Review by Sheldon Hubbard
For nearly 12 years, Born of Osiris has been a mainstay of Sumerian Records. Evolving their heavy, brutal chug and intricate guitar work, they have brought new life to their sound with The Simulation; the first of two releases set for this year.
While listening to this album on a continuous cycle, I found myself going back and forth between it and their previous works to witness their advancement in real time. If you traverse through their discography you can hear the experimentation come to life. You can tell that with each new release they are trying to better themselves and conjure the most outstanding work they can muster.
The album plays with the idea of Simulation Theory (the concept that life itself is one big computer simulation). They were able to reanimate their original sound and mix it with ambient electronic synth work and create an album that embraces the atmosphere of what Simulation Theory embodies; the manifestation of self. Instrumentally, I dare say, this album has produced one of the best evolutions of their sound. It is courageously technical and features vintage elements from breakdowns and blast-beats to guitar solos and gang vocals.
Some of the lyrical work may be exactly what you might expect to hear from a BOO album, but they incorporate the overall thematic parallel to the garden-variety. The ferocious dueling vocals of Ronnie Canizaro’s gritty fry’s and clear-toned gutturals intertwine effortlessly with Joe Buras’s screechy yells and powerful belts. These vocals only intensify this album’s extolling on the importance of being aware of the world around you and understanding the corrosiveness that conformity has on one’s mentality and perception of themselves. All around the world (especially in the US, it seems) there is this unspoken pressure among the mainstream to be robotic, cookie-cutter examples of one another. Each song stands firm in the reminder that in an ever-advancing world of technology and human condition, a sense of peacefulness and individuality is more critical than ever.
My takeaways from some of the lyrics:
“Continuing our reach to be higher [better versions of ourselves] / You know we all need a little bit of love [love is ultimate in personal healing] / Standing above what’s been done [by humans in the past] – From “Under the Gun."
“As soon as we thought the system was broken / We finally learned how to force it back down [a call to see the world through your own eyes] / We altered the signal and discovered the meaning / The growing importance of man and machine [realizing that man and machine are supposed to work together, not in opposition]” – From “Analogs in a Cell."
“Reset, it's easy to let go / It's always hard to silence the echo [it’s never too late to start over, you have power over the voices in your head] / Admit, this is reality / It's telling you that you're living a fallacy / Beware, it defies your design [when you see the world for what it truly is, you begin to understand that human life is bigger than what media feeds you] / Our fears will be internalized / Your presence shapes this world / And defines our hope [it is not the world that defines you, but you that defines the world; don’t be afraid to break the mold] – From “Silence the Echo."
Overall, this album was an illustrious journey of vocal and instrumental artistry that scratches at your brain and makes your heart pound. Whether we are living in a simulation or not, you cannot deny the metalcore mastery and interesting perspective this album sets forth; all while making you wanna bang your head like there’s no tomorrow!