Origin more or less set the benchmark when it comes to ridiculous death metal. Faster than an espresso fuelled gravity-blasting cheetah, their last few releases have established them as the most consistent purveyors of first class brutality and the go to men when you simply must have your internal organs scrambled into a lumpy red smoothie as soon as possible.
Pushing play on an Origin album is like that bit in The Matrix where a huge big headphone jack gets thrust into the phono socket in the back of Keanu Reeves’ head. It’s the same confusing, painful yet not entirely without its charms sensation of an overwhelming influx of information flooding directly into your nervous system. Entity’s first track, Expulsion Of Fury, sounds not unlike 1000 mechanical rats scurrying all over your body, desperately trying to scratch their way to your tasty kidneys… in a good way, of course. Purgatory is a 1 minute 26 second exercise in bludgeoning death, which may on the face of it seem like a short song, but just as soon as the opening riff hits you’ll already feel like your testicles are having square goes with a hammer.
Entity is comprised of a number of these brutally incisive short-lived onslaughts, though there are also some longer (yet no less brutal or incisive) 5-7 minute tracks, which, when spliced together and given a short, relaxing mid-album instrumental break (The Descent) gives the listener all the choice they really need when flicking through it on their iPod. Morbid Angel should probably take note that this is just about the only level of variation that Death Metal fans find acceptable, and even then, the instrumental break is actually more out of necessity than artistic intent, as I urgently needed the time to catch my breath after inadvertantly stripping naked and wrestling my coffee table during the last 30 seconds of Swarm.
Where I previously felt that Origin had a tendency to become bogged down in a swamp of complexity, there is an instant accessibility to Entity that instantly raises it above its predecessors, with songs like Saligia and Concieving Death being about as catchy as music this demanding can possibly be without accidentally destroying the universe. Where they were previously only a match for Nile in the speed stakes they now also compete in atmospherics, structure and honest-to-goodness riffs. In fact, they are only a name change to Tiber and a concept album about the Roman Empire away from probably being the most wanked-over death metal band in history. Make it so.
The album closes with the mighty one-two of Consequence of Solution and Evolution of Extinction, the former being an epic without ever veering off into self indulgent tedium, a feat it achieves by packing an entire albums worth of riffs, time changes, breaks, fills and general fucking aural mayhem into its 7 minutes. The latter is the perfect distillation of everything that has gone before, fading out and leaving you nicely positioned to plug it in to your skull one more time.
Entity is a death metal album that has enough arpeggios to feed Yngwie Malmsteen for a week and drumming that turns kits to dust but still understands that these technical achievements are nothing without massive ball-slamming riffs and, you know, actual songs. This is cutting edge, forward thinking and state of the art in and of itself with no industrial beats, rapping or Scooter tacked on. As Death Metal goes, this is just the ticket. The ticket to fucking party town.