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A Cut Above...Way Above - 97%

MikeyC, May 1st, 2008

When I heard about Antithesis, I was excited. Not over-the-top excited, but I was interested, as I did enjoy Echoes Of Decimation (and Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas to a degree, but not quite as much). What I heard, when I finally got my hands on their latest, was not quite what I expected. And this is a good thing.

Essentially, what we have on Antithesis is pretty much exactly what they’ve been doing on past albums. If you break it down into its core elements, it really is the same! Frenetic guitar work, blasting drums, screeching vocals…they are all still present. But what is it that makes Antithesis just so much more enjoyable?

I guess that can be summed up in one word: Refining. Not complete changing of their style, but warping, and tweaking it ever so slightly that the final product seems worlds ahead of all their previous material. In doing this, Origin have produced not just the best album of their career, but one of the best albums of 2008. This is some statement, considering we’re just 5 months in, but it would have to take a great effort to beat this (and who knows? It may just happen).

The addition of distinct solos is one of the more obvious changes the band underwent. The soloing on The Aftermath and Wrath Of Vishnu are not only new, but they actually work, as does the soloing on other tracks. Overall, the guitar work is nothing short of excellent. The riffs are just better (take the beginnings of Finite and Ubiquitous as examples)…there is no other way of describing them. The guitar work used on Echoes Of Decimation was also great, but they have stepped it up here.

There are still a fair amount of vocals, but this time they have learnt to keep quiet a little more than on previous efforts. Their dual vocal effort between low growls and high screams (not quite shrieks) still works to excellent effect, as shown on the opening vocals of Wrath Of Vishnu. Lyrically, they are still awesome, but again, they seem to have stepped it up and are writing some excellent lyrics…not that you will take a lot of notice to that, as there is a lot more happening in terms of the music.

The drumming is, once again, excellent, despite the prevalence of blasting. John Longstrength (came back after departing following III) is a master behind the kit, and even though he’s blasting away for most of the album, it doesn’t sound overbearing or forced. It tends to fit the rest of the music quite well.

When you have all these parts working at full capacity, you are almost guaranteed a superb album, and Antithesis delivers quality in the space of 10 tracks (one filler, but even that track works). It will be hard for their next album to top this, but for now, strap yourself in for some of the best brutal death you’ll hear in recent times.

Best tracks: Wrath Of Vishnu, Ubiquitous, Antithesis (or, more accurately, all of them)