Origin - _Omnipresent_
(Agonia Records, 2015)
by: Chaim Drishner (
Brutal death metal is probably one of my least favourite sub-styles of metal. Generally speaking, innovation is a rare commodity inside the circles of even the most aspiring, pretentious and technical bands out there who play that very extreme style of metal music. One can mention several seminal albums (not many though) that have pushed the walls of brutal death metal and explored uncharted musical territories, without losing their brutal edge, but those are too few and far between; from the viewpoint of a metal veteran, brutal death metal is a faceless sub-genre of metal that has lost its relevance and its appeal for the most part, generally speaking, of course. _Omnipresent_ is one of those albums that bring this super-extreme style of metal music back from the dead into being relevant once more; it brings not only brutal death metal back into the heart of relevance, but it also establishes technical brutal death metal as being an art form. _Omnipresent_ is an apt name, because this album is like an all-seeing evil eye scavenging for the best pieces of hard-hitting music that have existed since death metal's inception -- and once spotted, those pieces are picked up and thrown violently on a sonic canvas, creating a grotesque collage of death and transcendence, transcendence and death. Those talented individuals comprising Origin have created one crazy album that sounds like everything and like nothing out there. Deicide, Hypocrisy, Agiel and Brutal Truth meet inside a futuristic spaceship that transforms into this sonic behemoth; ravaging, plowing, smashing, then taking you to a place of beauty, then snatching you violently and throwing you back into a universe of complete destruction and chaos galore. I like the way Origin handle the dual-vocal approach, for instance; both guttural -and- screaming. It kind of reminds us of Brutal Truth's debut album (sans the grindcore leanings of the latter). At other times this mode of operation will probably remind you of Deicide's self-titled debut or even their sophomore one; this method of screaming versus growling lends the recording a more 'wild' or 'untamed' or even 'Satanic' sound, especially due to the fact the screaming vocals are spewed in such a vehemence and vitriolic blind fury, they almost sound like the shrills of a demented and hysterical black metal screamer; it's hard to remain indifferent to the sound of this sonic throat-generated animosity. I also like the fact Origin know how and when to slow things down and let their tamer side emerge; moments in which Origin's superb musicianship shines the most, using leads and solos and gorgeous instrumental tracks as light sources. What I don't appreciate, however, is Origin's attraction toward metalcore / deathcore rhythms and slams. (Thankfully, those are scarce.)_Omnipresent_ is this reviewer's first proper encounter with Origin, and although this album suffers from negative-to-lukewarm responses (as one will surely notice after reading reviews of this album scattered around the Internet), I can safely say now I see no reason why this album is being considered as a 'let-down' by Origin's fans complaining about the band's lowering of standards. So, it's either Origin's previous works have been all timeless masterpieces (which I doubt is the case) -- or those who criticize _Omnipresent_ as being a lesser product have absolutely no idea what they are blathering about (most likely).True, on first listen this album sounds generic as fuck and you may wonder what is all the fuss around this band. But worry not, for most brutal death metal bands sound generic and rehashed at first; in Origin's case, it was enough to give this album another (proper) spin, to quickly realize that this is a work of musical geniuses, and the simple fact that this album -slays-!Not only do Origin own some of the best lyricists ever, but also have they been blessed by true talent. Only talented musicians could have written a wonderful instrumental short (too short!) piece such as track seven, called "Continuum"; less than two minutes of pure sonic magic and poetry: dreamy, ethereal and epic yet dark and so very beautiful.But that's an anomaly of course, as the better part of this album is technical brutal death metal of the highest order. Yet not everything here is blasting; Origin's doom/death moments are among the best, darkest and heaviest slow death metal I have ever listened to. Some of the slower death metal sections will probably remind you of the slow-to-mid-paced parts in Hypocrisy's grand opus _The Fourth Dimension_, owning that dirty, sharp and vile Swedish sound. Origin even experiment with hardcore punk when they unleash the ninth track "Redistribution of Filth", which introduces a strong D-beat pattern throughout the whole track with a couple of blastbeat bursts here and there. But even this allegedly misplaced track among its more classic-sounding death metal brethren is an excellent song: powerful, full of crazy dynamics, heavy-as-fuck and varied. And indeed, variation is one of the key points of this excellent record. No one song has been left untouched by erratic rhythm changes, an insane amount of superb riffs and a weave of intricate scales, beats, arrangements, velocities, atmospheres; each song has been branded with singularity, each track unique.You'd seldom hear someone refer to brutal death metal as a 'work of art'; least you'd expect it from someone who doesn't think about brutal death metal as his first choice of a musical fix, but let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, _Omnipresent_ is a work of art. It has refined the utter, perfect, enormous sound of death metal, making death metal sound like death -- like utter death, raining down in chunks of obliterating darkness. Dreadful, plodding, speeding, formless, shapeless, colorful yet somber, this album is such pure and perfect embodiment of brutality, it blows the mind. Innovation, experimentation, emotion and extreme hatred have all been artistically conjoined to form one of the best metal albums in the history of modern metal. Forget the naysayers -- you need to check this album out by yourselves and let your ears and intellect decide. I am sure you will nod in agreement once you listen carefully to what Origin have to say.
(article published 8/7/2015)
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