Born of Osiris – Soul Sphere (Sumerian Records)Thursday, 29th October 2015
Born of Osiris are in a tricky spot with their fifth and latest release, Soul Sphere. Being one of the pillars that the affectionately/loathingly dubbed “Sumeriancore” sound was built upon, they’ve walked a delicate line between the amount of metal/core/electronic influences in their music – to varying degrees of success. While many championed 2011’s The Discovery, a number of people were disappointed by 2013’s Tomorrow We Die Alive and it’s more electronic tendencies. Soul Sphere continues Tomorrow’s lead but brings back some tools from the band’s past.
The opening half of Soul Sphere showed some promise. Pushing back towards earlier albums, there’s a more metallic edge to the songs. A step up in the metallic edge from Tomorrow We Die Alive with some technically-inclined riffs to do battle with the electronic elements and repetitive chuggy riffs (not to mention the pop aspects). Things hit their peak by the time we reach “The River of Time,” easily one of the darkest tracks on the album, with some interesting melodies to boot. But the second half of the album spends much of its time leaning in the commercial/accessible end of the pool, with “The Composer” going into full-on dance mode at the end of the track. Then there’s the embarrassingly upbeat single “Throw Me in the Jungle” (not even sure what the lyrics in the chorus are going for). The ‘clean’ vocals have some prevalence as well, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise given the poppy qualities of some of the tracks.
It’s clear that Born of Osiris have chosen their audience to proceed with for future recordings. A focus on melodic hooks and vocals instead of the progressive and technically-driven riffs seem to be most of the landscape, despite a decent opening. Those who enjoyed Tomorrow We Die Alive will probably find no fault in this album, but it’s safely avoided by the rest of us.