REVIEW: BORN OF OSIRIS – “The Simulation”
The beginning of 2019 marks the release of a new record from American prog-metal/djent frontrunners Born of Osiris entitled ‘The Simulation’. With the group’s previous full-length studio album ‘Soul Sphere’ having been released in 2015 and the band embarking on tours with Veil of Maya, Volumes, After the Burial and others since then, ‘The Simulation’ marks the first significant activity for Born of Osiris in 2019.
Something that might leap out to some listeners perhaps even before the record has begun is its length – being substantially shorter than its predecessor ‘Soul Sphere’ makes for the idea that Born of Osiris has opted for an approach that targets musical ambition as opposed to the implementation of quantity over quality. With only eight songs on ‘The Simulation’ adding up to an overall run time of about 25 minutes give or take, the decision to do this should hopefully mean that ambition and scope has been the driving force in the creation of this album.
The album opens with “The Accursed” a track that accurately portrays the general route that the album takes from its inception all the way until its conclusion. Part of the charm of this kind of heavy music – whether you refer to it as metalcore, deathcore or any other of a plethora of different titles – is that if you like one band or one song, then chances are you’re going to find something to be invested in when it comes to the genre as a whole, and I feel that this is the case with ‘The Simulation’. The flip-side to that, however, is that a lot of the songs in this genre can sound musically repetitive or that every piece of music becomes unrecognizable from each other, so to speak.
The joint pairing of vocalist Ronnie Canizaro and keyboardist turned singer Joe Buras with their individual vocal talents allows there to be a distinction which definitely helps the flow of the music. Again, the mix of clean and heavy vocals in this style of music is a tried and tested formula that has been going on for years now, but Born of Osiris seem to have found a way to make that idea seem not so formulaic – perhaps due to the way that Canizaro and Buras manage to stand out as much as they vocally co-operate on the songs found on ‘The Simulation’.
Like I said previously, Born of Osiris have hit that mark in that each track on this album offers something a little different to the listener – whether it’s seamless vocal melodies, brutal musical intensity or technical instrumental proficiency – it’s all here and with a fairly short running time compared to the band’s previous records, it’s not going to take you as long to find something in ‘The Simulation’ that you’ll be able to enjoy or to find something that you find is able to get its hooks into you. The talent as individual musicians as well as being an artistic collaborative force is to be able to strike listeners with some sort of musical spark that allows them to remember as much of your output as a band as you possibly can.
Born of Osiris’ new effort seems to have found a good middle point between those two musical opposites. Every track follows a core sound that defines the record while at the same time standing out on its own, offering the listener a totally unique experience that allows Born of Osiris’ fanbase to enjoy the album as a whole while still being able to pick out a particular track as being their favourite. In a genre that produces so many bands as this, being able to accomplish that feat is much more difficult than it can first seem.