Most helpful positive review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2005
Origin's second album, 'Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas' was a fairly impressive and utterly insane and unrelenting Death/Grind album. Their third album, 'Echoes of Decimation' improves on that album on every level, and is probably even more unrelentingly fast and intense than 'III' was. Frankly, I think this album is taking Death/Grind about as far as it can go. Sure, you could play even faster and even louder, but this is extreme enough on both fronts that I don't think it would make much of a difference. Of course, just being really fast and really intense isn't enough, or really very interesting in and of itself. Unlike many, many DM bands, Origin writes consistently excellent riffs on this album, and they're about as varied as you could hope considering the overall speed of the album. They play trem-riffs most of all, but they slip in quite a bit of muted, chunkier stuff and some nice licks and arpeggios. And though I don't know if much of anything on here is exactly melodic, it's not self-conciously anti-melodic like some DM bands tend to be, and the guitar tone is sharp enough that you can always tell what's going on. The riffing might actually be a bit more straightforward than on `III' but it's definitely more consistently interesting, and it is still pretty damn insane and tech. They don't have any real solos on this album, but I really don't think they are necessary or even appropriate for this sort of material.
The rightly lauded Jason Longstreh is no longer with the band, but his replacement, James King is just about his equal. Personally, I don't find DM drumming to be the most interesting sort, but King is damn impressive, no doubt about it. He might be even faster than Longstreh, such as at certain points when he doubles the double-kick line on the snare, while using only one hand. (listen to the latter part of 'Debased Humanity') Like Longstreh, he manages to play blast-beat speed riffs nearly from beginning to end, while still actually using quite a few different beats. Not all the drum parts sound wildly different, of course, but they aren't nearly as monontonous as they'd often be when you get going this fast.
The biggest improvement would have to be in the vox. They sound pretty much the same, combining the low growl with a raspier shriek, and I still find the shriek to be merely passable while the growl is somewhat sub par. The vocal lines themselves, however, are much, much better. On 'III' they had way, way too much ultra-fast jabbering where they just try and spit out 10 syllables a second. Hyperspeed singing like that always sounds like crap, and they did it all the damn time on 'III'. On 'Echoes of Decimation' they toned it done a bit, with some steadier, slower vocal lines with a bit more rhythmic variation to them. They still do some silly, overly-clipped jabbering every once in a while, and it still generally doesn't sound to great to me, but it's definitely a whole lot better in small doses, used as contrast to the slower stuff.
The songs go by awful quick, as half of the tracks are under 2 1/2 minutes, and the whole thing is only 26 1/2 minutes long. Normally I like long tracks, but here the shorter the better. Make `em much longer and they'll either be too repetitious or you'll never be able to remember a damn thing about the album. Here, the tracks are totally mad, but short enough that you can cling to a couple of riffs and make sense of the album as a whole.
Yes, that's it. Very, very good DM album.
(God, this has got to be the driest review I've ever written. Oh well.)