Wow! While I’ve seen Omnium Gatherum a good few times and have a couple of their albums, I did not realise they have been around for 22 years already and that this is their eighth album. Granted, there have been numerous line-up changes over the years, with Tuomo Latvala getting to record drums for the first time.
“The Burning” is a gentle intro full of keyboard melody with an undercurrent of heavier guitar that promises you’ll be in for a good ride.
Tuomo intermediately blast into “Gods Go First” to make his presence felt and the melodic guitars played by Markus Vanhala and Joonas Koto exemplify the feel of this album with rapid and majestic leads and catchy riffs with the song only really being made much much heavier by Jukka Pelkonen’s death vocals. Incidentally, this was the first song that most of us got to hear when they released a video for it a couple months ago
“Refining Fire” only had its video released a couple weeks ago and after watching it below you’ll know that the band’s definitive style is heavy but ultra-melodious with the death vocals adding that extra element that would most certainly be lacking if it were clean singing.
The opening bars of “Rest In Your Heart” had me thinking it was going to be a bit of a dancey track, ala “Musique” by Theatre of Tragedy, but it’s anything but. Rather it harks back further in the ToT catalogue to be a doomier track with Aapo Koivisto’s pretty keyboards adding a touch of levity the guitars couldn’t smother.
Quite easily the most aggressive track on the album is “Over The Battlefield”, however it still contains an extremely mellow bridge halfway through the song where the clean vocal over the keyboards could easily give goose bumps.
“The Fearless Entity” is a great example of their heavy but melodic as it alternates between the two, but it’s really the lead that stands out.
The beautiful bass run during the melancholic lead on “Be The Sky” is suitably exquisite and certainly highlights Erkki Silvennoinen’s talent.
Another fast track with some pretty intense drumming is “Driven By Conflict” which other than the intro also happens to be the shortest song on the album, with a very rapidly played lead.
“The Frontline” will have you slowly bobbing your head from side to side, as its gentle groove is growled over by Jukka and Aapo’s keyboard melody carries the guitars on their meandering journey through the song.
A steady snap of the snare ushers in the guitars before being joined by the vocals on “Planet Scale”, before wrapping up with keyboards fading out and an acoustic guitar with the sound of chilled running water starts “Cold”, where the tempered pace lets the guitars flow into and out of the background to accompany the keyboard harmonies and vocals. Definitely a nice mellow way to end off the album.
(8/10 Marco Gaminara)