Origin -- Lawrence, KS -- January 16th, 2014
It was very comforting to see a good-sized crowd filling out the Granada in Lawrence on a freezing Thursday night for what was to be a raucous homecoming for one of Kansas' most prized possessions in music, rounded out with some of the best of the local metal scene.
Kansas' own Origin might just be the biggest musical export from the state in decades. The band has a storied history that includes tours with extreme metal bands such as Immolation, Nile, Vader, Arch Enemy and Necrophagist, just to name a few. The band has toured all over North America, Europe and Asia and is on the cusp of releasing their sixth album on Nuclear Blast records - quite a feat for what started as just some guys from Topeka in 1997. Despite all that worldwide recognition, there might not be a crazier crowd for Origin than with a hometown show. Jason Keyser, the recent addition on vocals, is a master of showmanship, constantly interacting with the crowd, helping crowdsurfers onto the stage, only to push them off into the waiting sea of madness, all the while delivering an extremely impressive vocal performance. Backed with some of the most on-point, technically proficient metal music from Paul Ryan on guitar, Mike Flores on bass and John Longstreth on drums, it's easy to get lost in bewilderment at just the music being played, but you've got to be on the lookout for the rogue stagediver landing on you.
Origin touched on each of their releases, including a hilariously too brief snippet from their upcoming album, "Omnipresent," but it seemed like the crowd was most receptive to their last two albums, "Antithesis" and "Entity". The torrent of moshing and crowdsurfing kicked into overdrive with crowd favorites "The Aftermath" and "Wrath of Vishnu", where newer cuts like "Saligia" and "Evolution of Extinction" showed more of the progressive side to Origin's madness. In the end, each song was met with an explosion of passionate crowd movement to match the explosion of ferocity on stage. Most of the attendees down near the stage probably left that night bruised and covered in sweat, blood and beer, but that's just normal for a hometown Origin show.
Providing direct support was the infamous Troglodyte. The band needs no introduction to those paying attention to any part of the local heavy metal scene, but the masked quintet plays one of the best deathgrind sounds not just in the Midwest, but in the country. Using up just as much energy for the headliners, the crowd exploded in movement and screaming along for Bigfoot-themed anthems like "Murderous Bi-Pedal Hominid Rampage (Where are My Legs?)" and a particularly vicious performance of set closer "Caught (On Super 8)". The band knows how to marry brutal riffing with infectious grooves and brings the best of both worlds to the stage to make for an unforgettable performance every time they perform.
The show was opened by three more local acts. The first band to take the stage was A Plague In Faith. This young band combined elements from several modern death metal bands and puts on a very entertaining show. Their vocalist has some serious pipes, and the performance went very old-school when the bassist hung up his guitar for a second mic, putting on a guitar-only death/grind performance for one song. Just like the old gods would have it!
The second band to take the stage was Species. The band injected the most groove into their sound of the night, fitting right in with bands such as After the Burial or The Faceless. Very energetic and very tight sounding.
Third up was Confined In Flesh. These guys take old-school death metal and inject it with new-school life and the output is very catchy, yet brutal at times, metal that's easy to mosh to. The crowd gave a huge response to it, and hopefully the band plays many more shows very soon.
Origin (maybe incomplete/definitely out of order):
Wrath of Vishnu
Echoes of Decimation
Staring From The Abyss
Expulsion of Fury
Evolution of Extinction
Implosion of Eternity
Confined In Flesh: 8/10
Species: n/a / 10
A Plague In Faith: 8.5/10
1/11 - Skull Fist
1/16 - Reel Big Fish?
1/18 - Mayhem
2/12 - You Blew It
2/19 - 1349