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The Origin Animate - Wonder & Wither Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 5.5
Musicianship 6.5
Lyrics 6
Production 6
Creativity 5.25
Lasting Value 5
Reviewer Tilt 5.25
Final Verdict: 56%
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The Origin Animate - Wonder & Wither

Reviewed by: Jason Gardner (09/25/12)
The Origin Animate - Wonder & Wither
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: September 18, 2012


Meeting somewhere between earlier notions of both Circa Survive and Lower Definition, the melodically-inclined, but calculated intensity of The Origin Animate is a two-sided coin. Sure, their EP Wonder & Wither slides in a number of post-hardcore nods in the form of bass drops and rhythm dependent riffing. But at other times the noodling melodies compliment those moments well enough that even when the band might not be totally in the zone in terms of songwriting, the musicianship shines enough to keep our interest. All in all though, Wonder & Wither is sure to intrigue lovers of both bending melodies and otherworldly musical textures, even if the band sputters a bit long the way.

The slightly haunting spoken word introduction of “Panacea: Part One” has a mysteriously intriguing introduction that plays right into the lush melodic weavings of “A Blueprint Reflective”. It kicks the rightfully wandering EP into full gear, harkening shrill guitars and colossal riffs – though the vocals seem a step behind in terms of energy. The mid-track shift to a slower tempo makes for a rather forced shift that feels a bit unfinished, as the return to the original riff and tempo seem to be unable to recover the energy that was built up at the beginning of the track. The title track features a few moments of brief screaming – they stick out like a sore thumb but are rather decipherable which is a plus – as the band again shows some strength in building a structure out of smooth melodies and driving drums. The back and forth of huge and weaving between chorus and verse works a bit better here, as the piling on of sprinkled riffs makes for a welcome shift into the ending slow-jam. Vocally, this song showcases things in a better light, as the generally mellow, lower-octave croon heard makes The Origin Animate’s sound feel more cohesive (“Further, Traveler”) even if the energy heard elsewhere isn’t quite tapped to its full potential.

That isn’t to say “Ursa Minor” and “The Mosaic” don’t give a good enough reason to listen to them. The latter gives the sense of Lower D’s Moths at times, hinting at a driving energetic undertone of drums and pulsing guitars while still being conscious of the melodic output. “Ursa Minor” on the other hand is more of a mid-tempo jam that drops everything from wispy guitar rips and unexpected palm-mute blitzes into the mix. While there isn’t a pushing tempo to immediately draw you into this one, it’s easy enough to get sucked into things here, as the track grabs your attention over and over through smaller moments to bring you to somewhat climactic ending. Again, there’s things worth mentioning throughout the EP, but the general gripe is that at times things feel a bit jangled to truly be cohesive or as powerful as it could be - leaving some of those moments isolated as the band wades us through some not quite realized songwriting.

While there are good things going on here, The Origin Animate’s Wonder & Wither will certainly leave something to be desired. Between some shaky songwriting and vocals that just don’t quite match up at times through melodies and intensity, The Origin Animate simply aren’t quite living up to the potential they show at times. Given some time though, I don’t doubt they’ll work out the kinks and tinker with their songwriting to sustain the handful of truly on-point moments you’ll hear on this EP.
 
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06:29 PM on 09/28/12
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