Abiogenesis - A Coming Into Existence by Origin
From the wicked storms of the infinite voids above, through ancient lost extra terrestrial ruins in a galaxy unknown, unearthed with outer dimensional force comes a collection of origin tales of, well… Origin. Technical death metal masters and pioneers have humble beginnings, too. That is, if your definition of humble is mind-warping, dimension-blurring & stomach-churning, old school death metal insanity. After hearing “Abiogenesis - A Coming Into Existence”, it’s obvious as to why Origin remain kings of the genre they lent a primordial ooze -dripping hand in pioneering. From the infertile stages of my death metal development, I seem to remember Origin frequently as a band that stood out amongst the onslaught of unreadable logos and blast beats as a band that took things musically farther than most; and whom also had a readable logo.
I remember the first time I had ever heard Origin, I felt the music was almost too much, incomprehensible for my underdeveloped palate for extreme metal; like trying to teach an ant calculous, or a stoner punk something more than a power chord. The term “technical” death metal was something I had yet to grasp, but there WAS something undeniably intriguing about these dudes from Kansas playing insanely fast and just about the craziest death metal ever while screaming about the cosmos - and it still is to this day. Now being quite astute in the extreme metal world, technical death metal has become more of a close friend than a strange and infrequent acquaintance. It is not necessarily my favorite subgenre but credit needs to be given where credit is due; and Origin ignited my interest in it from the beginning. Out of respect for their immaculate and ungodly playing ability, I’ve always held them closer to my heart than most other technical/space/obscurity/philosophical death metal warriors out there.. I much prefer old school gore and splatter. WHICH is why this Origin record is so special.
“Abiogenesis - A Coming Into Existence” is a rerecorded offering of Origins beginnings by band mastermind, vocalist of cosmic fury, guitarist of infinite time signatures; Paul Ryan. The record begins with songs written from his first bands Necrotomy (1990-1991) and Thee Abomination (92-93), before Origin even existed, all the way up to Origin’s first and largely unheard EP aptly titled, “A Coming Into Existence”. Meaning… *lightning strikes*… This truly is.. *distant screaming*… an old school death metal record *coffin lid slams*.. and it rules!! Yes, a collection of songs written between 1990-1993 re-recorded ENTIRELY (like, every instrument, for your puny human comprehension) by Paul Ryan for our listening pleasure in the “future” of 2019. By the way, I do mean empathizes Ryan because he literally was quoted saying that the current lineup of Origin is basically too good to record this embryonic material, and didn’t want to take the band a step backwards. Quite the power move and MAYBE the back handed compliment, but that’s all for the better. “Abiogenesis” shines in the age of prequels, a fascinating glimmer in the infinite universe, laying the blueprint for the untamable beast Origin would go on to become. I think some asshole named George Lucas made some movies in a similar vein.
True to be that the material presented on this record of Coming Into Existence is of course nowhere near as technical as current Origin because, well, nothing is; and of course it’s not. A love letter to fans of the band and old school death heads like myself, Origin display their humble beginnings on their sleeve -err- armor and still sounds better and more technical than a lot of death metal bands today. Conversely, the “technical” term (that’s already getting old, I know) seems to have cannibalized itself in the current state of extreme metal as every band is as blisteringly fast and ridiculously good as the next, there comes a point where it just doesn’t matter anymore.. and I think we are about at that point. Ultimately, then, it is about balancing the technicality shredding with the pure bones songwriting and traditional metal delivery. Origin have eloquently displayed this balance since the beginning, or so it is being proved with this record. Just because it's not TECHICNALLY up to par with the current offerings, it holds its own rather strongly. The early songs “Insanity” , “Mauled”, and “Autopsied Alive” set the record straight with the grinding and gross old school death that we all know and love, showing promise and passion from the very beginning. And may I interject (yet another) nod and a salute to Ryan for his drumming skills on this record, I mean I know it’s not Nile or anything like that, but for a guitar player on the bongos this is about as good as it has any right to get. The blast beats are played down flawlessly on these grindcore-ish-Cryptopsy rippers of songs. They are fucking awesome. “Spastic Regurgitation” follows suit, and sounds exactly like you think it does. This is the first moment where we get to hear that audibly rich, deep, and bellowing bass that makes this genre complete… for me, anyways. “Infestation” is a nice stab in the throat while “Murderer” finishes out that job quite nicely. I hate to keep harping on one instrument that I rarely do, the drums, but they are just in escapable. The guitar obviously is a major factor as Ryan is that by trait and the definition of a tech death wizard, but I feel like the level of age work on here is simply to be expected (if you haven’t heard current Origin I urge you to do so and prepare to have your hopes and dreams of being a death metal guitar player chewed up and hurled into the cosmos forever). As we descend the track list much like I imagine Origin descending into Earth, the songs “mature” and eventually morph themselves into early Origin material. That does NOT mean they get any less brutal, but they DO get more of that sick groove to them. More importantly, it is clear that all instruments on every song are treated with the utmost respect. May I say that I think that is quite the important statement for an artist to make, as most could very easily turn their nose up to the pile of rotting corpses that is their earliest material ever written - and most wouldn’t dare to even play it live for the “old school fans, maaan.” I absolutely adore the fact that Origin flips this stigma on its head and presents us with the best sound (without being too good sounding and losing that bite character thank fucking heavens) possible of ancient material. That just bleeds pure belief and confidence in the work itself, and stands boldly poured in front of it. High energy and mad respect.
Which brings us to the final moments of the record, an actual Origin EP “A Coming Into Existence.” The opening song is a wonderfully violent and angry one, “Lethal Manipulation (The Bonecrusher Chronicles)” that WILL stay on the Death Comes Lifting Playlist (free on Spotify & Apple Music) for quite some time.. wether you like it or not. But if that song doesn’t get you ready to throw around some iron, I have little hope for you. All in all, as the record reaches an epic conclusion, it is very Star Wars sequel not only in extraterrestrial spirit but in the warm and comforting fact that this was merely the beginning. And we know what comes next…
Here’s to hoping the next Origin release comes sooner rather than later.
Gym Rating: 5/5
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