Within the realm of the metal genre these days there are now such a ridiculous amount of sub-genres with equally ridiculous names (nu grave anyone?) and with so many bands crossing over, blending elements of different genres, it gets tiresome trying to pin labels on anything. This is true of Born of Osiris, who are back with their fourth release Soul Sphere. The album combines brutal death metal riffs with metalcore and symphonic overtones, and even experiments with electronics. The end result is a heavy yet accessible album, with plenty of big choruses, beefy breakdowns and atmospheric synths.
Soul Sphere starts strong with epic opener ‘The Other Half Of Me’ which begins with ambient keyboards before launching into a brutal, infectious riff. In contrast, ‘Throw Me To The Jungle’ sounds like something from a Bring Me The Horizon album. Catchy as it is, it sounds rather misplaced here, though Ronnie Canizaro‘s vocals are impressive, switching between guttural screams to melodic cleans with ease. The electronic tinged ‘Free Fall‘ is also a bit of an oddity, with an unexpected Linkin Park-esque outro which is a little jarring.
BoO have upped their use of orchestral theatrics on this album, adding another dimension to their sound and increasing the intensity. When combined with their more progressive and technical passages it works well, like on lead track ‘Resilience’ which shows off guitarist Lee McKinney‘s nimble and dexterous fretboard work. On the other hand ‘The Louder The Sound, The More We All Believe’
borders on being cheesy, sounding a bit like a Super Nintendo game soundtrack with metal riffs and screams scattered over it (which could be quite awesome, depending on which way you look at it).
Soul Sphere is a good album, however half-way through it all starts to sound rather formulaic and repetitive, making it difficult to tell one song from another. Stuttering breakdowns are frequent and get a bit boring, as are the gypsy-like synths which become a little tiresome. There are some excellent and well-executed tracks here though, and at their best, Born of Osiris are sublime.