Metal Review – Origin: Omnipresent

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Metal Review – Origin: Omnipresent
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Origin: Omnipresent
Brutal Death Metal, Technical Death Metal
Agonia Records, Nuclear Blast Records
July 8th, 2014
Release length: 34:49
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Topeka, Kansas natives Origin have long been considered one of the most dominant forces in the Technical and Brutal Death Metal scenes as of late. Their success and fame only continued to grow as their musical skills and maturity continued to age as well. Come 2010, long time vocalist James Lee had left the group two years after the release of their career defining album Antithesis. Former Skinless vocalist Jason Keyser eventually joined the ranks in 2011, a deal was struck with Nuclear Blast Records, and the fifth album Entity came and went shortly after. It’s been a good three years since and Origin return with their latest recording, Omnipresent. Does it make up for the somewhat mediocre effort that was their previous outing, or does this one return to the successful formula of bludgeoning skill that made them a household name within the Death Metal community?

Omnipresent seems to act as something meant to bridge the divide between the two worlds with a somewhat varied album built around a suiting crisp production quality that accentuates the technical capabilities of Origin while giving the music enough edge to remain corrosively brutal in a digital studio world. “All Things Dead” explodes out of the gate with pure intensity that is certified to give you whiplash within the first minute if that, all the while adding an intriguing amount of unsettling melody that will keep you on the edge of paranoia without really even knowing it. The mixture of gutturals and raspy screams nicely compliment that malicious attack, though it would have been nice to have a little more variety or, even in this band’s case, some additional layering of the two for added aggression. This becomes a desire throughout the entire album sadly, but not something that takes away too much punishment from the overall effort.

Where the band nicely excels this time around are the blistering shorter tracks. “The Absurdity of What I” just hammers away ruthlessly at the drums with few moments that let you catch your breath. The same can be said for “Source of Icon O.” But it’s “Thrall Fulcrum Apex” that begins setting the tone of the album. It finds a great deal of complexity in the first thirty seconds that hammer away at you with thunderous blast beats that compliment the pure madness of the guitars that hit as if drilling spikes through your eyes before the slower, bass heavy “Permanence” brings in a slight nautic undertone through the lead riffs that, while somewhat slower, end up just as tight. Both of these songs bleed into one another, as the latter does with “Manifest Desolate,” which is a little less intricate in comparison to some of the works, giving way to some strong chugging, crushing grooves, and even fading effects that bring back the creepier sensation “All Things Dead” initially presented but a lot more subtle.

“Continuum” shares that style of opening, though not as nautical. Instead it’s more like an out of body experience coupled with the visuals of 2001: A Space Odyssey thanks to the additional astral keyboard score in the background before crashing into “Unattainable Zero.” Aside a few complicated bits from time to time, this is one of the few songs on here that just sounds toned down and somewhat traditional in the Brutal Death Metal field that gradually brings the album to a crawl in a negative way. Even the breakdown about three-and-a-half minutes in is unimpressive as it takes its sweet time to go into a much heavier slam that simply comes too late before ushering in the out of nowhere Goatwhore knock off “Redistribution of Filth” complete with two-stepping, blackened Thrash Metal riffs, a stagnant straight-forward guttural approach that mimicks that band’s recognizable style, as well as a hint of Hardcore attitude that tries to emerge once again at the end of “The Indiscriminate” in more of a burdening ominous manner that commands your attention as the world the music has created continuously explodes thanks to the sudden drops and builds to that moment that come off like the seconds on a bomb ticking away to zero.

Omnipresent isn’t quite the intense technical free-for-all their more pivotal releases were, but for what it is, Origin definitely step up and reassert themselves as the bringers of brutal technological audio warfare. There are many times where the band dabbles with more traditional Brutal Death Metal concepts, and even flat out become another band for a few minutes towards the end, but having many of the short tracks eventually merge into one bigger performance plays out more like the band trying to take their music and create an experience similar to witnessing the birth of a planet or solar system before the impending destruction of it all wipes everything from the face of existence. It’s an interesting trip throughout that fans will embrace, though even for newcomers its hard to not wish there was just a little more going on than semi-knee jerk transitions in speed and a little more variety from the vocals.

01. All Thins Dead – 3:36
02. Thrall Fulcrum Apexs – 1:08
03. Permanence – 1:00
04. Manifest Desolate – 4:16
05. The Absurdity of What I – 2:42
06. Source of Icon O – 2:01
07. Continuum – 1:53
08. Unattainable Zero – 4:41
09. Redistribution of Filth – 3:23
10. Obsolescence – 1:34
11. Malthusian Collapse – 4:11
12. The Indiscriminate – 4:24
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Origin
Origin

Digital review copy of this release provided by Nuclear Blast Records.