“The cool thing about Omnium Gatherum is how they weave so many different influences together; it’s ridiculous how easy they go from full on thrashy death metal, to Rush inspired dynamics, and then again to slick and sugarcoated AOR melodies within a song (see “Frontiers”) and keep it all cohesive and intriguing.”
- The Pit
- Majesty And Silence
- The Great Liberation
- Ophidian Sunrise
- These Grey Heavens
- Storm Front
This band has been my continual prized metal gem since 2003 when discovering the still potent and intense “Spirits And August Light” album. It’s fair to say that Omnium Gatherum where among the first bands to initiate the Suomi wave of melodic death metal during the early 2000’s before gradually transitioning into something they’ve baptized as “adult oriented death metal” adding more progressive influences to their highly atmospheric and engaging sound.
Generally I’m excited for a new album by the atmospheric sextet. My anticipation for “Grey Heavens” was accompanied by a slight sense of dread after hearing the first single “Skyline” back in August last year; a track that felt a little too autopiloty whilst imitating cool parts of melodeath classicks like “Only For The Weak” and “Everytime I Die”. Aside from this rather muted teaser, I knew in the back of my mind that this album was bound to be stellar.
Those who are familiar with this band know what to expect: brilliant songwriting rooted in the Gothenburg sound pushed into exciting musical territories, all wrapped in beautiful Finnish melancholia and lyrics dealing with existential scenarios from a constructive, reflective stance. This album feels a bit darker and aggressive than its predecessor without loosing the exhilarating melodies. Tracks like “The Pit”, “Rejuvenate!” and the scorching album closer “Storm Front” feature faster tempos and sizzling guitar work, also the keyboards seem to have more space than ever in the songs, including the faster, traditional ones.
The cool thing about Omnium Gatherum is how they weave so many different influences together; it’s ridiculous how easy they go from full on thrashy death metal, to Rush inspired dynamics, and then again to slick and sugarcoated AOR melodies within a song (see “Frontiers”) and keep it all cohesive and intriguing. This album also has some of the band’s most effective clean vocal implementation contrasting the otherwise brutish low barks of frontman Jukka Pelkonen. The continued cooperation with Dan Swanø has also secured a killer sound production.
Other noticeable tracks are “Foundation” with its brooding gothic atmosphere drawing obvious parallels to Dark Tranquillity, “The Great Liberation” and the melodic complexity therein, the instrumental elegance of “These Grey Heavens” and the already mentioned “Storm Front”, a definite highlight. “Majesty And Silence”, the allegedly lengthy epic on the album, clocking at eight minutes, has a similar mood as that of “Deep Cold” off the “New World Shadows” album, although it doesn’t truly reach the same swaying qualities. Still a great track in its own right.
With this album, Omnium Gatherum have released four consecutive stellar albums in my opinion, repeatedly demonstrating flashy songwriting, starting with “The Redshift” from 2008, “New World Shadows” from 2011, “Beyond” from 2013 and now “Grey Heavens”. This hints at one thing; now’s the time to join the adult death metal wagon! Grow up people and listen to Omnium Gatherum.
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