Artist: Born of Osiris
Album: Tomorrow We Die Alive
To what degree can machines truly create a work of art? Will any machine ever truly be able to replicate not just majestic works of human artist prowess, but the dialectic of creativity and cognition that allows it? Paraphrasing Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot aside, this is an important question—will the zenith of artificial intelligence witness the rise of mechanical creativity? Or will it simply add depth and detail to a machine’s ability to replicate human creativity? Even if we do observe the rise of android Van Goghs and Picassos, there will be no machine—not in 2013 or 3013—which would be able to do justice to the meticulous, beautiful—yet crushing—Tomorrow We Die Alive by the infamous progressive deathcore act Born of Osiris. Combining nothing but the most bewildering and intense technicality with bone-splintering heaviness and elegant touches of melody, this Chicago-based quintet have likely crafted one of—if not the—most comprehensive deathcore releases of the year.
It’s easy to get lost in the nooks and crannies which comprise the labyrinth that is Tomorrow We Die Alive. Rather than begin by focusing on every morsel of the album which makes it such an immersive and awe-inspiring release, first, it would do best to take a look at the spine-shuddering, skin-rending penchant for brute-force heaviness which serves as the album’s back-bone. “Mindful,” is perhaps one of the tracks which does this most exuberantly. Combining oddly-timed chugs, fill-ridden percussion and mind-boggling keys, Born of Osiris let the listener know what they’re all about—breakdowns which are easy enough to follow so as to keep the listener’s head banging, but unique and off-the-wall enough to provide their own stylish slant. The duration of Tomorrow We Die Alive is packed with these surreal-yet-spine-tingling moments of heaviness. However, while each breakdown features a bizarre time signature, a furious fragment of fretwork or entrancing electronic elements, none of them sound quite the same—which leads the listener blindly into the depths of Born of Osiris’ encephalizing maze.
Once the listener gets wound deep inside Born of Osiris’ aural maze, they find themselves greeted with time to truly appreciate the crags and miniscule cliffs of awe-inspiring technicality Tomorrow We Die Alive has to offer. Once more, “Mindful,” as well as “Exhilarate” serve as brilliant examples. “Mindful” uses earth-shaking heaviness to create immense, detailed craters in the listener’s mind—which are then filled out with shreddy, intense technicality. Furthermore, “Exhilarate” assaults the listener with hard-to-follow riffs and drop-of-a-hat time-changes which keep the listener’s head moving, but their jaw dropped to the floor. “Source Field” and “Vengeance” are two more tracks which work in a one-two punch of heavy, belligerent abuse on the listener’s sanity—on all fronts. “Vengeance” bewilders the listener only to lull them to sleep with a stunning, harmonious conclusion. “Source Field” is, again, just that—a source of stunning, dynamic technicality which shows each aspect of Born of Osiris working in magnanimous tandem to create a masterpiece of sound.
It is this jarring, effective one-two punch dynamic which shows Born of Osiris fully realizing the potential they’ve been building upon with their past releases. While The New Reign and A Higher Place saw the band perfecting their penchant for heaviness and The Discovery saw the band discovering a means of more technical song writing, Tomorrow We Die Alive sees the band using both with lethal efficacy to annihilate the listener’s expectations. With a massive right hook of rampaging, unstoppable heaviness and swift, numerous left jabs of technicality and melody, Born of Osiris combine every aspect of their already immense sound to create an overwhelming tidal wave of perfection—sound wave after sound wave deliver fresh, crisp and crushing sounds to the listener, rushing in through each of their orifices only to find its way taking over their head and forcing their heart to beat faster.
If you found yourself loving the heaviness which defined The New Reign but slightly overwhelmed by the obtuse technicality of The Discovery—or vice-versa—then waste no time in giving Tomorrow We Die Alive a spin. Brilliantly combining every color and shade of the deathcore spectrum, Born of Osiris capture the listener’s attention with catchiness and heaviness, but hold them captive with technicality and intricacy which will surely keep the listener lost for days—and not hoping to get found.
For Fans Of: Visionaries, Aristeia, Substructure, Volumes
By: Connor Welsh