Album review: Born Of Osiris – Angel Or Alien

Illinois prog-metalcore overlords Born Of Osiris ascend thunderous skies on otherworldly sixth album, Angel Or Alien

Album review: Born Of Osiris – Angel Or Alien
Sam Law

For better or worse, Born Of Osiris have always run with machine-like reliability. On their 2009 debut A Higher Place, the Illinois quintet helped birth a progressive-metalcore sub-subgenre, alongside contemporaries like Veil Of Maya, After The Burial and I, The Breather. A fine-tuned formula was nailed: expansive atmospherics, Phrygian scales, chest-thumping lyrical hooks, brutalist djent-infused breakdowns. Hell, with the exception of the gap between 2015’s Soul Sphere and 2019’s The Simulation, studio albums have even dropped at regulation two-year intervals.

Global pandemic be damned, sixth offering Angel Or Alien arrives almost 12 years to the day since the aforementioned debut, delivering everything fans have come to expect. Where Born Of Osiris’ last few releases have lacked the urgency and spark with which they burned onto the scene, however – playing to a chin-stroking faithful rather than any type of casual listener – these fourteen songs come on with a renewed sense of intensity and purpose.

Poster Child wastes no time kicking into gear with a blend of sci-fi synth-work and chugging riffage that evokes mid-2000s In Flames. White Nile wears its Egypt-obsessed tech-death influence on its sleeve, unleashing a frenzied bludgeon that’s less Osiris than Seth, before spilling into a spectacular sonic expanse. The title-track feels like a fresh benchmark, layering clean vocals over a composition that’s as hooky as it is heavyweight.

Clocking in at 55 minutes, Angel Or Alien is – like most BoO releases – an unapologetically intimidating listen. Delve deep into its glinting treasure chamber, though, and there are such twisted wonders to behold. From Love Story’s anguished lament and the spine-creaking angularity of Crossface to epic, World Of Warcraft-inspired closer Shadowmourne, it’s apt reward for hardcore fans who’ve been there every step of the way, and reason for new legions to pile aboard.

Verdict: 3/5

For Fans Of: Veil Of Maya, Northlane, After The Burial

Angel Or Alien is released on July 2 via Sumerian.

READ THIS: 10 metalcore/deathcore bands you probably don't remember

Check out more:

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?