EP Review: Born of Osiris – The Eternal Reign (Sumerian Records)


American deathcore band Born of Osiris have released a new EP called The Eternal Reign. The Eternal Reign is actually a re-recorded version of their debut EP, The New Reign, both of which were released via Sumerian Records. The New Reign was released 10 years ago, in October 2007. It follows on from their last full studio album, Soul Sphere which was released in 2015.

The Eternal Reign has 9 tracks on it. That kind of makes it sound like a full album but those 9 tracks are short. The whole EP comes in at just under 24 minutes long. That is about the same length of time as a couple Deafheaven, Oathbreaker or Ghost Bath tracks. The longest song on The Eternal Reign is just 3 minutes and 25 seconds long. Most of the tracks are less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length though.

I guess that gives you an insight in to what you are likely to hear from Born of Osiris. Short, sharp blasts of heaviness. Let’s see if I am right.

Born of Osiris consists of Ronnie Canizaro on vocals with additional vocals from Joe Buras who also looks after keys and programming. Drums and percussion is in the care of Cameron Losch. Bass and guitar duties are with David Darocha and Lee McKinney respectively.

The Eternal Reign

The album opener is called Rosecrance. That also happens to be one of three previous names the band used before settling on Born of Osiris. As expected, it is heavy and starts with a ferocious blast of drums over a deathly roar. It settles nicely into a heavy drum lead rhythm under shouted lyrics. There are some nice atmospheric effects added in alongside the crunching, almost mechanical sounding riff. A few nice guitar lines switch things up as the track enters an off beat breakdown. Strong vocals over a higher pitched guitar lead add a shed load of rhythm to the end section before another breakdown.

Deathcore sometimes suffers from the rigid barriers it allows for itself and that can lead to some songs sounding overly similar to others.  Born of Osiris seem to have managed to avoid that for the most part which is commendable. Brace Legs sounds a little standard and a little Rosecrance but even that pulls in a section that sounds a little Scar Symmetry, or maybe even chip tune. Bow Down is another similar one but starts with a wicked roar and uses a stop start technique at points to great effect.

Other tracks manage to show much more individuality. Again, this is really commendable, especially when remembering these songs are 2 and a half minutes long. That doesn’t give you an awful lot of time to create identity. Born of Osiris have managed it though.

The overriding sounds of The Eternal Reign may be heavy deathcore but they do add little twists here and there. Empires Erased adds an almost industrial metal riff and drum beat and switches up the tone of the vocals between deep and higher. A cool lead guitar and, almost, clean vocals make for a really great chorus. Open Arms to Damnation has a real groove feel to the intro and great use of backing vocals in the choruses to add layers. It also has a creepy verse of death metal vocals over a keyboard that plays something that reminds me of a child’s toy melody.

The Takeover is jam packed full of great little guitar solos that separate each vocal section. Abstract Art also has great guitar leads and brings in layered, cleanish vocals in the chorus and some gothic sounding effects over stop start drums near the end. One time title track, The New Reign, has that off beat tempo at the beginning but a chorus that has building guitars and keys that make it feel and sound epic. It also has my favourite solo on the album.

The Eternal Reign

The final track on the album is called Glorious Day and is a completely new, old track. Originally slated for the debut release, it didn’t make it and has now been put out on The Eternal Reign for the first time. It starts off with some weird effects, totally at odds to the rest of the album, before a drum and bass riff take over. That builds into the off beat tempo and heavy vocals. The pace picks up half way through this song with a technical riff and blistering drums. There are a few unwelcome effects on the vocals but that is followed by a cool solo.

For me, Glorious Day is okay but is probably my least favourite song on the EP so it is a bit of a disappointing way to end. That is about all I have for disappointment though. What I expected to be a bog standard jaunt through 9 deathcore tracks, all sounding very similar to each other has been anything but.

It is a really strong EP and I am so glad they re-released it as I did not hear it first time round. There is a load of variety in the tracks with each one adding something new to the mix. Clever, but not overuse of keyboards and programming add depth at parts as does backing vocals. Well, other than on Glorious Day where I think the effects are overused. Ronnie Canizaro’s vocals are really strong. The drumming is phenomenal as are the chunky bass lines and inspired guitar leads.

A very strong 9 track re-record with only one track I am not too keen on. Weirdly that also happens to be the only one that didn’t feature on the original release. Perhaps it should have been left off this one too. Everything else on The Eternal Reign is brilliant. It is as heavy as you would expect from a deathcore band. It is packed full of blast beats and breakdowns of course. On top of that though, they have added little sparks of inspired moments. It is these that elevate good, standard songs into exceptional ones.

The Eternal Reign is out now and can be picked up from Sumerian Records. It is also available on iTunes, Amazon Music and Google Play. Be sure to check out Born of Osiris on Facebook and Twitter and give them a like or follow.

Born of Osiris - The Eternal Reign (Sumerian Records)
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