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Light years ahead - 100%

Torwilligous, January 12th, 2009

It begins. There is no warning; before you can even hope to adjust Origin commence their brutal death metal attack. This is speed transcending speed, aggression transcending aggression. 'Holy fucking fuck, what the hell is this?!" is an accurate summation of thoughts that occur just prior to your brain being blasted straight out of your ears and into a steaming puddle on the floor. Origin push music so far that this sounds like something coming out of the heart of a supernova rather than a band of mere people; though (presumably) stemming from the brain of man, it sounds both totally inhuman and evisceratingly cutting-edge. This is stupidly fast and wildly chaotic, and yet at the same time is so precisely constructed and controlled that it just thrashes the everloving FUCK out of you, constantly, without respite or regret. Consider the boundaries well and truly pushed.

It may be somewhat of a cliche, but this music in places really DOES resemble an artillery barrage; the stuttering blastbeats and precise, threshing, palm-muted riffage synchronising into tiny micromoments of sheer pulverising force that repeat with fluttering rapidity and a sheer power I couldn't possibly hope to convey in mere words. The effect is that of an enormous battery of huge guns going off at a rate which would flatten a city in seconds, and the eventual impact of the music as it strikes your ears and overwhelms your mind is precisely analogous to the explosive force of the shells as they strike home, leaving your sensibilities a shattered and slag-encrusted wasteland. Except that these shells are balls of nuclear fire, fired from the surface of a dying star in planet-annihilating spasms. In other places, the freakish dissonance and anti-melodic chromaticism of what would otherwise be standard open-strummed tremolo riffing approaches alien-like levels of indecipherable catchiness; issuing from pure nothingness, a grating assault that bows to no known musical formula yet resolves itself into weird melody somehow constructed of nothing but the purest strains of atonality. Chaos is extended by the sudden squalling eruptions of high-end arpeggio and scale runs that burst from the churning maelstrom of riffs before diving swiftly below the water; stabbing out at you like the thrashings of a lunatic, or as blasting flashes of light and sound seeming to come from absolutely nowhere you can adequately pinpoint.

This is simply a brutal beating; chaotic, wild and relentless, yet simultaneously exactingly ordered and precise. As with all boundary-crossing music, it's these fundamental paradoxes that truly create the grating yet somehow resolved internal conflict necessary to - putting it bluntly - fuck your shit up. When music pulls simultaneously in two different directions, you will be pulled apart. When your ears tell you that you hear the alien sounds of psychotically angular confusion, but your body revels in the precision of intricate rhythmic interplay between instruments and voice, the overall effect on the mind is to be overwhelmed with the sensation of power.

Then, out of nowhere, and with no noticeable change whatsoever, you suddenly discern that the relentless beating has resolved itself into a sublime neoclassical melodic construct; sweeping upwards with a savage and imperious grace before collapsing in on itself, the sound of beauty both born of and subsumed into a chaotic storm of blankly violent nihilism. The progression between the dissonant and consonant has never been blended so seamlessly; Origin reveal that discernible order is nothing more than chaos arranged into convenient mathematical intervals in a way that is truly interesting and profound. Either intentionally or (probably) unintentionally, by pushing their music this far Origin reveal something about what music is, and how thin the line is between structure and complete randomness. But Hell, even the more conventionally 'death metal' moments on this album are still executed with a savagery and energy that lifts the music into a statement in extremity which is difficult to match. Even if you have no stomach for the pretentious over-analysis I'm spewing out like some half-baked literary critic, and you get or want nothing out of this but some kick-ass fast brutal death metal, this will do the job with unpaid overtime. You will be raped, fucked up, dismembered and dumped in the garbage like a piece of worthless trash, guaranteed. If you have any appreciation for brutality at all you will be compelled to headbang yourself into a state of drooling idiocy.

One of the key things that makes this music so absolutely devastating is Origin's impeccable grasp of the concept of aggression in music. Whilst many other extraordinarily brutal bands such as Devourment or Brodequin create music of such weight that it becomes vast and sagging under its own extraordinary heaviness, here Origin utilise the concepts of silence and motion like seasoned masters, enlivening their sound no end. Rather than a wobbling mass collapsing towards non-music under the weight of its sheer brutality, we instead have something taut, lean and ferocious.

Vocals - be they guttural grunts or strangled shrieks - are roaring and bitingly enunciated, rather than gurgling rattles seeping ponderously up from a vast pit of filth. Guitars are energetic rather than simply chaotic, riffs leaping ever upwards and forwards, not collapsing back into the music and dissolving in the weight of their own entropy. Indeed, these riffs bear a lot in common with thrash in the way that they strive for the sensation of whiplash-inducing motion at all times; brutality arises as a result of the lightspeed punishment inflicted by a storm of raging and percussive attack, rather than as a means to an end in itself. The explosive manner in which arpeggios leap free and dive back into the music bring to mind not the crushing weight of a blunt object, but rather the searing flash of a precisely directed cutting laser. The forceful chugging of the riffing combines both tiny moments of space AND a constant barrage of sound to create something that incorporates an excellent combination of heaviness and energetic rhythm, all sped up to a level where you can barely understand what is hitting you. Rather than detuning musical modes into deep and sagging rumbles, Origin stretch the boundaries of music by attacking it with a claw hammer, battering conventional melodies and deliveries into something misshapen and deranged.

The genre of brutal death metal has long been metal's most fecund and innovative pasture, being one of the few areas in our favourite music where bands are still able and willing to push right to the boundaries of where music can go and what it can do, and often opening entirely new avenues of progression and insight in the process. "Echoes of Decimation" is another proud addition of this list. If rays of pure light were really FUCKING heavy, then this is what they would sound like.