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Origin - Echoes of Decimation

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Artist: Origin

Album: Echoes of Decimation

Label: Relapse

Review date: May. 30, 2005

At some point, every musician has to purchase a pick, some strings, or sticks at one of those mega-mall sized music "superstores." And it's usually an all-around unfortunate experience. If anything is culled, it's some sort of joke to be relayed at a later date involving the awkward clerk with his mullet and Slipknot T-shirt, and possibly all of the "DJ Kits" piled into a corner.

The music superstore's sales pitch is purely qualitative: "Buy ___, and you'll become ___." The thing is, purchasing a DOD pedal labeled "Death Metal" does not a shredder make; nor does cultivating a "DJ Kit" make one Qbert. Even worse, is considering a certain genre, assimilating its tropes, and thinking it "authentic." Worse still, is doing the aforementioned without any fucking objectivity. Do this, and the music isn't powerful - it's parody.

And that's exactly what Origin is - a totally un-ironic caricature of all that Death Metal connotes and encompasses. Neighing tremolo, click track double-bass pedals, and "growling" vox are all present, as is a production that references Brain Slagel's slickest work for Metal Blade and Bob Rock's sickest (i.e. "validity ending") work for Metallica. Slagel and Metallica, however, did have their paws on the pulse at one time; Origin most certainly does not.

Death Metal? How about (sadly defunct) Floridian hellhounds, Death, and their first three LPs for the Combat imprint? Or Entombed's Left Hand Path on Earache? Or Poland's Vader, who have yet to be derailed? Irony is that none of these bands sound remotely like one another: Death fuses a primitive sound with muscular guitar prowess; Entombed began as pure Scandinavian buzz, and have morphed into hardcore heavy death-rock; Vader continue to plow straight ahead, like the demonic trucker in Spielberg's Duel. Ultimately, it's not that Origin just makes bad music - it's that they're wholly unaware of doing so.

By Stewart Voegtlin

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