Written by: The Administrator
Speaking exclusively from an admittedly shallow well of experience, there are few genres as situational as deathcore. Am I actively engaged in an a high-intensity workout? If so, deathcore is an appropriate soundtrack. Am I doing anything other than slangin' iron and sweating bullets? Deathcore is more than likely buried underneath a veritable mountain of genres I would rather spend my time with. Given this implicit bias, I have spent a lot of time listening to Osiah's latest while strutting around in the cobwebb'd cellar confines of my home gym. To their credit, however, this album has slowly started to escape the typical listening environments. The ability to hold interest outside of the usual arena is a pretty notable quality.
Loss is an album with a few inevitable flaws, but in broad strokes, it serves as a solid representation of modern deathcore. Wavering slightly between "slammy" and "technical," without falling too far in one direction or the other, Osiah sit in a comfortable arena where the sheer physicality of each track stands as a primary characteristic without becoming overbearing. There are breakdowns a-plenty (fear not!) but, notably, they don't often feel like the primary force in a track's definition and direction. The riffage is, more often than not, classifiable as "top-notch," and the vocals across the breadth are deliciously relentless. If you're looking for a sample of what they sound like whilst firing on all cylinders, I humbly submit the moody "Queen of Sorrow," the boisterous "War Within Our Walls," and the vocal firefight/slugfest of "The Eye of the Swarm" (feat. Shadow of Intent vocalist Ben Duerr) as standouts. Realistically, though, there aren't any tracks here that feel significantly lesser.
Loss is an obvious representation of Osiah's comfort zone, and, from a critical perspective, it would benefit from some additional moments that serve to shake things up and present a slightly distinct perspective. This is particularly true as we near the midpoint and end of the album, where the tracks start to bleed together--not because they are inferior to that which came before, but rather because they are so similar in sound and objective. These guys are clearly very talented, but as of now, they often sound like an encapsulation of existing acts rather than their own unique beast--there's no real distinguishing factor. That's certainly not a deal-breaker, however: indeed, I sincerely doubt that many people who enjoy this genre to begin with with find much with which to quibble. It's also worth noting that Loss is a significant improvement over their previous efforts in this regard, which gives me hope.
I feel like these guys have an absolutely massive album lurking in their future, and I'm excited to see them let it loose. For the time being, however, I'm quite happy to recommend Loss to anyone who enjoys a lil' deathcore from time to time. After all, any example of the genre that is worth enjoying outside of the typical environment is more than likely worth a second look. Is Loss situated to become an album that pushes the boundaries of what deathcore can do, perhaps in the vein of, I dunno, the latest from Humanity's Last Breath? No. But is at solid and respectable entry in a field that doesn't garner a whole lot of respect in the first place? Most definitely.
Osiah - Loss was released May 7th, 2021 via Unique Leader Records
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!