A funny thing happens midway through the third spin of Antithesis. Drummer John Longstreth’s inhuman hailstorm of triggered gravity blasts starts to release its stranglehold, revealing a death-metal album with a higher craft to brutality ratio than we’re used to from Origin’s previous three records. The graceful, Suffocation-esque guitar arpeggios of “The Aftermath” almost push past its absurdly fast tempo; “Wrath of Vishnu” slips into Nile territory (albeit absent any of Nile’s ominous atmosphere) with modal death riffing and a surprisingly melodic, snaky solo.
There’s a lot of willpower involved in getting past spin number one, though: Antithesis takes nearly as much stamina to sit through as it must have taken to play. Origin’s single-minded pursuit of the extremes of speed and technique result in some thrilling moments, covered in cobwebs of sweep-picking and heralded by Origin’s beastly triple-throat vocal attack. But it also means that Paul Ryan and Jeremy Turner’s groovier riffs often get mowed over by Longstreth’s onslaught (check “Finite”). It’s not until the nine-plus-minute closer, “Antithesis,” that any space opens up for the guitars to bloom, and by that point we’re either clamoring for the next step in extremity (Brain Drill and Psyopus are there already) or too numbed by Origin’s relentlessness to care.