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Origin - Entity (Nuclear Blast Records)

By: Mike Sloan

[8/10] There are times when Topeka, Kansas’ Origin is a band that amazes the listener with equal parts sheer brutality and mesmerizing technicality. There are other times when the band’s music is simply just a cornucopia of crushing death metal that serves little purpose other than being brutal and technical without any sort of soul or purpose. There’s no denying the band has talent, but throughout their career, much of what they created overall hasn’t really done much to capture the imagination or attention yours truly.

Enter Entity, their fifth full-length album. Without question, this is their strongest effort and if it’s a sign of things to come from Origin in the future, they just might find themselves standing shoulder to shoulder with the best of the technical death metal elite.

Entity kicks the album into the highest gear the second opener “Expulsion of Fury” explodes out of the speakers like a nail bomb. Origin doesn’t relent for quite some time as they simply pummel the listener with barrage after barrage of sheer brutality. Most of it is technical and dizzying and unlike many of today’s technical DM bands (and a bulk of their own catalog), it’s not mindless clatter with no direction. It’s actually quite similar to Cryptopsy in that it takes a few whirls to fully grasp exactly what’s going on (though the drumming isn’t quite up to snuff as the immortal Flo Mounier).

Things become more interesting down the line once “Committed” oozes from the speakers. With a slow, crushing attack found on most of Cannibal Corpse’s brilliant Tomb of the Mutilated (see: “Beyond the Cemetery”), Origin opens a new door into their sonic armory. They switch gears to a more Enemy of the Music Business-era Napalm Death feel on “Banishing Illusion,” a powerful dose of pure grindcore.

From there, the quintet unleash arguably their finest moment in “Consequence of Solution.” A three-part beast of a song that touches on every aspect of Origin’s sound as well as a few other influences, it’s hands down the most mature chunk of music the band has recorded. Whether it’s the alluring technicality, the sweeping melodies or the crushing Nile-esque riffs toward the end of the piece, “Consequence of Solution” is an ultimate album closer, though it doesn’t end the album (“Evolution of Extinction” is the actual closer, but as good as it is, it feels more like a terrific bonus track tacked on for good measure).

In all, Entity is a superb slab of technical death metal, an album that showcases just how experienced and mature Origin has grown over the past decade. This one will assuredly wind up on plenty year-end lists; check it out.

www.myspace.com/origin

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