Album Review: Born of Osiris’ Soul Sphere Has Plenty of Soul In It
Oh, Born of Osiris. We’ve had such an interesting relationship. You started off in 2007 as the trendiest metal band in my high school and went from “The dudes who play ‘Bow Down’” to everyone’s favorite mixture of djentcore and synthesizers. And here we are eight years later with Soul Sphere.
There’s one principle difference between Soul Sphere and previous release Tomorrow We Die Alive, and that’s the prominence of the synths. This is still very obviously (and sometimes painfully) a Born of Osiris album; it has plenty of breakdowns, and it seems like the dudes in BoO have been listening to The Acacia Strain. But there are so many open note breakdowns on Soul Sphere that it would be as monotonous as Death Is The Only Mortal if it didn’t have all those synthesizers.
I know what you’re thinking: “Phil, The Acacia Strain suck, and so do you. How dare you compare my beloved BoO to that dumpster fire of an album?” Well here’s the thing: The open notes might be a bit repetitive, but the album still sounds pretty damn good because the guitars take a backseat and let the synths do a lot of the lead work. Parts of some songs are even straight electronica, such as the beginning of “The Louder the Sound, the More We All Believe,” and the end of “The Composer.”
Vocalist Ronnie Cazinaro also stands out on this album. Ronnie’s vocals are the best they’ve ever been on Soul Sphere; his screams are all over the place with lows, mids, highs and even some cleans on “Throw Me In The Jungle.” The lyrics of that song do confuse me, though. Why are you leaving your blood in the city? Why is someone throwing you in the jungle? Are they disposing of your body? Are you hurt, Ronnie? WHO HURT YOU? TELL ME WHO HURT YOU.
Born of Osiris have made some progress with this album. Although Tomorrow We Die Alive is still my favorite (I hated The Discovery. Sue me.), Soul Sphere is much more accessible. There are some risks taken, but if you’re already a fan of BoO you’ll likely be happy with it. Points have been docked for the aforementioned repetitiveness, chorus transitions that sound like they belong on a post-hardcore album, and a few out of place electronic parts. But if BoO can find a good balance between Soul Sphere’s keyboards and the heaviness on A Higher Place for their next release, they’ll have one hell of an album on their hands.