Origin – “Manifest Desolate”
The last 12 or so months have produced an impressive number of great technical death metal albums, from Gorguts’ list-topping triumph Colored Sands to Wormed’s Exodromos to Portal’s Vexovoid, as well as such astounding 2014 releases as Artificial Brain’s Labyrinth Constellation and Pyrrhon’s The Mother Of Virtues. Kansas’ Origin (whose drummer, John Longstreth, also plays in Gorguts) are perhaps the subgenre’s standard-bearers — over their 17-year existence, they’ve released five LPs of dense, virtuosic, experimental death metal, hitting their stride on 2002 sophomore LP Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas, and arguably peaking (so far) with their last album, 2011’s celebrated Entity. In July, Origin will release the follow-up to Entity, Omnipresent, their first to feature new vocalist Jason Keyser, formerly of Skinless. (It’s worth noting that Omnipresent was mixed and mastered by Colin Marston, who plays in Krallice, Gorguts, and Dysrhythmia, and who seems to be involved in the recording process of nearly every notable recent tech-death album.) The criticism most frequently lobbed at technical death metal — and it’s a criticism I’ve lobbed plenty myself — is that the music sacrifices anything resembling songcraft in favor of guitar-clinic wonkery, but the first song to be released from Omnipresent, “Manifest Desolate,” has plenty of hooks to pair with the sky-filling, jaw-dropping instrumental fireworks display. Listen.
Omnipresent is out 7/8 via Nuclear Blast.