Review Summary: Omnipresent is nearly omnibenevolent.
For over fifteen years, death metal giants Origin have dominated the scene with their technically-fueled approach to brutality, delivering superb releases time after time that clearly and easily set them above the rank and file. After 2008's “Antithesis
” and 2011's “Entity
”, they've come bearing arms once more with “Omnipresent
” - a release that promises ultimate destruction of your eardrums in a scarce thirty-five minute running time. Surpassing expectations yet again, the Kansas quartet are undoubtedly proud to present another look at the euphoric chaos that is the sound of Origin.
Though the record has a shorter running time than their last two studio efforts, Origin have managed to provide their listeners with a more-than-satisfactory experience, using the shorter running time of “Omnipresent
” to their advantage in the death metal iteration of a quickie. Jason Keyser, backed by guitarist Paul Ryan and bassist Mike Flores, is the new guy on vocal duty for this record; his performance is just as impressive as any of the previous stars, delivering the best sound since the closing track of “Antithesis
”. The better part of "Thrull:Fulcrum:Apex" and the introduction to "The Absurdity of What I Am" are perfect indicators of Keyser's experience behind the microphone, as his high-pitched wailing gives way to Origin's trademark low growls. Meanwhile, the backing vocalists drive the vocals to the next level on tracks like album closer "The Indiscriminate" as their eclectic patterns mesh with Keyser's to annihilate any hope of reprieve.
"Continuum" serves as the album's halfway point, much like the previous slow-paced instrumentals "The Descent" (“Entity
”) and "Void" (“Antithesis
”). This is the only time on the album that we get to hear a soft and sombre piece from Origin's guitarist Paul Ryan; despite his reputation for making grown men soil their trousers with a pluck of a string, his performance on the short instrumental track is indicative of an understanding of song structure beyond the high-speed, out-of-control approach we've come to associate with the band. That being said, the album is full of memorable guitar passages that are just as brutal as they are mesmerising - in particular, album opener "All Things Dead", and the pre-breakdown riffs of "Unattainable Zero" are what lead the mix when Keyser stops to take a breath. Unleashing the onslaught of “Omnipresent
” with "All Things Dead" was a spectacular idea, paying fan service in a respectable manner by utilising the trademark drum-and-bass melody that Origin has been rocking since the closing track of “Antithesis
”. Though it's not evident anywhere in "The Indiscriminate", the final track on this album, it's still a fantastic musical moment that serves its purpose in destroying you from the very beginning.
Another key moment in the drum-and-bass relationship on “Omnipresent
” is the punk-rock-inspired structure of "Redistribution of Filth"; as fishy as the idea may sound, it refuels the album's energy at a critical point, maintaining audible intrigue as it finds new and exciting ways to punish you for spinning this record. "Manifest Desolate" and "Malthusian Collapse" also showcase the insane talent of drummer John Longstreth, as the screeching guitars and frantic vocal patterns give way to high-octane hat hits and blast beats that single-handedly elevates the BPM with their breakneck speeds. Rounding out the experience is the aforementioned Mike Flores, who breathes life into the rest of the mix with his insane basswork, deviating from the structure when he feels the need to deliver one of those highly-sough-after "solos". While neither the drummer nor the bassist redefine their roles as musicians, they certainly show a level of skill and understanding that many bands lack.
” is a record that grabs the listener by the throat from the very beginning of "All Things Dead" and doesn't stop throttling them until the album's close. Opening or closing on a strong note is one thing - Origin have proven that they can deliver a breathtaking listening experience from beginning to end. Showing an unrelenting sense of brutality, this full-length has an enigmatic sense of tact about it that persuades its listeners to stick around for the whole ride without slowing down all that much at all. While the band hasn't redefined the genre, and they haven't done much to challenge the tropes that go into their own music, “Omnipresent
” more than matches Origin's previous efforts and goes into a limited sense of new territory, proving alongside Hour of Penance that technical death metal is alive and well in 2014.