Origin – Omnipresent – 7.75/10
– Origin has a reputation as one of the heaviest and fastest of the technical death metal bands. Their album Antithesis is considered by many (me included) to be one of the best technical death metal albums of all time. So needless to say, this band has a lot to live up to. This is their first album with former Skinless singer Jason Keyser (who has been touring with the band since 2011) after their last album Entity featured founding member/guitarist Paul Ryan on vocals. Many people who have seen the band with Jason knows that he is an amazing frontman, and have been wondering what the band would song like with him involved in the writing process. The result is a 12 track album clocking in at around 34 minutes. It consists of 3 short instrumentals where the focus are the impressive sweep picking by Paul Ryan. The remainder of the tracks are true to typical Origin format: Insanely fast drumming and bass playing, lots of great guitar riffs, and a variety of vocal styles as Jason and Paul often use call and response to go back and forth between growls and shrieks. The short instruments provide breaks between the chaos, and the tracks flow through very quickly, creating an overall solid album that is very easy to listen to from start to finish. The shorter tracks get straight to the point and add variety such as start/stop riffs and even breakdown like riffs (or as close as Origin will get to a breakdown). The longer tracks are more repetitive, creating an ambience that is easy to get lost in (Origin is one of the best at creating ambience through sheer brutality when it comes to technical death metal bands). The earlier tracks remind me more of their previous album Entity, while I got more of an Antithesis vibe with the last two tracks of the album. A real standout track for me is “Redistribution of Filth” which feels like a thrash/punk song (one can see a hint of Toxic Holocaust in the playing and vocal delivery) which I feel harkens back to their first album but in a much more polished way. All in all, this album does a great job alluding to their past albums while still allowing the band room to grow and develop. I’ve seen a lot of hate for this album, and this can be expected with this album following such high caliber albums such as the last two, but I think that for the first album with Jason as the vocalist, it feels like a very comfortable album with just the right amount of experimenting for now.