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Album Review: ORIGIN Unparalleled Universe

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Unparalleled Universe (Nuclear Blast) marks the seventh studio album from death metal giants Origin. The record is an instrumental power house of blasting metallic and technical chaos. Unparalleled Universe takes the band’s material to new heights, building off their blistering speed to introduce new chemistry in sound and style. In Unparalleled UniverseOrigin introduce a work that continues to honor their superb skills in creating unique and devastating music .

The record has a lot going for it in all its instrumental components. The drumming reaches insane speeds, while the guitar finds itself shifting all over the place in tempo and style. Unparalleled Universe does a solid job of keeping the energy at a constant grind and heft, while not having any of the songs blend into one another. However, listeners will immediately pick up on the immense use of blast beats, making it for the one glaring element on the album. Thankfully there is plenty of chemistry in the drumming that aids in creating an enjoyable flow in each track.

There’s no hesitation in the opener “Infinitesimal To The Infinite” as the blast beats fire off. As vocals rage forward, the guitar goes from moments of vibrant inflections, to sinister notation that drive with hysteria. “Cascading Failures, Diminishing Returns” tones down its pace ever so slightly in the beginning, building up to a shredding whirlwind of hell. It is at the halfway point in the track where the drumming goes full bonkers in anger, the guitar taking on an evil psychedelic twist in its ramping anxiety. The material then dives into a gentle and eerie atmosphere where the instrumentals slowly begin to disappear. This leads into “Mithridatic”, a song that chops up its pace into a patchwork of sounds. The pummeling drive of death metal guitar and clashing cymbals turns into a sonic pattern that sounds like a mix of grinding gears.

“Invariance Under Transformation” is the first time that the band takes on a slower approach to one of their songs. Blast beats still ever-present, the guitar progression steadies itself with a consistent chugging, tossing in brief moments of brightness in tone. The drums at times will loosen themselves up into a roll, with the guitar taking on a spooky high pitch rhythm towards the end. The standout track of the record is easily “Unequivocal”, containing the most diversity in its sound. It presents itself with an aura of looming brutality, orchestrated through terrific guitar work that shifts tempos to match each new direction the song takes.  One moment the track is balls to the wall hectic and crushing, to then taking a step back and building up tension with clashing drums and an epic guitar solo.

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Unparalleled Universe is an absolute treat for the world of death metal. While certain elements may become a little too present within the work, it never takes away from the overall chemistry that is displayed. Origin have really outdone themselves in creating an album that shows off just how death metal is able to push its boundaries in technicality. Through stellar instrumentation that combines various uses of sound to play with structure, Origin have crafted a terrific work that captures brutality and excitement.

Score: 9.5/10

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