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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)
  • Unparalleled Universe (2017)
  • Abiogenesis - A Coming Into Existence (2019) - demo/unreleased material compilation featuring Paul Ryan's pre-Origin bands.
  • Chaosmos (2022)

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.
  • Blood Knight: Mark Manning, apparently. As per Paul, he was an intense, fight-loving man who was an MMA fighter, and most of the lyrics that he would try to write were about No Holds Barred Beatdowns and other violent topics. It was also a source of friction, as Paul wasn't particularly fond of violent lyrics and wanted to write about more abstract topics to help make the band stand out, and "Lethal Manipulation (The Bonecrusher Chronicles)" was his one real concession to Mark.
  • Brutal Death Metal: Definitely one of the heaviest technical death acts, and their earliest works (A Coming Into Existence and the self-titled) were generally closer to the underground Midwestern brutal death style that had solidified around that time period than to their codified brutal tech sound that emerged with Informis.
  • Cover Version: They have covered "Kill Yourself" (S.O.D.) and "Revolucion" (Brujeria).
  • Distinct Double Album: Abiogenesis - A Coming Into Existence is one of the "single album with two distinct sections" variety: Abiogenesis has songs from Paul's pre-Origin bands (written from 1991-1993), re-recorded entirely by Paul himself; while A Coming Into Existence is a remaster of Origin's debut demo.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: This is what got James Lee thrown out. Chronically depressed for pretty much his entire run with the band, Lee's self-medicating got more and more out of hand, and it was a combination of extremely heavy drinking, drug usage, and an apparent refusal to get help that finally led Paul Ryan to say "enough is enough" and dismiss Lee. Thankfully for Lee, he wound up getting some much-needed help and is apparently doing much better now.
  • Epic Rocking: "Heat Death" (11:21), "Unequivocal" (9:54), "Antithesis" (9:32), "Consequence of Solution" (7:09), "Saligia" (6:52), "Decolonizer" (6:30), and "Nostalgia for Oblivion" (6:23).
  • Grindcore: They've dabbled in this with "Committed" (a noisegrind track), "Banishing Illusion", "Redistribution of Filth", and "Truthslayer". Along with Cryptopsy, they were also one of the first tech acts to openly incorporate grindcore elements into their sound, and it was because of this that they were an influence on a lot of early deathcore acts. Lastly, as Abiogenesis demonstrated, Paul's previous bands (Necrotomy and Thee Abomination) were deathgrind with some early traces of the rawer side of the Midwestern brutal death style that Origin's absolute earliest works fell within.
  • 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.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: Omnipresent was largely a turn away from tech-death with extremely prominent grindcore and mathcore influences (which were hinted at on Entity by way of "Committed" and "Banishing Illusion", but weren't a central part of the latter album).
  • 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.
  • Longest Song Goes Last:
    • Echoes of Decimation closes with "Echoes of Decimation" (04:02).
    • Antithesis closes with "Antithesis" (9:32).
    • Chaosmos closes with "Heat Death" (11:21).
  • Long Runner Lineup: The Keyser/Ryan/Flores/Longstreth lineup is a Type 2, as it has not changed since 2011.
  • Loudness War: Surprisingly averted (for the most part) with Antithesis and Entity. Antithesis had decent dynamic range (DR9) but still had noticeable clipping issues and general muddiness, but Entity, while slightly more compressed (DR8), 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. They have generally kept this up since then; their latest, Chaosmos, is also DR8. Then again, with Colin Marston (of Krallice, Gorguts, and numerous other acts) responsible for mastering all albums since Entity, this is to be expected.
  • Metal Scream: Jason Keyser is a very distinctive Type 1 and Type 2 hybrid who is known for his terse, rapid-fire bark, while Paul Ryan is a Type 2 who can also pull off Type 3s and Mike Flores is strictly a Type 3. James Lee and Mark Manning were both firm Type 2s (though Lee was also famous for his highs).
  • 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: Each album has featured a fairly significant shift in style, as Paul has admitted that his writing is heavily influenced by his listening habits at that point in time:
    • 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.
    • Unparalleled Universe represents something of a bridge between Entity and Omnipresent, as it brings back some of the straightforward tech tracks that were in short supply on the latter while still keeping some of its quirkiness and focus on atmosphere, as well as the Genre Roulette tendencies of both albums.
    • Chaosmos is substantially less technical (to the point of barely even qualifying as technical death metal), with extremely prominent old-school death metal, black metal, and hardcore elements and a more mosh-friendly approach than is typical for them.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Omnipresent has "Redistribution of Filth", which is a grindcore track with absolutely no focus on technicality.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Flores and Longstreth.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: On episode 194 of the MetalSucks podcast, Jason proclaimed his last name is pronounced "Kai-ser", as in Keyser Soze.
  • Revolving Door Band: For the first half of their career. Things have been stable since Keyser was brought on in 2011.
  • Running Gag: Several:
    • John changing his configuration with every tour.
    • Jason coming up with special conditions for pits (namely the "one-man circle pit", the "silent wall of death", and the "political orientation wall of death").
  • 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.
  • Sinister Surveillance: "Panoptical" is in part a protest against this.
  • 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 (and occasionally even current, as John Longstreth did drums on Ravenous Impulse and played a few shows and a brief tour with them before they found Trynt Kelly). Subverted with Crator, as it was just a studio project that John and Jason started with Colin Marston and Jeff Liefer (Tentacles) that eventually wound up turning into a very occasional live act just by circumstance.
  • Stylistic Suck: Invoked on the Abiogenesis recordings of Paul's early bands; as per Paul, the current Origin lineup was too proficient and would play the songs too clean for his liking, so he recorded everything himself to give them the rawness and rough edges that would have been expected from the garage and woodshed practices and shows at rundown bars and battle-of-the-bands events that marked his late teens and very early twenties.
  • 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.
  • Walking the Earth: Like Ken Sorceron, this is how Jason Keyser lives his life. Between Origin and as-needed vocal fill-ins for Psycroptic and Ingested (as Jason Peppiatt and Jay Evans both have spotty availability), he is on the road quite a bit as a musician, and he also spends his fair share of time working as a merch assistant or tour hand even when he isn't performing.