Album Review: Origin "Unparalleled Universe"
Where does one start when talking about the highly-esteemed, hyper technical, and blistering fast death metal band Origin? The Topeka-based quartet is back with a vengeance as they release their new album "Unparalleled Universe" on Nuclear Blast Records. Once again, Origin have proven to the masses that their songwriting chops and technique have not gone stale in the slightest. This is the second album to feature Jason Keyser (Crator, ex-Skinless, ex-Mucopus, ex-Detriment, Psycroptic (live)) on vocals after many years of dedicated touring.
While their last album "Omnipresent" provoked some otherwise mixed responses, "Unparalleled Universe" is guaranteed to reassure both classic and new Origin fans alike that they have not strayed too far from their signature sound's path. It still maintains the classic neck-breaking speeds and jaw-dropping musicianship that they're renowned for while also adding some tasteful progressive and mosh-worthy passages. The production has a modern edge to it, but it does not sound fake or heavily-edited in the slightest compared to many other contemporary technical bands. Every instrument has its time to shine, from Paul Ryan's innovative lightning-fast guitar work, John Longstreth's Olympian-tier blasting, Mike Flores's jazz-like bass proficiency, and Jason Keyser's hellfire-like growls and screams on every single track. Some of my personal favorite tracks include “Infinitesimal to the Infinite”, “Cascading Failures, Diminishing Returns”, “Dajjal”, and the cinematic closing track "Unequivocal", a 10 minute song that's reminiscent of Iron Maiden's classic epics. Plus, the Brujeria cover of "Revolucion" is sure to turn some heads with Orange is the New Black actor Jessica Pimentel on guest vocals.
After all is said and done, Origin's "Unparalleled Universe" is a much-desired wake-up call to metal fans that technical death metal still hasn't lost its charm.