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Hahaha remember when this was neat - 56%

Noktorn, December 12th, 2010

Is it just me or is the vocal production on this record really dry? It's really far in the front, and it might just be the kind of blunt, static performance of James Lee, but honestly I think they missed putting reverb on it or something. Actually, now that I'm listening to it again, it might be the whole production: everything's right in fucking front, lined up like a Revolutionary War-era army. The problem with this? There's absolutely nothing behind it: you hear this CD once and you've heard absolutely everything there is to hear on it. It's enjoyable in a dumb way but I can't listen to it without thinking that there should be more going on.

The thing that makes Origin kind of better than the million and a half bands they've spawned (seeing this style back in 2005 is kind of weird since every tech death band sounds like this now) is that they have some restraint; I mean, 'Echoes Of Decimation' is well under a half hour long, and frankly, who wants to listen to more than that? It's basically EP-length which is about as long as I can tolerate listening to something like this, and the songs are compact enough that you don't realize you've been listening to basically just three riffs the whole time. More bands should follow this ideal.

Origin is known for playing really fast and... playing really fast, I guess, but the most gripping moments of this album are when they get out of the 'fast death/grind' box a little bit and experiment with rhythm a bit or let the guitarists do some of their weird, spacey arpeggios or quirky tremolo riffs. I would like this album a lot more if they'd exploit the curious sense of melody to its fullest potential- go a bit more in a Morbius direction rather than the rather straightforward 'Fleshgrind on crack' sound they've mastered, but this doesn't result in as many sales to Relapse kids so I guess it doesn't really matter.

The crucial problem, though, is just that not much happens. The quirky melodies are neat but they all sound kind of the same, Lee's vocals get really grating a couple tracks in since they're just a random bark with no really interesting implementation in the tracks, and everything just seems like sort of a competition with itself- these aren't songs so much as tech demos of what the band can do. It's pretty technical though not really crazy compared to what's become the standard five years later, so it doesn't really even have that envelope-pushing quality to fall back on; it's just kind of static instead and doesn't really draw my attention.

The best song on the album is 'Staring From The Abyss', probably because it's an actual song with a cohesive flow and structure and some really great riffs. This is something Origin would sort of figure out on the next album, but ultimately 'Echoes Of Decimation' is just an amusing diversion to throw on every six months and reminisce back to a time when stuff like this was novel.