Tomorrow has finally arrived. Born of Osiris have officially released their highly amped fourth studio album through our friends at Sumerian Records. Ever since the release of "The Discovery" in 2011, fans have been anticipating what could possibly come next. Then the separation with ex-guitarist Jason Richardson (Chelsea Grin, ex-All Shall Perish) seemed to build upon this anticipation with an added tension (I'll make a point on this later…). Born of Osiris fly the banner of a technical juggernaut, bending minds and breaking down walls. The question is… Does "Tomorrow We Die ∆live" rise to that reputation?
I'm gonna get straight to the point. This album is way too over produced. Born Of Osiris can do whatever they want but this wreaks of Joey Strurgis aka the producer responsible for Asking Alexandria, Emmure, and every other uninteresting mall kid metal band. For this particular record Sturgis only handled mixing and mastering but damn. It's a shame because the extreme talents of Lee McKinney and Cameron Losch really get buried in the mix at times. When I'm listening to "Tomorrow We Die ∆live", I keep thinking, "If these glittery electronic bits were flying lead guitars instead, this album would be fucking nuts." Not to say the shred doesn't happen, but it seems that the shred has been traded in for electronics. The band has always used electronic elements, especially with the implementation of the man Joe Buras, but it feels forced and overabundant here.
And just to get this out of the way… Everyone going on about the departure of Jason Richardson from the line-up being the main issue here, watch this interview from Guitar Messenger and skip to 2:48. Then realize the rest of the band wrote the vast majority of "The Discovery"… Not to mention the incredible debut "The New Reign" and even "A Higher Place" for what it's worth.
Those records aside, segments of "Tomorrow We Die ∆live" are awesome. Drowning in a synthetic sea of generic over production, the band manages to take in sizable breaths of creativity, musicianship, coldy calculated technicality, and heavy respite. The kind of stuff you want to hear from a band like this. Songs like "Im∆gin∆ry Condition", "The Origin", "Source Field", and "Illusionist" stand above the pack. They all have shining moments showing off this bands ability and technical prowess.
It seems as if this record improves as it progresses. The whole experience is a fun one, but the first half of "Tomorrow We Die ∆live" lacks the *umph* and daring songwriting we've come to expect from Born of Osiris. You can still have a great time moshing to it though. Believe me, the opener "M∆chine" was damn intense live. Check the music video above and you'll see what I mean. But as the album evolves, things become more imaginative and interesting. They rarely reach expectations though. Greatness is traded in as the band settles for a good, yet largely derivative record.
Aside from the electronic onslaught, other elements have come into fruition for better or worse. A good example would be the inclusion of clean vocals in tracks such as "Exhil∆r∆te" and "Mindful". While unexpected, they're actually pulled off rather well with a harsh vibe. Other little surprises are also bound to pop up while listening.
To sum things up, this record seems rather generic to be released under the banner of Born of Osiris. Essentially, it succeeds in being good catchy fun. But if you expect limits to be pushed in a way that this band is known for, you'll likely feel somewhat let down after listening. If you expect to have fun listening to some good, heavy music, this should do the trick. No matter your expectations, if you enjoy Born of Osiris you should give this a listen. Hopefully the band gets more in tune with their creative, mind bending, forward thinking side while moving into the future. Only time will tell.