rating icon 9 / 10

Track listing:

01. The Aftermath
02. Algorithm
03. Consuming Misery
04. Wrath of Vishnu
05. Finite
06. The Appalling
07. Void
08. Ubiquitous
09. The Beyond Within
10. Antithesis

Hailing from the city that boasts zip codes beginning with 666 (you just don't get anymore metal than that),Topeka, KS-based ORIGIN have been raising the bar for brutal death metal since the release of their self-titled debut in 2000. By pushing themselves beyond the limits, each release has seen the band become more punishing and technically proficient in their delivery. With the utter devastation and inhuman speed heard on their 2005 offering, "Echoes Of Decimation", ORIGIN proved that they could not only play faster and heavier than almost anyone on the block, but they could do so within the confines of some very well-written tunes. It was an album that I, for one, was unsure they could top. Well… they did.

Where previous efforts were impressive in musicality and brutality, "Antithesis" shadows its predecessors on all levels. Maintaining that level of sheer insanity for which ORIGIN is known, "Antithesis" shows that the band has learned how to take control over their own chaos and mold it into the highly complex, yet living and breathing behemoth that stands before us today. Returning to the fold, guitarist Jeremy Turner locks horns with mainstay Paul Ryan to create a barrage of blistering riffs and intricate sweeps and dual lead runs that will send even the most skilled six-stringers back to their practice amps. The true progression in ORIGIN's sound can be heard in the way the pair manage to interject bits of melody within the maelstrom. The inclusion of guitar solos, such as the exotic lead on "Wrath Of Vishnu" or mind-blowing melody that closes out the almost 10-minute title track (by far their most stunning piece of work to date) are a welcome addition to the band's arsenal. Bassist Mike Flores takes a more prominent role on this recording as well, mimicking Turner and Ryan's intensity to perfection, as well as venturing out on his own for a couple of split-second bass interludes on "Consuming Misery" and "The Aftermath". Also making his way back into the line-up is drummer John Longstreth. The man is nothing short of a maniac behind the kit and his performance on "Antithesis" shows just how dangerous he can be. As always, vocalist James Lee uses his voice as both a weapon and an instrument, unleashing an array of growls and screams demonic enough to give the hearing impaired nightmares. In short, all five of these dudes kick ass individually, and to hear them back together on the same album is a treat to say the least.

The past few years has seen ORIGIN's stock steadily rise in the extreme music scene and "Antithesis" is just what the band needs to take them to the next level and beyond. These 10 tracks come closer to redefining the genre than any I've heard in recent memory. While nobody could ever take anything away from pioneers such as DEICIDE and CANNIBAL CORPSE, who are still as viable and formidable as ever; ORIGIN is the new face of death metal.

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