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Antithesis - 98%

Daemonium_CC, August 6th, 2008

After the phenomenal "Echoes of Decimation" released in 2005, everyone was eager to get a new slab of ultra awesome metal in the form which in only Origin can deliver. And to top if off, this album would feature the same line-up from the now classic "Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas."

Origin are one of those bands you can always count on. They do what they do, and they do it far better than most, and with a true touch of class. You fully know what to expect going in to listen to an Origin album, but you're never left disappointed. And if you are, then there is something wrong with you.

Although this album was released on April 1st, trust me, this is not a joke, and its definitely nothing to laugh about. It's back to business like always.

Or is it?

I mean, though this album is what you would expect from Origin, it's also a step or three beyond that. Origin have took their trademark sound, and given it a few hundred more horsepower and the end result will make every nerve in your body come back to life. This album, does not, in any way, fuck around.

A point soon proven, because the very moment "The Aftermath" comes roaming out of your speakers and into your ears and brain, the intensity just builds up automatically - there is nothing you can do about. Yes, your blood pressure and heart beat have just risen about 20%. Yes, your senses are now wide awake and aching at the glorious sound emitting from your speakers. Though the first riff is unmistakably Origin in nature, it's also quite different, quite more unique from what they were doing before. And the vocals, oh my! I mean, James Lee has to be one of the best vocalists around. Going from high pitched shrieks to ultra low growls faster than you can blink, and he does them both so well that it's fucking ridiculous. The man is hugely talented, and hes an integral part of Origin's sound. This band have a kickass singer, that's for damn sure. But it's not just him. The verse riff which kicks in at 0:47 is truly amazing. It sounds like time and space combing and colliding with each other. It's fucking majestic, and when the section at 1:16 kicks in, we're all treated to the exceptional skill and incredible creativity of none other than Paul Ryan - one of the finest guitarists - and most creative, and most proficient - death metal has ever had the pleasure of witnessing. The section at 2:09 slows the pace down a notch to pave the way for an excellent groove section, then it's back to business as usual - pure death metal orgasm, not diluted in any way, shape or form. We're also fortunate enough to witness quite an awesome guitar solo, before the insane sweep picking section which launches at 3:17. Sure, they're showing off here, but who gives a shit? Certainly not me, as this section is awesome, adds so much character and intensity to the song, and it just sounds alien, and then, just like that, BAM - it's stopped exactly at 3:46, coming to a sudden halt.

Now, just for that track alone, this album very well deserves a truly high score. Simply because in this day and age, when death metal bands are sprouting out of everywhere, and most of them being utter shit in the process, the masters are back to give their students quite the lesson in how a quality tech/death album should be made. For those of you who needed more proof, well then..

"Algorithm" starts off mercilessly, just an onslaught of insane drumming propelled by none other than Sir. John Longstreth, and the intense and relentless riffing of Paul Ryan. He's backed by Jeremy Turner, another outstanding guitar player, who should be well known by his work with Unmerciful. To round off the equation, we have none other than Mr. Mike "Five Fingers" Flores on bass. Just that sentence alone should let you know that this album is not for the weak. It's not for the posers. It's for those who truly appreciate great musicianship and kickass tunes.

Up next is "Consuming Misery", and what this track shows again (besides the obvious incredible and imaginative riffs) is that Origin really took the time to write this thing, because all of the sections have been arranged to perfection, and every song has a theme behind it; it's not just random riffs thrown together with blast beats underneath. Every song tells a story, even with just the music itself! You don't even need to read the lyrics to catch the vibe, as the vibe will most certainly catch you, like it or not.

And if "Consuming Misery" didn't do it for you, then "Wrath of Vishnu" will, no doubt about it. Easily one of the finest songs on the album, it kicks its way into life with a killer intro, followed by James' insane vocals. The man is all over the vocal spectrum, and the fact that he can do what he does so well is just frightening. Most death metal vocalists aren't even as half as good as this. Anyway, the song pushes itself forward in all it's majestic glory, until it just stops suddenly at 1:16 and makes way to one of the most amazing sections not only on this album, but on any album I've ever heard. The riff, the riff!! It's just fucking epic, it's timeless, it's like goddamn magic. You wouldn't expect a middle-eastern influenced riff to make it's way onto an Origin album. Nile, for sure, but Origin? Not in a million years, but here it is, and it just works so well. After the epicness, we are greeted by yet another fantastic riff, and a spectacular guitar solo. The intensity once again rises to some more rabid riffing and inhuman drumming provided by Sir Longstreth. My only gripe about the drumming is in the mix. Certainly not in the technique. I mean come on, that's just fucking flawless now, isn't it? It's just the mix which kind of sucks. I would have expected some more punch from the kicks and snare, so most of the time they seem to be overshadowed by the guitars. But how could they not be, the guitars are just that damned good. And while the song just continues to pummel you, and pummel you some more, once again, BAM!, just like that, a sudden explosion in your face at 4:36 to tell you that the track is over. And what better way to do that than to re-create the universe collapsing unto itself?

Next up we have the first single from the album, in the form of "Finite." First things first, this album was selected as a single probably because of it's length (it's one of the shorter tracks on the album), but what it lacks in length it more than makes up in content. This here is just jam packed with goodness. Wasting no time at all, Origin kick into a riff so fantastic that you're just blown right out of the water. And just as you're about to land from the potential minefield that you crossed, you're shot right back up in the air with the outstanding section which comes, and dominates, at 1:20. But still, it's not over, Origin are not finished with you just yet. Yeah that's right, take that section at 1:35. Read it and weep, fuckers. This is not for the weak. This is not something to listen to if you're not fully prepared. I certainly wasn't, and I just remember sitting and thinking to myself, "Oh no, they just didn't... Holy shit is that fucking good!" The remaining minute or so of the track is by no means filler, it's just fantastic, especially the dual guitar work at 2:53, which just sounds eerie, like something not of this earth.

"The Appaling" starts off with another high intensity riff, which just totally ignores the torso and goes straight for the neck. That said though, it's kind of too much at times. It's just relentless, in every sense of the word. By this time, you should feel like you've just taken a beating, and quite a serious one at that. It just never ends! The album is just packed and packed with riffs, drum fills, the whole nine yards. But thankfully, Origin seemed to have heard my prayers and launched "Void", a short interlude lasting around 40 seconds. Gee, thanks. Then they kicked it back off with "Ubiquitous", which turned everything back up to 11 this time. And what an epic, bastard of a song this is. Starting off nice and slow, the guitar riffs haunting, and in no hurry, it seems, to crush your senses. But then at 1:21 something quite special happens. Everything stops, except for a lone guitar riff, and all the while you're thinking "oh shit, here it comes.." and boy, does it ever come. That fucking guitar riff - what the hell is that!? I don't even want to see the tab for it, I've never heard such chaos and fury unleashed in such a way that it's as sharp as a razor blade, and as precise as a hand made Swiss watch. It has to be heard to be believed, I will say no more about this.

"The Beyond Within" comes rampaging next, with another intense riff and amazing drumming. James does the job just fine and everything seems to be rolling along without any disturbances, that is until the section at 1:23 comes raging along, with yet another immense riff which is just so unmistakably Origin. One thing I love about these guys is that they always sound like themselves. They have their sound set in stone, and what a sound it is! They manage to mix it up so well and keep everything interesting throughout the whole experience of having your head kicked in. So trust me when I say that you will find more than just a few surprises on this album. There is always something lurking just around the corner, ready to jump on you and claw your face off. But when that time will come, no one can ever be so sure.

The title track literally erupts in your brain and all of your senses are on stand-by - they should be fucking pummeled to the point of numbness by now. Clocking it at 9 minutes and 32 seconds, it's the longest song Origin have ever done, and the most epic, perhaps, so I won't ruin it for anyone who has not heard it yet by writing about it here.

And there you have it. This album is absolutely essential. Even just reviewing it was so much fun, there are enough gems in here to keep you occupied for years. This is the way death metal should be done. And for all you supposedly "br00tal" bands out there, do yourself a favor.. sit up and take note. This is how quality death metal is done.

If extraterrestial life forms ever found their way to earth and somehow obtained a copy of this album, I'm quite positive the only thing they'd say would be a whole hearted "Jesus titty-fucking Christ!!"