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:
- 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 rather... unusual facial expressions have become well-known.
- Badass Bookworm: John Longstreth is one of the fastest and most technically-skilled drummers in metal, but he's also a jazz musician with decades of experience and a highly-skilled Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner.
- Brutal Death Metal: Obviously.
- Four Man Band:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Pete Best: Fluke played on one EP, left the band, and more or less disappeared from the music business in general.
- 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 (270+ 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 at least one ex-Origin member; while the band's frequent turnover means that it's difficult to know who exactly formed it, Clint Appelhanz has been documented as a founding member, and it's likely that there was at least one other founder who got their start in Origin.
- Technical Death Metal: One of the most prominent examples.
- 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; Origin actually plays it even FASTER without a hitch.