holds an interesting status within the present metal community. In their early years, they were a part of a booming metalcore scene in Chicago, which also spawned the likes of similar groups such as Veil of Maya, Monsters, Oceano, and For All I Am. It wasn’t until 2007 when the band solidified their name as Born of Osiris, basing the name on the Egyptian deity, Osiris. Born of Osiris then signed to Sumerian Records to release an EP as well as three full length albums, each with their own criticisms by fans and critics alike. They recently released their fourth full length, titled Soul Sphere, following their highly criticized album Tomorrow We Die Alive. This record definitely created a major shift in the fan base, both positive and negative. I personally found the record to have some great qualities but ultimately overshadowed by many lackluster and obnoxious elements.
When I heard the announcements for Soul Sphere, I can honestly say I wasn’t jumping up and down with joy right away. The transition between The Discovery and Tomorrow We Die Alive felt pretty drastic, and I wasn’t exactly sure how well these guys could recover. After hearing one of the first singles, “Resilience”, I suddenly became enamoured. The track had intensity, melody, and just the right amount of technicality that contained those favorite vibes from The Discovery. Surprisingly enough, it also acts as a great interpretation of what the rest of the album sounds like as well.
Right from the get go, the album ensnares the ears with Lee McKinney’s fiery melodic guitars that become differentiated later on as crunchy and heavy riffs strewn heavily throughout the rest of the record. Ronnie Canizaro’s harsh vocals are excellent as well with their presence adding in a solid layer of potency right on top of everyone else. Joe Buras lends a hand with vocal duties, as well as laying down interesting keyboard and synth work, bringing that Egyptian-esque sound that helped Born of Osiris stick out from the crowd. Cameron Losch delivers a concussive and thunderous force behind the kit, with bassist David Da Rocha helping tie the rhythm and melody together. “Free Fall” is just the first track and easily subdues the listener without a fight.
Now, before getting any deeper, one should know that Soul Sphere is to be considered somewhat of a concept album which relates to the power of the number three. The number three is very important in many religions, cultures, and stories, and especially so when delving into Egyptian mythology. Osiris himself was a part of a mystical triad, being a sibling to Horus and Isis, each with their own vital roles in the Egyptian beliefs. This “power of three” is translated into the 12 tracks presented by the band, with these pieces acting as tiers inside a concept provided by Buras. His dream contains three tiers, or stages. These stages being The Binding (“you’re hanging, you’re stagnant”), The Fight (“you were hanging, but now you’re pulling away from this linchpin, whether it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual”), and The Release (“you break away and feel free, connected, and loved”).
A key example of the aforementioned idea can be found in “Goddess of the Dawn”, which was conceived from the nickname given to the Aurora Borealis by the Native Americans. I believe this goddess was known as Gendenwitha, with the story behind the goddess portraying something similar to the intention here.
If you’re not one for concepts, Soul Sphere still has some amazing moments within. “The Composer” contains an interesting array of sections that feel reminiscent of classical music but fleshed out even further with electronic elements and ambience.
More of an anthemic type? “The Louder The Sound, The More We All Believe” fills that need; an uplifting introduction that also translates into the chorus later on. Again, the keyboards are heavily fleshed out here, which brings up a question of what future releases will entail.
Overall, Soul Sphere exceeds expectations and in an explosive fashion. It is definitely a step up from Tomorrow We Die Alive and may even come close to contesting with The Discovery. Born of Osiris have come back as a formidable force, one showing no signs of stopping or giving in to complacency.
Rating – 9/10