January 7, 2019 Born of Osiris – The Simulation (Album Review)
Two-thousand and nineteen has only just begun, and Born of Osiris are already prepared to claim it as their own with their fifth full-length, The Simulation, their first full release in nearly four years. Sumerian Records delivers this hard-hitting collection of stomp on Friday, January 11, 2019. Here is a hint: you need this in your life!
Formed in 2003 in Illinois, this Progressive Metal band underwent a series of name changes before christening themselves Born of Osiris. Their 2009 debut full-length, A Higher Place, put them firmly onto the map of all things heavy, while each successive album, up to 2015’s Soul Sphere, solidified the hard-working band as a seriously unique contender in an overflowing river of sameness. As a testament to their passion, they’ve soldiered through a myriad of lineup changes throughout the years to perform alongside such eclectic acts as Cannibal Corpse, August Burns Red, Betraying the Martyrs, Emmure, Veil of Maya, and most recently, Killswitch Engage.
With a new year comes new material, and Born of Osiris — Vocalist Ronnie Canizaro, Guitarist Lee McKinney, Bassist Nick Rossi, Drummer Cameron Losch, and Keyboardist/Vocalist Joe Buras — are poised to set 2019 off with a bang. Their latest, the 8-song The Simulation, presents a thematic glue that binds together each of the album’s tracks, but it’s not necessarily a concept album. Guitarist McKinney explains further: “People are stuck and addicted to machines, social media, virtual realities and anything that creates a life or reality that’s not their own. Our phones have become an extension of ourselves, a body part. We play games or throw on virtual headsets that literally suck us out of the reality we live and into a fantasy. What’s the future going to look like, a simulation? Could the simulation have already begun?”
Fans have already received a whetting of the palate via the album’s opening track, the first single/video “The Accursed.” Here, Born of Osiris present big and bold infectiousness, with a damning promise and a sonic barrage that are perfectly complemented by Buras’ futuristic synth work. Leaving behind any licks of vocal melody, they blow the roof off with “Disconnectome,” a journey toward reanimation that, like the entirety of The Simulation, must be experienced for oneself. There’s some Deathcore, some Marta Peterson-esque synthwork, and it all fades out to leave behind a hint of mystery.
Pummeling rhythms provide the anchor for “Cycles of Tragedy,” a perfect representation of the flawless layering of Born of Osiris’ sound. Amidst the melee, Buras’ futuristic synths provide a commonality that links the track to the collection and maintains the flow beautifully. Meanwhile, there’s a catchiness to “Under The Gun” that will be palatable across the board of all things heavy, bringing to mind such contemporaries as Architects and The Amity Affliction.
For “Recursion,” the band dip into the cinemascape, creating material worthy of a Horror soundtrack that bridges the gap between the infectiousness of “Under The Gun” and the animalistic pounce of “Analogs In A Cell.” With the track, pulsating bass-lines slam, exploding the entire band into a racing ferocity which continues into the tenebrous search that is “Silence the Echo.” For the album’s closer, “One Without The Other,” they do their best impression of a sonic strobe light set to excite a seizure. Slight Symphonic Metal flourishes dust across the surface of this brutally heavy album closer, kissing goodbye to a collection that is timeless yet brutal, easily digestible yet intelligent.
There’s nothing inside The Simulation that should shock or deter long-term fans, and it’s certainly an album that should excite new listeners to take notice of this talented band. Perfect for kicking off a new year with timeless messages that demand listeners to delve deeper, The Simulation has a repeating theme of resetting and breaking free, of embracing (organic) clarity outside of artificial intelligence.
At just eight songs, one of which is under a minute, The Simulation is not maximum on quantity, but it’s certainly massive on quality stimulation. Born of Osiris do themselves beyond proud, presenting songs that boldly throttle the senses while inspiring self-reflection and personal evolution. Can you claw your way outside the cage that our technologically-minded surreality has built around you? Demanding listeners to reset and rethink, Born of Osiris’ The Simulation kicks 2019 off right! For these reasons, Cryptic Rock give this all killer, no filler collection 5 of 5 stars.