I have to be clear; I was absolutely stoked about a new Born of Osiris album, especially after seeing them live at a random festival in San Bernadino, CA called California Metalfest. Tomorrow We Die Alive does not disappoint and has many positives: new keyboard variation and digital sections, new instruments and sounds like epic build ups with consuming orchestra overlays, some complex riffs, hypnotizing solos, an important moral message, and unrelenting force with a wide range of beats. With all this said, what’s not to love about this album?
Upon starting the album, the listener is engaging a war. An instant blast of horns, strings, and percussion leading into an epic and daunting violin and cello line, before the injection of the rally the troops drum line work on the snare, jacks the listener up in preparation for the ensuing destruction of the opening song, “Machine”. For anyone waiting for guitar work, it surely comes stomping in all over the song before exploding back into the chorus. Half way into the song the listener is treated to a new angle on the beat with what sounds like a Qanoon in the background.
“Human fellowship is sacred, ‘cause this is bigger than you and me. Separate yourself from the machine, embrace your own identity. Escape the pressure. Take another look at yourself, tell me, what do you see? Your soul’s reflection, is it what it used to be?”
The lyrics fit hand in hand with the militant introduction, preparing for a war in your mind, changing actions and making a conscious effort to be a good person. Free your mind from the demoralizing and destructive culture forced on the public.
“Mindful” is another great song with solid work to build a complete sound and this song from Born of Osiris has it all. Ringing in with an alluring and soft synthesizer the listener is trapped into another eruption of pause beats like a fly to a Venus flytrap. The song is presented with singing in the chorus and more fine key work, which has trance influences and at times a creepy digital value.
“Now we understand to become more mindful, connected to each other as one, the cycle completes. You’ve engaged these gears in motion, set in place, disrupt the current, set in place, leaving the combine in disarray, disrupt the harvest of the meek. Power in numbers, power in numbers. You will salvage nothing from me”
Probably the most unexpected song is “Exhilarate”. Beginning with light ramping synthesizers like a butterfly’s fluttering flight path, the band introduces a section of raspy singing. Mid way through, the song morphs an explosive animation of rage and within the ruins, the guitar takes an imposing grip on center stage. This decision effectively leads in the closure with a chiming crisp solo, making me think of birds singing in the Sunday morning sun.
“You need to listen to your heart. Can you tell what it says? We got the plan here, deconstruct, construct a new life, and never push aside your instincts, stay alive.”
A personal favorite is “Origin” with an introduction reminiscent of an EDM DJ taking the stage. However, it quickly deteriorates like a television channel losing reception, directly into the sea of a moshpit. What a great start for a song, right? Well the good news, if you loved it as much as I did, you get to hear it again later in the song. Also notable are the machine gun drum sections and a serenading guitar riff with great note choice and harmonic quality to perfectly play out the song.
“I’ve seen the shattering of my composition, what an unfortunate visualization. We must undo the damage imprinted in, our experience has kept us all detained…This passage in circulation, gives birth to clarity. We are not alone, in this game of exchange, in this game of retaliation…When will it become worth it, to face the wrath in action? Erase establishment, to see they are worthless.”
“Illusionist” is a remarkably strong song and the listener knows it before it comes into fruition with the crash of all instruments, twenty seconds into the track. It starts thick and chunky and turns delicate and dexterous, before getting down, dirty, and grungy. That’s when it hits you with the thunder headbang, but before exiting, a treat is rediscovered, a scaling roller coaster guitar riff.
At the end of the album we find a track with some great groove added to it, “Source Field”. This song features a bouncing beat with a Buddhist feel from the keyboard work in the chorus.
“The mystery was found, enlightenment…We were chosen to show you. You were destined to become…outnumbered. They will try to persuade you, and slowly destroy one’s integrity. They might as well take you to the killing fields, and throw you away. You look back… you risk it all. Don’t stray from enlightenment. Stray from the darkness. Come into the light. Come into the light again. Now your sense receiving, constructing the wavelengths, the signals are seeking. We know what is sacred.”
The album has a theme of realizing the bounding box created by controllers in life and to then break the box and take control of our freedom and future together; humanity as a whole.