Review Summary: Speed and technicality only add up to a mediocre effort from yet another tech/death band.
As of recently, the tech/death metal scene has exploded with a number of bands making their presence felt through high-speed guitar skills. In fact, some of these bands are so god damn fast that their songs blur together into a pile of pretentious garbage that only a metalhead who hasn’t heard this music before, would think is the coolest metal on earth. Speed isn’t everything and yet so many bands try their luck at technical wizardry by increasing the tempo of their ‘samey’ sounding death metal. This movement in death metal will quickly collapse into itself and become the new trendy nu-metal/metalcore scene unless a band can come along to pull this out of the ***ter. There are a few bands out there right now that have some excellent chops but a lot of these newer bands really don’t have that constant onslaught of intensity that a band like Origin brings to the table. Does Origin masterfully outdo themselves and become leaders of this movement with an album full of razor sharp blast beats done at speeds unheard of by man? Sort of.
Enter Origin; formed in Topeka, Kansas in 1998 who have been around for nearly 10 years now and show no signs of slowing down or for that matter, slowing down. Origin’s last album, Echoes of Decimation
was a mess of sweeping arpeggios but also had a knack for creating some brutal death metal. Antithesis
is not the hugest step up from their previous album but rather improves and tightens up all the loose bolts that put Echoes of Decimation
into the ‘boring-after-five-listens’ pile. They have also sped up their hyper blasting drums and guitars to levels that are truly going to be difficult for other bands to match.
Guitar riffs grind and pulverize while being executed with surgical precision throughout. Sweep picking arpeggios are still aplenty here but not in over excess like on Origin’s last album. Even though a majority of the guitaring is very speedy and rarely changes tempo, songs such as “The Aftermath” and “Wrath of Vishnu” add rhythm changeups into the mix giving us a break from the barrage of tremolo picked riffs and blast beats. Speaking of blast beats, this album is a monster in the drumming department. The execution of tight blast beats and speedy drum fills are done so fast that it might make the listener think this album is one long song. With a closer listen, little drumming details begin to jump out and soon makes it clear that this drummer has some skill. Bass for the most part is lost in a deafening roar of guitars and drums but the odd bass fill here and there is better than nothing. Vocally, the singer has a range between a low growl and higher pitched rasp that alternates fluidly throughout each song. The lyrical speed fits the music perfectly but makes it very unclear as to what he is singing (or growling) about. One final note about the music is a gem that was saved for the last track. The title track, “Antithesis” showcases a side of the band that has never been done before on any of their releases. Sure the song is 9:32 minutes long, but it really shows maturity in the bands sound, spicing things up with hints of black metal and a bit of a slowdown (trust me, you will need it).
Overall, Origin accomplishes what they have set out to do with each release: pulverize, crush, and destroy every eardrum cell in hopes to be the fastest and tightest metal band around. Unfortunately, Origin comes up short with another album that might sound awesome upon first listen, but falter down the same line of mediocrity where most tech/death metal bands are today. Still, I will give credit to Origin for upping the ante with technical speed and precision that will hopefully make most metalheads happy for a while.