Osiris Rising timeline narrative - 2002 to 2006
The band members
Michael Ibarra – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Brian “VoR” Vorisek – Drums, Vocals
Joe “Leviathan” Arthur – Lead Guitar
Paul “Papa Middy” Arthur – Bass
TL;DR read the band biography.
Osiris Rising began to form in the spring of 2002, in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The founding band members Joseph Robert Arthur (guitar) and Brian Vorisek (drums) had both left bands seeking a unique project. Brian Vorisek had left the band DeSaad, which the remaining members actually split to form Gods and Monsters, & Deadstar Assembly. Brian was already known on the local scene as a charismatic live performer, while Joe’s talent was still relatively unknown.
A mutual friend, Eric Weiner, who after many weeks of trying to contact Brian, decided to drive Joe over to the Chinese restaurant where Brian worked to introduce them.
They immediately began auditioning singers and bass players. Joe had worked with singer Michael Ibarra (born in Lima, Peru) in a previous garage band a year earlier called Seven Angel Gathering. He played Michael’s vocal demo for Brian and he was impressed. Michael’s vocal style was quite different from the guttural growling and screamo singers that populated the Fort Lauderdale music scene at the time.
Michael was also a lyricist, poet & artist. Joe and Brian decided that Michael’s raw, rock opera vocal style would add the diversity they were looking for. One meeting between the three of them is all it took. That memorable meeting became a house party soon after, including many drinks, several packs of smokes, and the movie Pumpkin Head 2.
Osiris Rising’s first bass player would be Lior Sapir. Lior knew Brian from previous projects, and his expertise on the bass finalized their memorable sound. Now with a great lineup, Osiris Rising hit the Fort Lauderdale music scene. They gained immediate popularity in their local area, packing out The Metal Factory, Fort Lauderdale in their first summer together. Osiris Rising’s first fans were a mixed bunch whose listening preferences went in all directions. For the most part, Osiris Rising’s initial popularity spanned the local goth mallrats.
Many Florida media outlets & pop culture journalists categorized Osiris Rising as Gothic metal. This may have been due to the band incorporating pagan symbolism into their artwork, or perhaps for Brian Vorisek’s unconventional religious beliefs. Something he made evident by chanting, singing, or simply shouting at concert attendees between songs.
It wasn’t long before a concert attendee coined the phrase “gothic grunge” to describe Osiris Rising’s unusual style. Later on, local metal heads labeled Osiris Rising "acid metal". Chris Defaut of Chronzon, Infernaeon, Divine Empire & Order Of The Black Flame, described Osiris Rising as "the Pink Floyd" of the Florida metal scene. The band members have never collectively agreed on a genre description, though hard rock or alternative metal would be a good description.
They’d continue to play The Factory, Surf Cafe in Boca Raton and several small bars and clubs across South Florida into 2003. The band’s stage persona (later described as misfit metal alkies) and affinity for early 70’s heavy rock bands made them somewhat bizarre compared to their peers. Lior Sapir left Osiris Rising in 2003 for college; they would see three more bass players come and go, including Andrew Goodyear, formerly of Response Negative. Joe’s older brother Paul Arthur joined the band as the permanent bass player in June 2003.
Osiris Rising’s music focused on melody and mood. Young guitar player, and main songwriter, Joseph Robert Arthur had only scratched the surface of his abilities with their early songs. Their aspirations and creativity seemed to guarantee the band long fulfilling careers as musicians.
Gigging heavily in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach & Martin County areas; Osiris Rising appeared in concert with many bands. Some of those shows included: Curse Icon, Genitorturers, Sense Of Being, Red Sun Down, Deconbrio, SimpleKill, 5 Billion Dead, Infernaeon, Slapstick Remedy, Ladezma, Unbecoming, Incode, One, Indorphine, Shortstack, Headdrive, Deepset, Response Negative, Higher Zenith, Scars Of Life, The Numb Ones, Creation, Inhumane, Monster Zero, Slang, Skylab, Mind Like Water, Absolute Asylum & Deadstar Assembly.
Osiris Rising would hammer out a very rough 3-song demo in late 2003 that spawned countless shows, and earned them their first loyal fans. They printed that demo themselves, the night before they played RAG Magazine’s Ragfest 2003; just so they could have some CD’s to hand out at the show. Their sleepless night paid off! The band’s exposure at Ragfest landed them a concert at the Kelsey Club in Lake Park, FL & their first Culture Room show in January 2004.
Early in 2004, a rep from Drive Thru Records caught the local buzz, and spoke with the band. He suggested that they record a studio quality demo to submit to the company. Osiris Rising continued to tour the Florida club scene in 2004 while evaluating recording studios. With only a room-recording demo, Osiris Rising spent most of 2004 on stage, & was selected for the 2004 Budweiser True Music Festival. The band’s fan base really grew during several Culture Room shows that year. Michael Ibarra’s inebriated antics on-stage would help fuel the buzz as well, adding that “unpredictable” factor fans enjoyed, and club owners hated. Michael’s antics finally got to the owners of the Culture Room, eventually forcing the band to play smaller clubs. That is when the infamous Solid Sound Studios concerts began led by the band ’Sense Of Being’. Artists stormed Solid Sound’s Pompano Beach studio with a vengeance, packing the small venue out time and time again.
Late in 2004, Drew Dilullo formerly of the band Sense Of Being referred Osiris Rising to Marc Karmatz at Insane Sounds Studios, in Plantation, Florida. It was there that the magic begun. Osiris Rising would soon forget about a 3-song demo, and go big. They decided to produce a full-length independent CD. “If we don’t get a major label, we do it independent. No indie labels!” said Paul Arthur. The band decided to produce their music themselves, under their own independent label.
The production costs and studio time would keep Osiris Rising away from the local scene and off the stage for months. Their independent CD “Diluting The Gene Pool” was pressed in June of 2005, followed by their CD release show on July 9th 2005. Osiris Rising earned two separate Garageband.com awards for the songs “A Priori” and “Strap On”.
The album was sent off to online retailers and the alternative metal band from Fort Lauderdale quickly garnished attention. It wasn't long before their popularity expanded beyond their Florida home.
On July 30th 2005 Osiris Rising was selected for the Budweiser True Music Festival for the second year in a row. The infamous performance received rave reviews from the local press and radio stations. Here is an example of one of the press articles covering the event.
Emails and phone calls would flood the band for several months for people looking to capitalize on their album. Record companies, radio promoters & concert promoters kept Osiris Rising and their public relations manager Ali Harris very busy trying to sift through the potential business partners, and weed out the trash.
Their album may have been selling, however their time away from the local scene for studio work had a negative impact. To their surprise, local show promoters & managers seemed to be looking for something else. Post-hardcore & emo bands now ruled the local stages. Seemingly, Osiris Rising was left behind while they recorded Diluting The Gene Pool, by the very music scene they entertained for the last 3 years. Unfortunately there was no practical way for the band to tour outside of their home state while they were operating under their own independent label.
In August 2005, Osiris Rising looked to their friends in the metal & rock community and organized the Halloween Concert “An Evening In The Primordial Black”. Synapticide, Infernaeon, Persona, and Chapters Unfold would complete the lineup destined for Pompano’s Scene Sound & Stage. Then came Hurricane Wilma, which nearly destroyed the concert venue. Two weeks without electricity and with many more venues in South Florida suffering damage, the concert event had to be cancelled.
Still determined somehow, Joe Arthur began contacting different promoters and gathered contacts from reputable record companies who were interested in the band. In October 2005, Osiris Rising performed at a showcase in Orlando Florida. Although not what they expected, a rep from Atlantic Records was in attendance. She loved the performance and solicited a CD and press kit with great interest. The A&R at Atlantic Records loved the material, and the following weeks would bring Osiris Rising their first major label opportunity since Drive Thru Records nearly two years earlier.
In the meanwhile, Joe solidified an arrangement with a local radio station (WHDR-FM 93.1 Rock - South Florida’s Pure Rock) and promoters for The Hard Rock Cafe that would put Osiris Rising back on the big stage. The agreement would commit the band to open shows for national bands, and perform various events and festivals on short notice. In December 2005, Osiris Rising finished writing four new songs, and planned to re-record local fan favorite "Acid Moon" which were planned to be included in their second album titled “Must Be The Demons”. A 2007 U.S. independent tour was also in the planning stages. After ending 2005 on a low, suddenly 2006 seemed to be promising.
This would all soon come to a tragic end.
On the pre-dawn hours of Sunday, January 22, 2006, Joseph Robert Arthur lost control of his vehicle while driving on interstate highway I95 and crashed. He was killed instantly. He was only 23 years old. Joe was not only the guitarist, not only the primary songwriter, not only the co-creator of the band; he is also its inspiration. Osiris Rising didn’t just loose a band member they lost a brother. Michael, Brian, and Paul laid the band Osiris Rising to rest in accordance with Joe’s passing, allowing the name Osiris Rising to stand forever as a tribute to Joe Arthur’s legacy.
Joe’s emotions & his very soul guided his hand on every note he played, something that is evident to everyone who listens. Joe’s imaginative song writing abilities created memorable songs that his band mates are proud to be a part of. For just a few short years, Joe’s dreams were a reality. His band may not have had the chance to tour the world, however he succeeded in life; he created masterful music, he inspired people, and he is dearly loved.
Ironically, select songs from the bands album Diluting The Gene Pool received international airplay later in 2006 on college radio, internet radio, POD casts, and most notably on Radio Belgrade in Serbia and Radio Free Iraq.
Regrettably Joe would never see the real success of his work. Fortunately though, his artistry was captured before his untimely death. The three remaining band members feel that their experience with Osiris Rising was a once-in-a-lifetime privilege, and that they were all destined for it.
Special thanks to Ali Harris who captured the band with her photography from 2004 to 2006, Drew Dilullo, Kevin Gibbons, Eric Weiner, Mike Nazari, Charlotte Stokely, Corey Thomas, John Murray (aka Johnny Asshole), Doug Graham, Marc Karmatz, Danielle McCannon, Wendy Southard, Branimir Lokner, Jared Cole, Rusty Ellison, Jonathan Zwickel, New Times Broward Palm Beach, Skratch Magazine, RAG Magazine, Attorney Ruben Alcoba, Muze Inc, Melissa 'Mel T' of 93 ROCK (93.1), CDBaby, Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion, Bands; Inhumane, Sense Of Being, Chapters Unfold, Synapticide & Infernaeon, our enduring families and the fans that shared and continue to share Osiris Rising's work over the years.
Originally written 1/27/2006
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