Take a bunch of 18 year old kids from Chicago, toss in a modern death metal foundation and a keyboard and you end up with a surprisingly refreshing take on extreme music with BORN OF OSIRIS' "The New Reign". The album is a compact eight tracks with a total running time of 21 minutes that offers more than your average death metal (or deathcore maybe) disc.
The core elements are the chunky, syncopated rhythms (ala MESHUGGAH, even DECAPITATED at times), the unwavering death growls of Ronnie Canizaro (right, no clean vocals), and the smartly incorporated keyboard playing of Joe Buras (who also contributes vocals). Even without the keyboards the band does a fine job of matching brutality with enthrallingly melodic guitar leads. As always, it is a combination that is tough to pull off without complete switching gears and adding emo crooning that comes seemingly from out of nowhere But it is the keyboard melodies that are quite scintillating, especially next to the melodic guitar parts. And the keyboards don't rely on the same sounds and patterns either, as Buras changes things up nicely. On a track such as "Open Arms to Damnation", Canizaro's ability to growl through the melodies is peachy keen, I must say. The boatload of chunky beats and riffs hit right between the eyes too. Put simply, the album collectively sounds good.
I suspect we've not even begun to hear the potential of BORN OF OSIRIS. "The New Reign" will not stun the masses or anything, but it is surely a pleasure to hear some genuinely progressive death metal done right.