Born of Osiris – Tomorrow We Die ∆live

born of osiris - tomorrow we die aliveBorn of Osiris

Tomorrow We Die ∆live

01. M∆chine
02. Divergency
03. Mindful
04. Exhil∆r∆te
05. ∆bsolution
06. The Origin
07. ∆eon III
08. Im∆gin∆ry Condition
09. Illusionist
10. Source Field
11. Venge∆nce
12. Hydr∆

[08/20/13]
[Sumerian Records]

Born of Osiris had a lot to prove after the release of The Discovery. Nearly universally acclaimed, the band ramped up on their progressive influences with dueling lead guitar work and more pronounced keyboards that set the album apart from its predecessors. People took notice of the shift as no coincidence with guitarist Jason Richardson joining before the writing process. Since then, Richardson has left the band under less than amicable circumstances, with both parties claiming responsibility for the spark that made The Discovery resonate with fans. With Tomorrow We Die Alive, the band’s core have proven that they were indeed responsible for and capable of The Discovery, but they’ve still somehow managed to lower the bar.

The problems with Tomorrow We Die Alive have absolutely nothing to do with Richardson’s absence; sole founding guitarist Lee McKinney manages to one-up The Discovery in some aspects, weaving some interesting and catchy guitar leads in and out of each track. The trouble isn’t even in the added cleans that were tastefully used in ‘Exhilarate‘ or the increased reliance on layered keyboards. Where Tomorrow We Die Alive fails to deliver is in the overabundance of open note chugs that litter the album in a phoned-in need for crowd-friendly groove and simpler songwriting. Leading single ‘Machine‘ is the worst offender, being largely composed by copying and pasting parts across the track. It’s noticeably lazy, and prevents the album from being great.

Otherwise, Tomorrow We Die Alive is stylistically analogous to the deathcore version of In Flames‘ mid-to-late discography; between the boring breakdowns and deathcore cliches lie the hyper-melodic riffs and experimentation with electronics and keys that make this an enjoyable listen. Certainly a far cry from their early work and acceptable for what it is, but it’s fairly inoffensive, unremarkable, and uninspiring in the grand scheme of things. Tomorrow We Die Alive would make for a satisfying brief fling in your listening habits, but a grand furtherance in the band’s discography, it is not.

The most disappointing thing about Tomorrow We Die Alive is its confirmation of the decaying promise of progressive-influenced metalcore. The so-called “Sumeriancore” sound has devolved into overly compressed production and increasingly “streamlined” songwriting that amounts to little more than stuttering palm mutes. This particular branch of music is becoming increasingly homogenized easy-listening for concert goers, and is lacking in emotional or intellectual depth. Perhaps the lyrics, “separate yourself from the machine / embrace your own identity” should be taken at face value as a warning rather than a soapbox-fixed call-to-arms. Tomorrow We Die Alive isn’t a bad record at all, though; it’s just underwhelming. If Born of Osiris really want to prove that Richardson’s impact on The Discovery was minimal, this isn’t the way to go about it.

 

Born of Osiris’ Tomorrow We Die ∆live gets…

2.5/5

– JR

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