With their knack for setting trends and a reputation for standing at the very forefront of contemporary heavy music for nearly a decade, we can unknowingly disregard the number of modern classic records put out under the Sumerian Records banner in recent years. Between the visionary likes of Periphery and Animals As Leaders, Asking Alexandria‘s chiseled jaw stardom and the unparalleled genius of The Dillinger Escape Plan, it’s all too easy to dismiss a band as frustratingly inconsistent as Chicago six-piece Born Of Osiris; their synth driven deathcore by turns impressive (the futuristic pummel of 2011’s ‘The Discovery’) and mere generic stodge (2013’s ‘Tomorrow We Die Alive’).
‘Soul Sphere’ by large maintains this wildly hit and miss tradition, some rather embarrassing attempts at anthemic melody (‘Throw Me In The Jungle’) and throwaway atmospherics balanced neatly with frequent six-string virtuosity and pristine technical bluster, album highlight ‘Free Fall’ underlining the sextet’s accomplished extreme metal chops which they would do well to accentuate in future.
Yet, even given its glimpses of Meshuggah-esque thunder and lethal complexity, there’s very little here that feels legitimately exciting. Stripping away the sci-fi synths and deathcore bludgeon, ‘Soul Sphere’ is, at its core, a somewhat unspectacular and unforgivably clunky fifth full-length from a band who have, on occasion, given us some thrillingly forward thinking music, brimming with all the instrumental wizardry and glistening soundscapes which we should be hearing here. It’s baffling that with both the ability and creativity there somewhere, Born Of Osiris continue to maintain such erratic form.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)