Reviews

Origin – Omnipresent

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Origin’s latest interstellar masterpiece, Omnipresent, is the latest in a recent movement of extreme metal records dedicated to the frozen infinite void of deep space. Truthfully, it’s pretty difficult to think of a more fitting theme to pair with the relentless stylings of one of the US’s most notoriously brutal technical death metal bands. Notorious drummer John Longstreth’s unbelievably fast blast beats alone are perfectly cast in songs about traveling faster than light speed.

Musically speaking, Omnipresent has an awful lot going for it. It’s unmistakably an Origin record – packed with examples of the Kansas five piece’s technical proficiency and breakneck speed. At the same time, there’s probably more variety to be found on Omnipresent than on any of their previous releases. An unexpected and fun surprise is the track “Redistribution of Filth” which (vocals and drums aside) comes across as more of a 90’s hardcore song than what one might expect from a death metal act.

It’s easy for notoriously fast artists to write songs that maintain that speed throughout, but Origin does a good job of demonstrating when to slow things down for effect – often descending into extra-heavy half- and quarter-speed sections before returning to full throttle. “Unattainable Zero” is one of the best examples of this – constantly switching gears between the super fast and super slow, while somehow having it all make sense.

The middle of the album offers an unexpected melodic break in the form of “Continuum” – which feels a little like placing your nose inside a plastic mask for one last fleeting gasp of air before hurtling back through six punishing tracks’ worth of the vacuum of space.

Make no mistake about it: Omnipresent has a lot more to offer than tempo changes and technical prowess. These 13 tracks are peppered with memorable, even beautiful solo work. And while I wouldn’t exactly describe anything Origin has ever done as catchy, I’d say this is easily the most accessible record they’ve ever released – largely due to some very creative song structuring.

I’d say Omnipresent is my favorite Origin record yet – delivering all that their fan base expects in the most sophisticated and accessible package to date.

Paul