Released: 2005, Relapse Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
This really has been the Summer Of Death: incredible albums from Nile, Machetazo, Blood Ritual, Blood Red Throne, Hate Eternal, and more have waged an all-out assault on the metal scene. Judging from the proliferation of Brutal Death albums this year, I’d swear that I’d been time-warped back to 1993.
I expected this to rule, and indeed I was not disappointed. But that’s the catch—if you’re not already a fan, you might as well buzz off.
Let’s cut to the chase: Origin are what Suffocation used to be. In other words, they’re brutal, harsh, and impossibly technical…but actually remain interesting in the process. This would have been Roadrunner Records’ pride and joy back in the day. Currently, they are Relapse’s—ironic that it was Relapse that first brought us Suffocation, then, isn’t it?
Unlike other Suffocation-influenced bands, (Litany, for instance) Origin have a keen sense of variety. The vocals are brutal, but they offer variation from growls to croaks to grunts, and such. Not exactly High Art, but then, you aren’t likely to sleep through it, either. The guitars are perfectly produced, and the drumming pummels every orifice. The mad jazz-inspired time changes are present, but Origin sound less likely to open for John Zorn, than rape him anally with a sharpened clarinet. This is Technical Metal for people who think Dillenger Escape Plan are pussies. (Check out the closing drum and rhythm work on “Amoeba” if you don’t believe me).
Admittedly, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of hemlock. If you have no love of the brutal early 90’s Death Metal explosion, or insanely technical music in general, you might want to stick with the newest Darkest Hour or Wintersun—this is just going to piss you off, really. Sure, songs like “Staring From The Abyss” and “Cloning The Stillborn” are undeniably brilliant—but that does not make them toe-tappers, per se. Don’t expect to hum to this.
Unfortunately, like all artists of this sort, Origin have no knack whatsoever for memorable melody. This is not to say that melodies are not present; it is, instead, to say that the band rarely settles upon one for more than 40 seconds. Cannibal Corpse fans, take note.
This is not the sort of Death Metal release that wins new fans to the genre. This is for the diehards. And if you can get past the silly “angry god-muppet” album cover, you just might be in for a jolly good pummeling. Now please Lord make it stop…