Review | ORIGIN Executes Lawless Precision on Chaosmos

            The universe continues expanding past its point of inception, and now the illustrious space-grinding epitome of that initial bang has returned with an extension of their own relentless force. Stamina and dexterity, which are hallmarks of a style making ORIGIN synonymous with hyperextremity, have collided once more amidst probable and perfectly aligned conditions, and a work reflecting the chaos of the cosmos, aptly titled Chaosmos, is forged in the aftermath. A vortex of crushing and maniacal wizardry rages ahead on this new colossus, with its profusion of sharp arrangements compounded by dense brutalizing encounters, and lightspeed courses are disrupted when rhythms provoke turbulence or other grooved dynamics. ORIGIN is already proficient with these techniques, but Chaosmos drives them toward maximum levels with the precision to conjure a dark and hostile venture through the void.

            A fierce vitality is instantaneous on “Ecophagy,” with frenzied details unfolding in a direct blast-beaten and speed riffage onslaught, and arpeggiated sweeps rise across heavier planes to escalate the havoc. The accumulated force discharges into more grooved and dismal structures to seal a massive opening, and its Big Bang likeness reverberates toward “Chaosmos,” where tremolo patterns zig zag across the expanse with searing intensity. It transfers to rapid contortions and chugs that advance into crushing progressions, and double kicks sustain an elevated pulse during this segment, but versatility is later shown when these gradually regain momentum after dropping to a slower pace. Rhythmic varieties are a dynamic feature throughout this expedition, and low-end riffs parallel a series of erratic shifts with pounding and haste on “Cogito, Tamen Non Sum.” Layered vocals augment their turbulence along with other grooves, and the madness breeds imposing forms before “Panoptical” takes flight with a sweeping torrent. Its spiral down to distorted depths is followed by accented blurs that surge within razor-edged currents, and virtuosity persists as noted configurations unravel to the beat of blasts, which then leads to a distinct and striking rhythm from the waves oscillating between those synergized elements. This captivating effect is carried further by a tremolo lead, and higher vocal screams magnify its course until devastation is punctuated with riffing savagery.

            Grooving rhythms conspire with a grind attack on “Decolonizer,” and tapped fret patterns appear in the midst of their wrath before it shifts to a slow and dense bludgeoning. This tactic has a propelling impact on the passage ahead, where a satisfying crunch resonates from open chords as leadwork weaves its euphoria, and the development sustains an elevated course until seizing a complete and stellar transcendence. Such moments demonstrate purpose beyond the overpowering technical brutality, with these qualities directed into various evocative designs that morph to the bleak and dissonant entry of “Cullscape.” Blast beats launch with screams of affirmative anguish, along with other subtle complexities discerned in the riffing mass, and this exemplifies the augmenting influence vocals carry within the arrangements. Their cooperation is echoed at the spectrum’s opposing end when gutturals bear down alongside thicker currents or grooves, and multiple layers often magnify the chaotic energy throughout the tracks. They overlap for emphasis amid the brooding aura of “Nostalgia for Oblivion,” and a heavy riffing focus here is enhanced by diverse percussive details, including some with a strike comparable to those found on “Panoptical.” A calculated fury charges toward imminent demise on “Heat Death,” and the finale of Antithesis, which is arguably the ultimate closing track by ORIGIN, is recalled in certain riff elements while also forwarding the current material. An epic finish arrives with the solemn tone of a customary solo, and then it leaves a unique mark by deviating into atmospheric realms that engulf this entity in a molten end.

            Multiple topics converge with deep space for a complete lyrical cataclysm, and “Ecophagy” sets it in motion with the cosmic chaos illustrated in a “Lack of continuity amongst indefinite space.” Environmental destruction also unfolds from the “Self-replicating mammalian poison” of humanity, whose instinct is to “Devour and move on” until extinction becomes imminent, and this fate actualizes as the “Barren and unforgiving” planet “Wants our misery.” The human “Blight that should not be” is “Abhorred across eternity” and forfeits survival on “Decolonizer,” where an “Appropriation of demise” stems from the “Unchecked reproduction” and “Greater good undone by the covetous,” and futility emerges within these parasitic forces to pursue “The apotheosis of nullity.” This seems to be “The only recompense for the damage we have wrought,” and the pursuit of a “Joyous return to the void” also appears on “Nostalgia for Oblivion.” Cycles of life are inescapable here, with the torments of confinement “To this corporeal disease” reflecting an infinite presence discerned throughout, and its perpetual “Being and becoming” spawns the “Miasma of futility” and an “Affirmation of disgust” to drive a longing for solitary existence.

            Similar instances appear through the “Solipsistic entity” that is “Condemned to omnipotence” on “Cogito, Tamen Non Sum,” and it coincides with mankind’s “Chaotic obfuscated purpose” to direct a “Hostile intention towards all creation.” These metaphysics and existential subjects define the title track, with the mechanisms of the universe being “Impossible to reconcile,” and its “Absolute indifference” is observed while “The odds against us astronomical” notes our own improbable survival. A “Disjunctive synthesis of worlds” is described amid energies “Tearing the seams of reality,” and our place in this havoc is only to “Observe what has dejected us” as it devolves toward a “Quantum return to form.” Other influences are “Constantly expanding the domain of the tyrant lords of the abyss,” and this portrayal of an oppressive pantheon relates to the “Aristocracy of misfortune” on “Panoptical,” where control over the population is attained through a “Paranoic omniscience.” Conflict ensues when “Thought is a cancer in the bowels of regime,” and opting for “A terrible end” over “Endless terror” leaves this “Tyrannical empire” to be “Mocked in triumphant contempt” before reflections that “Life is a memory, then it is nothing but pain” bring a dismal end.

            Another forceful exercise is witnessed on “Cullscape,” and its “Bloodstained discourse” alludes to an interrogation alongside “Confessions gained through barbaric means.” A “Black hole of stochastic death” gives the brutality a spaceside edge, and dominance persists from “A hadal eon of total control,” which seeks further eradication across “The seas of eternity.” A “Necrocapital” currency assigns monetary worth to corpses, and “Heat Death” comes to collect with its gradual immersion in nothingness. Its “Order and coherence lose distinction” as “Quantum entanglements unravel,” and the universe is also embodied in “A deity composed of all being,” who is “Aware of omnipotence but lacking a conscience.” Further dissolution follows this depiction of the infinite, with “All actions nulled” when “The stars erupt the sun explodes dreams of a malignant god,” and the unlikely transpires when noting “With strange aeons, even death may die.” Ambitions of the living persist “Only to mire itself in an ultimate futility,” and fate is sealed once the “Experiment comes to an end.” I’ve gone beyond excess in attempting to untangle the detailed multitude of these verses, but there is still much worth exploring, and like the universe itself, some of the formulations are difficult to fully comprehend. They justify contempt for humanity and employ terminology to heighten a scientific aspect, while ultimately capturing the allure of the outer void.

            There is a personal significance attached to some of ORIGIN’s past works, and this masterful creation definitely marks a memorable summer for 2022. All the elements are operating at maximum capacity on Chaosmos, with noted constellations and power sweeping alongside the density of a black hole, and its turbulent mass is solidified by the technicality coursing through at concentrated levels. The ultimate aim doesn’t lie only with the prowess behind these components, but also in their ability to form evocative conceptions of space, and portions of ambience combine with unique rhythms and melodies to exhibit a genuinely dynamic resolve. While a few similarly compelling passages on the last couple efforts seemed cut a bit short of magnificence, those here are carried and developed to the fullest for a lasting impact throughout. Despite my admitted bias, this easily stands as their strongest effort since 2011’s Entity, and it’s one of those records that motivates me to pick up my own guitar, even though any attempts to replicate this musicianship would quickly prove futile. Offerings from ORIGIN are always highly anticipated, and the cosmic eminence of Chaosmos will extend far beyond this year, and perhaps even into timelessness.

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