Throughout the numerous stylistic and musically creative changes that metal and heavy music, in general, has experienced over the course of the past 20 years, many groups have existed predominantly in the specific confines on the genre’s underground while being able to exist primarily on their own ethical principles and make music that serves their target audience first before anybody else. With their new full-length ‘Abiogenesis – A Coming into Existence’, 21st century Kansas death metallers Origin seek to maintain their place as a force to be reckoned with within contemporary extreme metal.
Kicking off with the album’s opening track “Insanity” it becomes undeniably evident that Origin has intentionally pursued influences outside of whatever it is that makes modern death metal sound the way that it sounds. In an era in which vocalists in the genre have a significantly deeper tone to their voices, the vocals of Paul Ryan on ‘Abiogenesis – A Coming into Existence’ definitely go beyond what you’d expect from this style of extreme music to the point that it ventures into high pitched raspy shrieks throughout as opposed to guttural growling that death metal is regularly known for.
“Mauled” which follows the opening track expands significantly on the promise of “Insanity” by offering a combination of piercingly cold shrieks along with the expected dose of growls. So far so good, which is further proven by the feeling that this album manages to tie together the positivity of a number of musicians playing side by side in tandem to the extent that if you ever see these songs live it will be a testament to the musicianship of the people in Origin that this material will be able to be pulled off in a live environment due to the complexity of both the time signatures at use but also the general instrumentation.
If what you’re searching for in Origin’s new body of work is straight up the gore and nihilistic hateful bloodthirst, then this album will have plenty of you. The song titles themselves without any explanation say more than enough about the fact that this album has a horror at its core – “Autopsied Alive” opening with the sound of a saw or some other loud surgical instrument really does set the scene for what comes next. Furthermore, each track manages to sound slightly different to everything else in terms of production quality, consequently standing out while all connecting with the rest of the songs on the album in terms of a general theme.
In terms of the rest of ‘Abiogenesis – A Coming into Existence’, the musical and instrumental experimentation on display really is able to speak volumes about the technical prowess of the musicians that comprise what has come to be known as Origin. Whether it’s a slightly 1990s metallic hardcore vibe on a track like “Infestation” which allows it to stand separate from the more traditionally extreme metal-influenced songs on the album, or “Bleed as Me” with its opening instrumental section and vocals which predominantly take a back seat to the remainder of the composition and “Murderer” which is bookended by soundbite quotes from Clint Eastwood’s ‘Unforgiven’ and James Cameron’s ‘Aliens’ respectively. In conclusion, if you’re already familiar with Origin’s previous work then there is plenty on ‘Abiogenesis’ that will tick your musical boxes when it comes to extremely heavy music. Perhaps not the most appropriate choice for an entry album into the band’s discography if you’re trying to find a way to educate yourself on Origin’s catalog as a whole, but nonetheless, if death metal is your thing then definitely check out this album as I’m sure it will be an enjoyable venture.