Saturday, February 18, 2012

Origin - Entity

Origin is a band that I’ve been listening to for years and have seen live once. The thing that caught my eye on this album was that the much-loved vocalist for the New York death grind band Skinless (who recently broke up) is on this album and is now the official Origin vocalist! I mean, the bald guy was great and all, but a guy with vocals as brutal as the long-haired freak from Skinless is EXACTLY what Origin needed to take things to the next level. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it was a lot different than their previous works. The thing that I think helped Origin change themselves was their signing on to Nuclear Blast Records, who is known for giving their bands complete freedom to write whatever the hell they want. Some bands fail to do this successfully (especially if they’re used to being dependent on the record label’s control over what they write), but Origin took advantage of that privilege and created a masterpiece that I own on vinyl (remember those, old guys? They’re those huge black discs that came before cassette tapes that they stopped making in the late 1980s).

The biggest change about this album is that it’s not as brutal as their older stuff. Instead, this is one of the most chaotic albums I’ve heard in my life. Don’t believe me? LISTEN TO EXPULSION OF FURY AND TELL ME THAT I’M WRONG AND THAT I’VE GOT A DUCK SHOVED UP MY BUTT. There are some albums out there that are chaos within the walls of the band, but Origin takes chaos and releases it to the world unconfined to devour the earth. They certainly did so when I saw them live with Hate Eternal, Vital Remains, Abysmal Dawn, and Phalgeron (any of those bands alone would be enough to blow someone to pieces). I knew that Origin is pretty huge, but I had no idea that it was of this magnitude. The utter chaos is almost all in the drummer whose legs can’t possibly be human (aka they’re really fast). When I first heard this album, I asked myself the same question that I asked when I first heard Oracles by Fleshgod Apocalypse: “How many pounds of crack does the drummer take before each show??” Although I would prefer that the bands I listen to be drug free (excluding weed), it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if their drummer takes some kind of stimulant.

There is one big thing about this album that bothers me a lot, and it’s not a problem with the music, it’s with the production. There is WAY too much treble! It’s one of those things that I can only listen to on my computer speakers that have lots of bass (as opposed to my Zune which obviously doesn’t have TONS of bass). I’m fine with this much treble, but only if it’s balanced out with the mid-ranges and bass. But that aside, the music contained on this record won’t melt your face, it will fucking TEAR IT TO PIECES.

I would like the guitars to have more of a gritty, crunchy sound as well because that would make the music that much more relentlessly brutal. The songs are the OPPOSITE of being repetitive and boring. This is one of those albums that have a lot of that high-pitched sweep picking that is seen in many tech death bands, but the rhythm guitars are relatively simple with extremely fast tremolo picking. One thing that surprised me was that the vocalist doesn’t have that really nasty growl that he did in Skinless (probably because he wanted to change things up a bit for himself); it still sounds brutal and dirty, but not quite what I wanted to hear from him.

Although my review of this album may seem mostly negative, the music and creativity behind this record is some of the best I’ve seen in the eight years that I’ve been listening to metal. The musicianship is hard to believe (especially the fact that they’re able to dream up something this complicated). There isn’t much else that I need to say about this other than that it’s one of the best technical death albums I’ve ever heard in my life and that you need to listen to it and fucking BUY IT before the chaos known as Origin consumes the entire planet…which includes you. This is a CLASSIC and should be loved by all regardless of its faults. I would give this a score of 19/20.