Origin – Entity (2011)

•June 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It’s only been 2 years since Origin shook the death metal world with Antithesis. In 2009, it seemed like every brutal technical death metal bands were either losing focus on the technical part and providing a rough, crushing sound, or losing themselves on the opposite side of the spectrum: wandering in the realm of technicality, forgetting they were actually supposed to play music along the way…Thus, the bands providing an incredible display of unstoppable wankery, with every high pitched sweep birthing an unstructured solo played at the speed of light, started to flourish. Brain Drill is the most notable one in that aspect. I guess they found their public, I personally have to fight if I want to sit through one of their albums through and through. Needless to say, they spawned an immense family of poor imitations that I’m not even going to get into. This is to say, Origin came in strong, ruled all and conquered. They managed to release a strong, cohesive album that pleased most of the metalheads…not me. I mean sure I enjoy The Aftermath, Finite, or the outro of the album with the title track as much as the next metal fan, but some tracks were just too redundant for me, which quickly made it impossible for me to enjoy the album as a whole -which almost NEVER happens to me, at least when it comes to good music.

So, what about Entity? Well, I got it 3 days ago and I’m already at my 50th listen. I don’t feel like skipping any tracks, although the “transition track” rightfully titled The Descent is getting on my nerves when I’m outside, surrounded by noise, which makes it sound like a blank track…yeah, that’s pretty much the only track I can single out. Because aside from that, it’s a pretty ridiculously tight release from Paul Ryan and his pals. Expulsion of Fury provides exactly what its title advertises for, which makes for a perfect first track. Then we’re introduced to Purgatory and its almost Behemoth-like intro, only speeded-up a little, at least that’s what came to my mind on my very first listen, and I think the comparison holds. This gives you a feel of what to expect, this is a more thought through release, it feels like. Origin really stepped it up when it comes to let the listener breathe a little and realize what’s going on. But hear me out here: they did not sacrifice their legendary technicality, nor their amazing speed. Be confident that this is going to destroy your ears as effectively as their previous release.

So, they stepped it up when it comes to songwriting. They’re proving it with the central track Saligia and its catchy riff and mind-blowing solo leading to one of the greatest breaks the band came up with yet. After that, you have the second half of the album to bang your head with and trust me you’re in for a wild ride. The vocals in Fornever never fail to impress me, their greatness is followed by a track that is probably going to divide people just because of its strange nature, Committed….is sick, just sick. It feels like a big “fuck it, let’s go nuts”. If going nuts means providing entertainment like this track does, then I’m all for it. Sure, it’s so high pitched and crazy that it’s probably going to annoy a few ones, but the sheer fact Origin don’t seem to bother about that and went for it should be enough to convince everyone. Nearing the end, Consequence of Solution is an epic track over 7 minutes, its variations will achieve to convince you these guys knew where they were going when they wrote those tracks.

The production is standard, which means it couldn’t go wrong. The guitars are just crass enough, the other instruments are crystal clear, the vocals are crushing, my only grief is that the bass is often very shy here…but sadly I got used to that in modern death metal, just because I had to.

It’s never good to write such a one sided review, I mean: how much credibility will it have now? To tell you the truth, this is the most honest one I could write. As I find this album to be almost flawless and very close to perfection, I am having a hard time finding things to complain about. Antithesis set the grounds to a more acceptable way to make brutal death metal, Entity was forged over it. These two albums go hand in hand in my opinion, and they should be talked about as a reference 20 years from now. They deserve it.

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Mumakil – Behold the Failure (2009)

•February 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ve never really been into grindcore. Probably because I got into metal with Opeth and other bands that had some kind of progressive tendencies. Now, it’s been more than 10 years since I listened to my first Opeth album and since then I’ve come to admit that not everyone is meant to play 10 minutes, well structured songs with lots of themes and evolutions. So after getting into more straightforward death metal, it was only natural to try grindcore again, and what better contender than Behold the Failure by Mumakil to do that? Because apparently, getting into grindcore with Mumakil would be like banging miss universe to get into chicks, at least that’s what I figured after reading a few reviews. So I gave it a try.

A try. That’s the best fitting word to the first listening experience. Because there is no way on Earth you can stand that album and take it all in on your first listen. Not that it’s too layered and especially difficult to get into, no. It’s more a matter of avoiding crashing your head into the closest wall or piece of furniture while experiencing this piece of raw energetic hatred. And trust me, even if you pass the test once, you should stay on your guards and listen carefully at all times.

Saying that this album is intense would be a huge understatement. The drums are here at all times to remind your ears that they’d prefer you to stand next to a plane reactor working at full speed. The blasting is always there, it never goes away, and it’s incredibly sick. I cannot stress enough how incredibly violent this album sounds. The lyrics back that up quite well, sometimes in a rather funny way as “Useless fucks” could testify. Mumakil smartly avoid the mistake of being too linear by adding some interesting changes of pace, unexpected riffs and the occasional pig squeal, and that keeps your interest alive through that album. The production is at the right place between being totally disgusting and too clean, largely falling on the disgusting side, which fits well with what it is this album wants to do.

You’ve probably guessed the conclusion I’m going to yourselves, but I’m going to state it, for the sake of it. With this album, Mumakil don’t fuck around, basically. There is no intro, no outro, no intermission, no calm moments, nowhere to catch your breath and go back to it. If you like your metal brutal, raw, but still with some interesting riffs hidden between a loud drumming, then you’ll love this album. However if you’re searching for deep lyrics and smart changing song structures, you’ll probably want to pass on that one. But if that was the case, you probably would have stopped reading that review a long time ago, so I’d say go for it.

 

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