Born of Osiris
Angel or Alien


3.0
good

Review

by GarthAlgar USER (6 Reviews)
July 2nd, 2021 | 149 replies


Release Date: 07/02/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Some fantastic ideas dragged down by a meandering middle stretch of songs with no identity

I have to admit that Born of Osiris has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Though Tomorrow We Die Alive and Soul Sphere were big disappointments, I was still able to find a couple songs on each album that spoke to me. Like many who enjoyed this band at one point in their life, I always wished they’d revisit the sounds they explored in The New Reign or The Discovery. Instead, they’ve pushed for a more formulaic approach that has consistently been a mixed bag. Though Angel and Alien (despite being a horrible album title) does a better job at delivering a handful of fun tunes than the past three records, it’s 55 minute length is completely unnecessary and its meandering middle stretch of songs bogs down the entire body of work.

The album starts off with solid electronics. "Poster Child" doesn’t really do anything new in terms of metalcore, but the backup vocals by keyboardist Joe Buras are a real highlight. Over the years, Joe has really stayed consistent and that’s the same with this record. The breakdown is fast and fun, but it’s the electronic outro with some beautiful saxophone work that stands out the most. You can tell they’re really embracing The Discovery fans with some of these outros sprinkled throughout the record.

"White Nile" is one of the highlights of the record, and it makes sense this was the lead single. The title track is a fun upbeat song, and gives us some versatility as a listener only three songs in. The issue is the following few songs lack everything the first few delivered on. "Waves" feels like a lackluster retread of the title track with some questionable clean vocals. It almost feels like it could’ve a Soul Sphere b-side. "Oathbreaker" is the true definition of mediocrity. The only thing that works here is the final breakdown, but both of these should’ve been scrapped from the final product. There are similar songs on this same record that actually deliver on what these songs were trying to achieve, and cutting these would’ve kept this momentum going.

"Threat of a Presence" is great though. The riffs are fast and energetic, the vocals are beefy, and the chorus gives the song some layers. This should’ve been the song that immediately followed the title track. It’s heavier, has an appropriate amount of melody, and has some great guitar work in the latter half. Unfortunately, the next song, "Love Story", sounds just like "Oathbreaker" and "Waves". Though I look past most of the mediocre lyrics from Born of Osiris, the lyrics here are cringe inducing at times. "Love Story" is another song that should’ve made the cutting room floor. The middle part of this album meanders, loses the momentum the first three songs started, and pales in comparison to what comes next.

Fortunately, "Crossface" is one of the standout songs of the record, and this is where the record really starts to find its footing. The djent-infused chugs blend perfectly with the electronics. This is why I still listen to Born of Osiris. It’s not earth shattering, but it’s damn good fun. From the jumpy riffs and vocal stylings to the trap-beat outro, the entire song screams The Discovery. It doesn’t copy older material, but gives us something new that reintroduces the stylings they were dabbling in a decade ago.

"Echobreather" could have easily been the album's third single. The guitar work is quintessential Born of Osiris and the chorus is actually catchy. Again, it’s nothing groundbreaking, but I don’t think it has to be. It’s another fun song that shows they can deliver some decent clean vocals. "Lost Souls" has an interesting back and forth with the vocals and guitar before the chorus hits. The electronics really bring the energy here, and carry the song. The guitar solo towards the end gives the song a much needed emotional touch. I personally really enjoy the band’s approach to guitar solos on this record. It isn’t trying to beat you over the head with technicality, but gives the song exactly what it needs. I really appreciate that touch, and it honestly reminds me of the approach of my favorite guitarist of all-time: Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

"In For the Kill" really does go in for the kill. It starts at a 100 and never drops below that. The drums pound your ear drums, the guitar sounds like pure evil, and the chorus is one of the coolest things Born of Osiris has ever experimented with. Again, we have another killer electronic outro akin to The Discovery. "You Are The Narrative" is easily the best song on this record, and sounds like it could’ve been released right after The New Reign. The song structure is all over the place (in a good way), the energy is always high, and I can’t stop myself from headbanging. The guttural growls are perfectly countered by the blood curdling highs, and the guitar riffs towards the end are what I’ve always wanted from a new Born of Osiris record. I hope the band takes this song, and approaches the next album with this song structure in mind. Even with it following a similar song structure as others, the ever changing riffs keep you on your toes.

The band keeps this momentum going with "Truth and Denial". Born of Osiris shines when the energy is at its highest, and this song is another example of that. The breakdown at the end, though similar to older material, just kicks ass. "Shadowmourne" closes out the album with some more saxophone work with excellent results. The entire song has a swelling emotion that is lacking in some of the softer songs on the album, and is a truly fantastic closer.

If the band could find a better mix between this new softer approach while also embracing the more hectic stylings of songs like "You Are The Narrative", Born of Osiris could deliver another masterpiece. This could've been that masterpiece. Instead, we get an album with some really high highs and some really low lows. This is their best record since The Discovery, but there’s still a large gap in quality between the two. I think most of us were expecting more quality after the first two singles, and the middle part of this album really weighs the great songs down with unnecessary repetition. I think we’d all look at this album in a better light if they just cut songs like "Waves", "Oathbreaker", and "Love Story". Even with some of the negativity in this review, I know I will be coming back to this record far more than the last three. I just wish we could recapture that old flame where Born of Osiris delivered from beginning to end.

Score: 3.2/5



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user ratings (126)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
GarthAlgar
July 2nd 2021


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

First time reviewing, would love to know how to edit and italicize the song titles.

I am truly a pleb.

TheSpirit
July 2nd 2021


28418 Comments


to italicize it's [ i ] word [ /i ] (but remove the spaces)

i would suggest not italicizing song titles as well. put them in "" and italicize the album title

Digging: Lamp of Murmuur - Submission and Slavery

GarthAlgar
July 2nd 2021


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thanks, how would I go about editing this real quick?

Jom
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2021


3263 Comments


https://www.sputnikmusic.com/editreviews.php

GarthAlgar
July 2nd 2021


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thanks to you two, I fixed it!

SteakByrnes
July 2nd 2021


24765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The cleans on this are pretty not good and it's way too long which makes it all blend together, but those are my only complaints really. Could grow on me tho, took a while for Simulation and Soul Sphere to grow on me.



White Nile is by far the best track here, wish there were more songs like it with that upbeat bouncy riff shit goin. It almost sounded like a song from A Higher Place or New Reign

JayEnder
July 2nd 2021


11130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice one Garth. Pretty much reflects my thoughts on this album to a T. Great review!



I liked this for sure, and it got me back into these guys but man it draaags after Threat of Prescence. That sax outro to Poster Child is probably my favorite moment on the album. After hearing this I went back to Eternal Reign and wow yeah that EP destroys this



Album art/title are lolbad too

GarthAlgar
July 2nd 2021


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thanks, Jay! I really suggest you guys hide Waves, Oathbreaker, Love Story from the track list and listen from beginning to end. It really helps with the drag of the middle.



Also, agreed on The New (Eternal) Reign. That EP is literally all killer, no thriller. That’s the sound I wanted them to go with here, but it seems to be an amalgamation of all of their previous records.

onionbubs
July 2nd 2021


13665 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"sax outro to Poster Child is probably my favorite moment on the album" [2] but i did hear that really stoned last night and passed out before i got to the rest of this so might be why i latched onto it so hard lol. but yea agree w everyone that this has way too many fuckin songs going for the same thing. will try dropping waves/oathbreaker/love story and see if that makes it better for me



also hard [2] everyone complaining about the artwork shit is ass. immediately replaced it with the white nile single cover

Digging: Eidola - To Speak, To Listen

GarthAlgar
July 2nd 2021


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I like the artwork but the album title font is laughably bad.

I highly suggest dropping those 3 tracks, Steak, and the drag towards the end goes away. Those 3 tracks are lesser versions of the rest of the album and makes the good executions feel repetitive.

GarthAlgar
July 2nd 2021


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

As of now, I'd say this is a solid 3.3 for me.

JayEnder
July 2nd 2021


11130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The White Nile single cover really should have been the official one.

Tundra
July 2nd 2021


6398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

the kick is the exact same frequency, pitch and sound in every single stretch of the album, definitely sampled/triggers

Digging: Spiritbox - Eternal Blue

bloc
July 2nd 2021


66549 Comments


Omg this is OUT?

Digging: Turnstile - Glow On

GarthAlgar
July 2nd 2021


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Tundra, BOO is known for a lot of that. It doesn't bother me as much, but can see where others might be.

JeetJeet
July 2nd 2021


9835 Comments


Man was this a disappointing listen. Only liked about 5 or 6 tracks. They gotta start making more songs like White Nile and Shadowmourne and less shit like Waves.

Digging: Injury Reserve - By The Time I Get To Phoenix

JayEnder
July 2nd 2021


11130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shadowmourne is a great closer for sure. Truth and Denial also rips.



Mixed bag on here. Some songs are really good, and others are really boring

GarthAlgar
July 2nd 2021


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but cut those 3 songs I mentioned in the review.

Gives it a digestible 44 minute length, and keeps that momentum.

JeetJeet
July 2nd 2021


9835 Comments


Honestly even with those 3 tracks cut this shit is still completely underwhelming. The biggest problem is that this feels like a waaaaaaaay less interesting version of their previous albums. The songwriting just feels so tame. Compare a song like One Without The Other from The Simulation, to any song on this. They pale in comparison because the instrumentation on here is just extremely average for the most part. And it sucks the most because White Nile, the title track, You Are The Narrative and Shadowmourne are examples of songs where they actually do some really cool stuff and the riffs/vocals/electronics all stand out as impressive, so I'm wondering why almost everything else on here feels so phoned in.

JeetJeet
July 2nd 2021


9835 Comments


Like bruh Crossface literally feels like a generic After the Burial song with a couple electronic bits sprinkled in. This band is capable of doing so much better than this.



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