Review Summary: Falling short of what could have been, Born of Osiris take a different approach, some of it good, some of it bad. The band tries once again to carve their niche in a pidgeon-holed genre.
I approach the building with a skeptical look on my face. I’m a business inspector, and that’s my job. Being skeptical.
The front window has “A HIGHER PLACE
” painted on it in menacing font. I am not impressed. Reaching down for my trusty clipboard, I make a little jot and continue my way across the parking lot.
Through the doors, and I’m in the store. I visited it often before, but it’s now under new management, accounting for the new name. The building is average sized, divided by thirteen straight aisles, a single checkout, and a front desk where a short portly man is waving enthusiastically my way. I look over my shoulder to see if there’s anything highly interesting behind me, but alas, there isn’t. Deep sigh. I was hoping there might be.
Approaching the desk, I rustle around some papers for the last review on the corporation. Hiding in the middle of the B’s I come across their company profile. BOO, that was the name. I wondered what it stood for. Maybe they were trying to be scary. Judging by the creepy atmosphere the building seemed to have, I assumed I was right.
“It stands for Born of Osiris, actually”, announced the man quite suddenly. I blush, realizing I probably said some of my thoughts out loud. There’s a brief silence, which is broken when I shake my head and remember what I’m supposed to be doing.
“So,” I begin pleasantly, “New management?” His nod reassures this, which is unnecessary based on the face it’s pretty obvious. “Anything changed?”
”No, not really.” the man replies with just a tad too much happiness. “I knew the old owners had a love hate relationship with the clients. Apparently, they just arranged the products a little too generically.”
I nod solemnly for a moment, then blink in a manner that suggests confusion.
“Wait, what?” I began, “They blame stores for being generic?”
“Sure,” he replies downcast. “Lots of stores in this part of town are going down.”
The building was situated in a city called Core, in the Death district. It’s actually nowhere near as menacing as you’d think. Mostly a façade, really. It’s mainly white kids who listened to far too much metal. Unfortunately, that side note doesn’t do a thing to fix my current confusion.
“What,” I began carefully, “Exactly do you carry? For inventory?”
“Oh, you know,” he began, gesturing the store with an offhand wave. “We got your standard weedle deedle’s, your chugs, your blast beats. You know, all the stores here have ‘em these days.” I nod empathetically, and excuse myself to take a look around the store.
On my way, I meet the work force. There are six of them, one of which is mostly obscured by the rest. At first glace, it looks as if he’s shivering. At second glance, yes, he’s indeed shivering. They’re wearing pretentious Rock Band themed shirts, all of them struggling to stand in the front. Except, of course, the guy in the back. Two of the men have guitar logos, one with a drumset, and the fourth with a microphone. The fifth one has an awkward looking painted on keyboard. I understand his dilemma. I surmise the man in the back must have a bass. They look menacing as I stride past, purposefully avoiding their gaze.
Microphone Man is fairly large, and seems to stalk me wherever I go. He barks high, low, in between, and most the time I really don’t care what he has to say anyways. Keyboard seems unwelcome wherever he goes, and he only seems to get along with one of the Guitar Men, and only when they do the same thing at the same time. Drum Man seems less active then I remember him being, and Bass is nowhere to be found.
I arrive at aisle one and notice something a little strange. The shelves all have five rows, each labeled with an instrument. I guess it must be the job of the different men to fill the shelves with their own products. As I walk down aisle one, I see no products. Only advertisements for the store. As I'm going down it, I feel a strange sense of nostalgia, until I realize that over the intercom, someone is mournfully humming a piano hook from THE NEW REIGN
, undoubtedly a final nod to the old premises. When I ask the man at the front the purpose of the aisle, he just replies he was copying the other stores. And it’s to get you extra
excited for what the rest of the store has to offer. An intro, if you will. I leave aisle one unimpressed.
At aisle two, I see some products. The odd thing is, they seemed to be lined up between the shelves. In fact, if someone had a scanner that beeped when it passed an item, and they ran down the aisle, it would make some form of pattern. I ignore it and inspect the shelves. Luckily, the heavily synchronized sections that plagued the old store are far less frequent. The breakdown factor has been pleasantly downsized, I see. The rest of the walk is fairly uninteresting, and becomes slightly unpleasant when cheesy piano parts begin playing over the intercom. I make a note on my clipboard. The only other interesting part was near the end, when a mouse suddenly darts out from under the shelf. I guess they still haven’t cleaned up completely
, I thought with a pang of disappointment. At that point, Microphone Man comes darting down the aisle with a broom, repeatedly screaming, “I WILL DESTROY EVERY ASPECT OF IT.” To say the least, it’s hardly reassuring.
The next few aisles are the same, and comparing my notes to the ones of the previous store, I notice few improvements. Drum Man appears to have been medicated, as requested by the management. I rather liked him last time, although he seemed fairly desperate for attention. This time around, he dutifully puts products where they belong, and takes cues from guitars A and B. The difference between the old system and the new one was that they all seemed to be coordinated, working towards a coherent store. I happily jot that down, as I stroll through aisle five, which appears to have some totally different items in it. The look and feel is almost relaxing at parts, if it weren’t for the fact the dolls on the vocal shelf keep yelling at everything. There’s better variation in theirs voices this time, at least.
All the aisles unfortunately have the same feel, even extraordinary parts in the shop fail to remove the samey-ness of everything. Although it’s not my place to close a store for that reason, sometimes this job makes me want to. I leave the last aisle happy, but not overly. I expected something more out of this store.
I walk up to the front desk to give a permit, when something catches my eyes. Outside the door is thousands of fans, presumably either scene, or faux-metal heads. They are wearing their best merch, as I see, and some of them have even washed their hair. The shopkeeper comes up and stands proudly next to me.
“We just opened.” He says with a grin. “Not even the YouTube kids have started covers yet.”
I nod, a little dumbstruck. I don’t understand how such a staggering amount of people can flock to something so un-staggering. I give the manager his well-earned permit, and walk out of the store, satisfied, but not overwhelmed.
One of the men outside runs up to me enthusiastically.
”Dude…” he begins. I dislike him already. He has terrible odor. “We heard the New Reign was over?”
I look apologetically at the crowd.
“Not yet boys… Not yet.”
I walk away.