Have you ever heard of the rule of three? In writing, it suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. Then there is the opposite, when bad things come in threes, such as accidents, deaths, or other mishaps. Most people would say that the rule of three was a good thing for Origin, the technical death metallers from Kansas, the last time around. Their album “Entity” was very well received and touted as one of their best. The band performed as a trio on that album, with founding member and guitarist Paul Ryan sharing vocal duties with bassist Mike Flores. Three years later (see what they did there), Origin have returned. Their new album “Omnipresent” will be released July 8, 2014, on Agonia Records.
Origin makes the rule of three known again on “Omnipresent”. First, the album has three instrumentals/intros that separate the album into what feels like four parts. These preludes seem to give the listener a basis for the following track. Next, vocal duties are shared by Ryan, Flores, and ex-Skinless and Mucopus vocalist Jason Keyser. Keyser makes his presence known on opener ‘All Things Dead,’ proving he has no problem fitting in with Origin’s brand of brutality. The band grinds you down quickly with the 69 second ‘Thrall:Fulcrum:Apex’ before the first interlude, ‘Permanence.’ The next “section” has a trio of crushers. It starts with a pounding in ‘Manifest Desolate.’ This track shifts gears suddenly and oddly with a looping guitar riff that throws you into a bridge groove that usually not present on Origin’s tunes. The beatings continue through ‘The Absurdity of What I Am’ and ‘Source of Icon O.’
The guitar solo ‘Continuum’ opens the next part. Its style is a constant throughout the following track, ‘Unattainable Zero.’ ‘Redistribution of Filth’ has a “square peg in a round hole” kind of feel to it. It starts as more traditional, straightforward death metal, but then has an almost Six Feet Under-like breakdown thrown in towards the end. ‘Obsolescence’ is the last interlude, setting up the foundation for ‘Malthusian Collapse.’ The album closes with ‘The Indiscriminate,’ which I would guess is Origin’s version of doom metal. This track slowly beats you into submission other than the blasting bridge.
“Omnipresent” is an interesting album for Origin. It sometimes feels like an evolution, sometimes a continuation, and sometimes completely different. There is that rule of three again. Maybe that is exactly what they were going for.