There’s so much that Kansas’ ORIGIN do the right way that it’s become quite the quandary to downplay anything they release. They play astoundingly fast, they’re technical as all hell with tier after tier of minutely-timed scale dissecting, and in every album they make, a staple otherworldliness crawls about, leeching you into yet another relentless creation. ORIGIN’s latest album, “Entity,” undoubtedly the most polished recording in their discography, has more than enough brutality and velocity to appease Death Metal fans the world over, and like a good piss, the album empties out in a satisfying flood you can’t help but brag about.
A highlight for fans of sleekly-produced Death Metal, this newly pressed and starched ORIGIN sound is something to behold. Each technical measurement is easily discerned, graphed, studied, and jotted down in blindingly precise fashion, and if your aim is to get into a roshambo contest with these madmen, you best wear a cup because not many bands do Technical Brutal Death as well as ORIGIN. The album’s opener “Expulsion of Fury” is as a good an example as any with its frustratingly crisp fretwork and drum fills that fluidly meld into an insanely chugging free-for-all that ultimately does for chest hair what Rogaine promises the bald. Yes, pure unadulterated testosterone, and lucky for you, this album is chockfull of it.
There is simply no refuting the talents of the individual performances on hand. The drumming by John Longstreth is just an abnormal display of rhythmic dexterity that obliterates any semblance or possibility of a mellow realm; the guitar work by Paul Ryan is spastic yet remarkably controlled and harbors more than a few incredibly dynamic solos; and bassist Mike Flores, although nestled beneath much of the album’s treble-heavy magnificence, can, with a keen ear, be distinguished as world-class and faultlessly in-tune with everything Ryan and Longstreth throw his way.
Although the album does feature a hiccup or two – most notably “Committed” with its fittingly psychotic riffing that resembles more a screeching mosquito than nails on a lunatic’s chalkboard – the intense and wild musicianship of “Entity” is just too impressive not to admire with fits of unrestrained head-banging. “Consequence of Solution” is seven minutes of grooving, smashing Death that nearly outdoes the album’s grand opus, “Saliga,” a monumentally bad-ass track that just bleeds everywhere with its infectiously twisting riff-play and unstoppable tempo changes. I’ll go on record and say that it’s one of the best Death Metal tracks I’ve heard this year – just a beast that I’m sure will level in a live setting.
ORIGIN have once again manufactured a writhing, quasi-sentient specimen that’s all teeth, all claw, and pure hunger. While other Technical Death Metal bands overcompensate their lack of songwriting skills with scores of scales they learned over the winter months, these guys play a million notes that effectively march in line and refuse to run from battle when it’s time for a little hand-to-hand combat. “Entity” may not be ORIGIN’s most definitive piece, but that’s no matter, because it just may be their most accessible and seasoned.
(Online August 11, 2011)