Origin - _Antithesis_
by: Daniel Cairns (
How this didn't make it into the Chronicles of Chaos top ten of 2008 I will never know. Let's not mince words. _Antithesis_ is basically incredible. What we have here is a progressive exercise in technical savagery that just about renders most other death metal releases null and void. They've always been a notable proposition, but _Antithesis_ sees Origin up their game considerably.The first thing that strikes you is the pace. It's possibly the most relentlessly manic album this critic has heard since he first wrapped his ears around Strapping Young Lad's _City_. The record doesn't let up for a minute. I pity the poor sod who drums for the band. In the words of the immortal Alan Partridge, he must have feet like traction engines. It isn't just his performance either. The guitars are ludicrous. As a player of the instrument myself, the record basically made me want to go to a room, weep into my pathetically slow hands, and think about learning the triangle instead. It's the kind of record that makes even the virtuoso meanderings of Necrophagist sound as leaden and flat-out bollocks as Creed.However, technical prowess doesn't always make a great record. In amongst all the moments where you exclaim "HOW THE FUCK DID THEY DO THAT?" they have sneakily hidden riffs that are intricate, violent and damn it all, pretty catchy. It's also progressive to the point of being extra-terrestrial. Seriously, if Richard Dreyfus and his little grey buddies were to hear this album in space, they'd automatically assume Earth had inexplicably become home to super-intelligent hyper-sentient beings (imagine their surprise when they arrive and find that we all like Nickelback. They'd probably push the button. Hopefully.)Of course, being a death metal album, it's not really all that varied. Songs range from heavy, technical and fast to 'apocalypticallybrainmeltinglyinsane'. However, this works in the album's favour. It's about the end of the universe (naturally) and a two minute soundscape would probably get in the way of the sci-fi apocalypse that ensues for its forty minutes. Combine this with the Giger-esque artwork and you basically have a death metal nerd's wet dream.All in all, Origin have made one of the best death metal albums of the year (it was hard to choose between this and the equally brain-blitzing _nOn_ by The Amenta). Its brilliance is doubly palpable in a year that's seen death metal hit new lows with awful releases by Waking the Cadaver, Suicide Silence and (it pains me to say it) Cryptopsy. You absolutely owe it to yourself to listen to this album before E.T. blows us all up for listening to _Rockstar_.
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