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Music: Origin
Origin is an American technical/brutal death metal band. Characterized by their incredibly fast and technical music and the extreme proficiency of all their instrumentalists, as well as their tendency to focus on cohesive songwriting a lot more than their contemporaries, Origin has become one of the biggest names in technical death metal over the years, having played multiple high-profile festivals and headlining tours.

Formed in 1997 in Topeka, Kansas by guitarists Paul Ryan and Jeremy Turner (the former not to be confused with the politician of the same name, obviously), the band quickly picked up Clint Appelhanz (bass) and Mark Manning (vocals), along with George Fluke (drums) shortly after. This lineup would go on to release a demo, though Fluke and Appelhanz left soon after and were replaced by John Longstreth and Doug Williams, respectively. This lineup was the one that gained them a contract with Relapse Records and released their self-titled debut; in the time between their debut and their second album, Manning and Williams left and were replaced by James Lee and Mike Flores. For a while after, the band continued to go through numerous lineup changes, though things finally settled down after Lee left; as of now, the lineup consists of Ryan, Flores, and Longstreth, along with Jason Keyser of Skinless fame on vocals.


  • A Coming Into Existence (1998) - demo/EP, only release with Fluke
  • Origin (2000)
  • Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas (2002)
  • Echoes of Decimation (2005) - only full-length to not feature Longstreth on drums, with James King (of later Unmerciful fame) taking his place
  • Antithesis (2008)
  • Entity (2011) - only release without a dedicated vocalist, with Ryan and Flores assuming duties
  • Omnipresent (2014)

The band provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Achievement In Ignorance: Mike developed his signature bass style through something akin to this. As a child, he wanted to play guitar but was regularly prevented from playing it due to being grounded, so he just opted to pick up his father's bass instead. When he started playing bass, he used his fingers to emulate using a pick instead of plucking like most fingerstyle bassists; the "ignorance" part comes from the fact that, as someone who was completely self-taught and had never taken a lesson in his life, there was no one to tell him that his technique was essentially completely wrong. It was through not having anyone there to tell him that he wasn't playing correctly that he developed his one-of-a-kind style and became the widely celebrated player that he is.
  • The Alcoholic: James Lee developed a reputation for excessive drinking over the years, something that is suspected to be the main reason why he was kicked out.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Sort of. Longstreth is known for his machine-like precision live, but his habit of making bizarre faces at photographers while playing has become well-known.
  • Badass Bookworm: Jason Keyser has a degree in anthropology and has been part of multiple digs as part of his day job.
  • Brutal Death Metal: Definitely one of the heaviest technical death acts.
  • Cover Version: They have covered S.O.D.'s "Kill Yourself" on Omnipresent.
  • Epic Rocking: The title track to Antithesis is almost ten minutes, while "Consequence of Solution" is a little over seven and "Saligia" is slightly under seven.
  • Genre Roulette: Entity, in addition to their standard lightspeed tech-death, experimented with deathgrind (Banishing Illusion), noisegrind (Committed), and classic-style death metal (Evolution of Extinction), with many of the individual songs also taking unexpected turns into other genres.
  • Grindcore: They've dabbled in this with "Committed" (a noisegrind track), "Banishing Illusion", and "Redistribution of Filth", and Paul is a huge fan of the genre.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Northeasterners (since Albany is about an hour from the westernmost portion of Massachusetts, and they used to play there regularly) and particularly knowledgeable brutal death fans will recognize Jason from his days in Mucopus, and brutal death fans as a whole will definitely recognize him from his run with Skinless.
  • In The Style Of: "Redistribution of Filth" was Paul's love letter to Napalm Death.
  • Large Ham: Keyser is well-known for his live banter.
  • Lead Bassist: Mike Flores qualifies for Type A, B, and C, being renowned for his truly incredible speed and technical ability, frequent backing vocal contributions (as well as assuming vocal duties along with Ryan on Entity), and status as one of the two main songwriters.
  • Lead Drummer: John Longstreth. Part of it is his frightening technical prowess, part of it is just how many well-loved bands he's been a part of.
  • Loudness War: Surprisingly averted (for the most part) with the last two. Antithesis had decent dynamic range but still had noticeable clipping issues and general muddiness, but Entity, while slightly more compressed, took great pains to avoid clipping, creating a wonderfully crisp, balanced, and engrossing mix that set a fantastic example for how modern death metal albums should aspire to sound.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Solid 10, occasionally 11 on their heavier tracks ("Wrath of Vishnu", in particular).
  • Miniscule Rocking: Most of the material off their first few albums was in the two-minute range, while "Purgatory" and "Banishing Illusion" (both off of Entity) are under two minutes, as is "Thrall:Fulcrum:Apex" off of Omnipresent.
  • Motor Mouth: James Lee was renowned for this (and so is Jason Keyser, by extent).
  • New Sound Album: Pretty much every album.
    • Informis significantly increased the technicality; while their debut was technical, it hadn't quite reached the levels of their later material.
    • Echoes increased the technicality even more, emphasizing Ryan's sweep-picking abilities quite heavily. It was also their only album with James King on drums, who focused much less on technical patterns and fills and more on pure, unrelenting speed.
    • Antithesis featured much longer and more varied songs in general, including a nearly ten-minute title track. It was also where Ryan began to use guitar solos.
    • Entity bridged the longer and more involved songs of Antithesis with the shorter songs of their earlier material in addition to experimenting with different genres.
    • Omnipresent has more prominent grindcore, hardcore, and mathcore influences and is just distinctly less overtly technical and more experimental in general. According to Paul, a good deal of it was motivated by a desire to provide variation in their live setlists.
  • One of Us: Everyone in the band, particularly John and Jason, with the latter having actually linked to this very page on the band's Facebook profile at one point.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Omnipresent has "Redistribution of Filth", which is a grindcore track with absolutely no focus on technicality.
  • The Pete Best: Fluke played on one EP, left the band, and more or less disappeared from the music business in general. He's still apparently friends with the band, however.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Flores and Longstreth.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Jeremy Turner briefly played for Cannibal Corpse when Jack Owen left and they weren't able to find a full-time replacement fast enough.
  • Revolving Door Band: For the first half of their career. Things have been mostly stable since then minus Lee's ejection.
  • Signature Style: Absurdly fast (250+ BPM is common) material with extremely complex tremolo riffs and "laser beam" sweeps, along with extremely fast and frequently odd-timed blastbeats and double bass, as well as plenty of fills and jazzy flourishes. Basswork frequently consists of extremely fast sweeping and tapping, while vocals make heavy use of Motor Mouth and frequently switch between high shrieks, low grunts, and a mid-ranged roar.
  • Start My Own: Unmerciful was started by Clint Appelhanz; while James King was a co-founder, he doesn't count because he hadn't yet even joined Origin at that time. Said band is also notorious for being where departing Origin members tend to end up.
  • Technical Death Metal: One of the most prominent examples, and probably the Ur Example for the spastic, hyperspeed variant of brutal tech.
  • Uncommon Time: Very, very frequently.
  • Up to Eleven: In general as far as technical death goes, but especially live. Some technical death acts have trouble pulling off some of their more complicated material live and/or tend to fall victim to the "stand around playing your instruments" trap; Origin actually plays it even FASTER without a hitch and has cultivated a reputation as a ferocious live act.
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