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Born of OsirisAs a deathcore band, was considered a bit more experimental during their earlier years, and more recently established their musical style.  Their fourth album, Soul Sphere, continues this trend, but falls short to the high expectations held for this band.  Granted, is one of the better artists in their sub-genre, but this particular album is exceedingly hit-or-miss.

The instruments on Soul Sphere are by no means mind-blowing, but makes up it by blending all their songs with a synthesizer.  This works remarkably well with songs like The Other Half Of Me and River Of Time, because a song can switch off emphasizing the instruments and synth.  If a guitar riff is simplistic (and there are many on Soul Sphere), the synth will take the spot light, but when the guitars do something more interesting, they get all the attention.  The songs that do balance these two elements poorly like Warlords  are definitely the weakest songs on the album.  It would also be fair to say that without the synth portions, the only good song would be Resilience, so it would have been nice to hear some more technical musicianship throughout the majority of the record.

The vocals are the best and most consistent aspect of Soul Sphere.  There’s a well-balanced mixture of high, mid and low screaming with the occasional bit of singing peppered in a handful of songs.  The vocals definitely keeps the album from sounding too monotonous, and would probably do an even better job if some of the songs had better lyrics.  Throw Me In The Jungle (the worst song for more than this reason alone) will confound music scholars for generations to come, and Tidebinder, a song with enjoyable instruments, will bother any grammar Nazi who hears it.  The line”Unbind me from this cage I’m living in” would work just as well by swapping ‘unbind’ with ‘release.’  It’s worth noting not all the lyrics are bad, but the weaker songs undermine the deeper songs and seem disingenuous in comparison to songs like The Composer.

Soul Sphere is truly a mixed bag for many reasons, but the same could be said about most albums, so the largest problem is the album’s flow.  The great songs are frequently interrupted by the average and poor songs, which prevents the album from gaining momentum and leaving the overall experience a bit tiresome and underwhelming at times.

Soul Sphere is tad confusing to summarize, because it really depends on your standards.  As a deathcore album, it’s actually quite good, but average for a Born Of Osiris album.  Fans will find some enjoyable songs, but anyone who’s new and intrigued by their fascinating album artwork will be better off starting with some of their older work (don’t worry, the others also have some cool artwork).

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