Unparalleled Universe by OriginRelease date: June 30, 2017
Label: Agonia Records / Nuclear Blast Records
Ever since the release of their eponymous debut album back in 2000, Origin have continuously pushed the boundaries of extreme music. As the four piece release their seventh album Unparalleled Universe, it’s no surprise that something special was anticipated.
Right from the introduction to opening track ‘Infinitesimal to The Infinite’ the album hits you square in the face from point blank range with fearsome blast beats and precision riffs. The first track doesn’t hold back at all, and even when it does appear to calm down, it instead shifts into some classic old school death metal. This theme also flows through follow up track ‘Accident and Error’. The intensity is dialed up during ‘Cascading Failures’, which begins with an imperious exhibition of drumming from John Longstreth. Typically, with a band like Origin, it also features the first calmer passages of the album (which you need to treasure on here, as they are rare).
These little intricate switches keep pushing the album to higher and higher levels. From the chaotic ‘Truthslayer’ and the mega technical introduction to ‘Dajjal’ right to the almost groove metal elements of ‘Mithridatic’ (something which features again later on in the record. It’s not all furious though, as ‘Invariance Under Transformation’ is the slowest track, but also possibly the heaviest on the album. Every track throws up something different and each of these variations bring something different to the album, and when they try these new approaches, they do it with such style that they make it sound effortless. As the album reaches its close, the near ten-minute epic ‘Unequivocal’, which for the first five minutes is as full on as the rest of the album, but as it seems to be coming to its natural end it mutates into some 90’s inspired metal monster. As that dies out, you expect the album to be coming to a close then, but then they launch into an excellent cover of Brujeria’s ‘Revolucion’, to which their polished sound and blasts gives the song a new dynamic from the rawer version.
Origin are comparable to a very select group of bands that offer consistently excellent records, but this is a band who not only push themselves forward with every release, but they also pushed the confines for extreme metal as a whole. One of the best releases so far this year, not just within death metal, but across the whole metal scene. They featured quite low down on the bill for the annual Summer Slaughter tour across North America, but you can guarantee that none of the bands higher up would have had an easy time following these onstage.