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Origin’s Omnipresent: Searing Br00tality with a Dose of Colorful Eccentricity

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The mighty Origin have been a mainstay of technical death metal since the millennium began (read:  for as long as some of the genre’s fans have been alive), so it’s no surprise when they rip out a record of techy tunes that also happen to be catchy and distinguishable from each other and from the panting pack of other chock-full-o-chops shred-heads.  Alongside their laser-sighted songwriting and frightening instrumental proficiency, what sets Origin apart on new album Omnipresent is their use of the studio to impart a panoramic quality and a colorful eccentricity to their 35 minutes of searing br00tality.

Side note (I promise it’s related):  I recently dug out Metroid Prime and have been spending inappropriate amounts of time spanking Space Pirates with super missiles.  I’m not proud of it – I’m a grown man with two children and all the associated responsibilities to attend to – but it may explain my immediate attachment to Omnipresent.  Strip out the blast beats, swap the roar/screech vocal interplay for Space Pirate war grunts and Shriekbat screams, and Omnipresent becomes a perfect alternative soundtrack to Samus Aran’s high-anxiety investigation of Tallon IV.  “Continuum” (perfect for the glistening snows of the Phendrana Drifts) and “Obsolescence” (the epitome of a lushly forested canyon turned boss battleground) yield the most obvious adventure game parallels, but a similarly cinematic scope works its way through the entire album.

Majestic chords and spine-tingling clean treble runs underpin “All Things Dead,” and even when “Thrall Fulcrum Apex” whips into all-out grind mode, the paranoid string work that buzzes behind it takes the whole song to another level.  Instrumental “Permanence” briefly focuses on those transcendent, near-melodic note barrages, and the back end of “Manifest Desolate” trips through some signal-phasing descents.  In fact, one of Origin’s strengths this time out is their dedication to injecting their songs with uncommon sonic markers.  “The Absurdity of What I” buries a queasy knocking into its final seconds, along with a series of high-pitched chords that grate on the nerves like recent Gridlink.  Both “Unattainable Zero” and closer “The Indiscriminate” roll in with impressive weight, which the latter then ratchets up with swarming, sanity-threatening tension.

If I wanted to sell Omnipresent to the matted-lock masses, I would do so with “Redistribution of Filth” as the perfect Origin-doing-thrash-death satellite radio hit single.  It’s not as adventurous as the rest of the songs here, but it serves a valuable purpose, and sitting as it does at the record’s three-quarters mark, it satisfies a simple need to flail about and abuse your body.  But forget selling anyone on Omnipresent who doesn’t already lean this way.  Origin, once again, wield an artifact at the peak of their genre.  With so much great material behind them, one wonders how many energy tanks they might have left.

Origin’s Omnipresent comes out now Nuclear Blast and Agonia Records. Stream the entire album below, and purchase it here.

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