Their numbers reduced to three (for recording purposes at least) tech-death phenoms, ORIGIN, have just upped their status to genre torch-bearers with the release of "Entity". For lack of a better term, this disc is flat out un-fucking-believable. When drummer John Longstreth, guitarist Paul Ryan and bassist Mike Flores (the latter two scooping up vocal duties from the departed James Lee) stepped into Kansas City's Chapman Studios, we all expected good things, but I don't think any of realized that the end result of their recording session would have been the game-changing monster we have before us today.
The dizzying display of tech-smeared fire that is "Expulsion Of Fury" is, aside from a masterclass in badassery, the next logical step forward from what ORIGIN did on 2008's "Antithesis", but that's only the beginning of the journey. ORIGIN 2011 is a bigger, meaner and more focused beast than ever before and the minute and a half "Purgatory" shows just how vicious that beast is. A sledgehammer groove explodes into the band's trademark hyperactive assault, this quick, but meaty little bastard flows seamlessly into "Conceiving Death", a tune that threatens to break through the walls of progressive death thanks to Ryan's expansive guitar work and the rhythm section's ability to drive every mind-blowing point home. Songs like "Saligia", with its crushing stop-and-go battery and slithering NILE-inspired riffing and the mind-altering "Consequence Of Solution" are not only two of the most epic death metal tunes I've encountered, they should also shut the mouths of anyone who has ever accused ORIGIN of being one-trick ponies who rely solely on speed and technicality to get over. The latter of the two sees the trio slithering across the landscape of extreme music in a way that's both technically impressive as well as sonically attainable. The violent swarm of "Committed" is hands down one of the most interesting tracks this band has ever penned, yet one their most enjoyable as well with Ryan squealing away like a madman as he pulls some impressively forward-thinking tricks out of his bag. "The Descent" slows things down to a chilling pace for a brief moment, while" "Banishing Illusion" swings the heavy-as-fuck hammer of doom/death directly at your skull before crashing through the gates at a furious pace.
A remarkable act since day one, ORIGIN has blown the roof off the proverbial house with "Entity". This is by far the band's most focused, mature, driven and listenable effort to date. Hell, this is one of the most focused, mature, driven and listenable death metal albums to date. Every so often, a record comes along that sets a new standard for its respective genre. "Entity" is such an album. The superb balance of musicianship, songwriting and passion on display here is enough that any fan music, no matter the style, is forced to show respect for what ORIGIN has accomplished. If this band gets any better, they'll owe me some new pants because I just might shit the pair I'm wearing.