Born of Osiris – Tomorrow We Die Alive (Sumerian)

Friday, 23rd August 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Chicago’s Born of Osiris are presently at the three-album crossroads, the point where a band needs to decide to stick with what they got, or see if the grass is greener on the other side. Being that they’re a North American summer festival tour regular (Mayhem Fest, Summer Slaughter) and a priority act for Sumerian, it looks like staying the course is what we’re going to get. Tomorrow We Die Alive, the band’s third album, sees BOO hang out in staccato-land, perhaps even more than they should given how much they did it on The Discovery. Like we said: They’re sticking with what they got.

Intrinsic to what the band is trying to accomplish is the interplay between guitarist Lee McKinney and keyboardist Joe Buras. McKinney does either one of two things: Meshuggah chugs, or fluent leads. He has virtually no other riffs in his bag, leaving some of these songs vulnerable to rudderless repetition. Buras fills in the blanks, lending an orchestral/epic vibe that is at times off-kilter (“Divergency”) and airy (“Absolution”). The two are obvious sonic counterparts, but without the other, BOO probably wouldn’t have as much lift, or identity.

Not quite the breakout album Born of Osiris needs to ascend to the level of labelmates Periphery, the boxed-in, albeit jarringly modern front of Tomorrow We Die Alive will get the kids moving and the death metal diehards uncomfortable. What it will do in the long run is anyone’s guess.

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