by Thor

Kansas’s tech-death juggernaut, Origin, returns with a new album entitled "Omnipresent".  And after several brilliant but difficult to engage albums, "Omnipresent" is something of a revelation.

Origin’s calling card has always been a ridiculous level of musicianship and speed.  Each member of the band plays their respective instrument with virtuosic proficiency, technique, and at blazing tempos to collectively create a ferocious, churning vortex of sound that mostly resembles music at the form’s most extreme periphery.  It’s something to behold.  But it also lays waste to the attention spans of people who aren’t capable musicians themselves or, say, scientists.

The missing link for Origin has always been groove.  Their output has been utterly devoid of it.  So it makes me really happy to report that "Omnipresent" has it!  And lots of it.  Moreover, this weaving in layers of conventionality and comprehensible tempos has yielded remarkable results.  Make no mistake, this album is still mostly the Origin we all know and love.  And when they do breakdown into a groove, they do so in a way that befits their astounding musicianship.  It’s brilliant.

The topics on "Omnipresent" are typically heady.  If Cannibal Corpse is a slasher flick then Origin is a Lovecraftian tome.  The album includes songs with titles such as "Thrall Fulcrum Apex", "Source of Icon O", and "Unattainable Zero".  The songs describe abstract, cosmic malevolence and these elevated concepts fit the equally elevated approach to their musical compositions.

Most of Origin’s past material would keep me tuned in for several songs at most before it’d become too exhausting.  However, with "Omnipresent"’s element of groove and incredibly well-conceived album structure, this album seems to actually gain steam the longer it plays.  The highlights for this reviewer include "Redistribution of Filth"—a full-on, punk-as-fuck grind tune.  Not kind-of grind.  Not a little punk.  This is pure grindcore that’s executed so well, I’d be thrilled if they did an entire album like this under a pseudonym or something, but I digress.  The other track that really knocked me over is called "Malthusian Collapse".  It’s got a little of everything including the aforementioned destructive groove.  Blew.  My.  Mind.

Origin’s "Omnipresent" showcases the band at the top its game.  In an era when younger bands are playing calculator metal right out of the womb because they grew up listening to bands like Origin, unfettered technical prowess and speed don’t carry the same weight that it used to.  Origin seems to have matured into a band that can now control its cacophonous musical wizardry and wield it with an arsenal of other weapons to create true death metal magnificence.  Go grab this one, Wormsters.