I’ve been following Omnium Gatherum for just over a year now. I discovered them after I bought my ticket for the Ensiferum show in London and noticed that they were headlining in Glasgow. After heading to that show and checking them out, I became a huge fan of the band and was hugely excited when they announced their new album.
Opening up the album is “The Pit”. Launching headfirst into a whirlwind of fast riffs, melodic keyboards, the song slows slightly for the verses but immediately kicks back into overdrive for the choruses. Showcasing some one of the best clean vocal parts I’ve ever heard in melo-death along with the superb harsh vocals of Jukka, the song is a worthy opener to this amazing collection of songs.
Up next is the already released single, “Skyline”. When I first heard this track I took me by surprise slightly. It’s not your typical Omnium Gatherum track. It’s rather simple with straightforward riffs and a simplistic overall feel. And yet, it’s one of the most memorable tracks on the album. I can see this track going down really well live as a sort of ‘headbang-along’ track. This track proves that the band can also write simpler tracks and still deliver the goods along with the keyboard solo that sound like cats meowing!
“Frontiers” then plays and all of a sudden the amazing opening gives way to a breakneck speed verse with Jukka delivering his unique vocals and the catchy rhythm of the guitars. The verse then gives way to quite an epic chorus with an incredible lead guitar part that plays off the drum pattern in an expert manner. Slowing down for a more melodic outing with suspended piano chords along with clean vocals, the track then leads into a section with the both the harsh and clean vocals playing off each other. A textbook example of skill and grace is shown in the form of a guitar solo before the track winds down and ends with the clean vocals along with guitar and bass playing the chorus riff.
Up next is the behemoth that is “Majesty and Silence”. Opening with clean guitars before bringing everything in like a ton of bricks it starts slightly differently to the rest of the songs on the album. Adding in the acoustic guitars just before the verse adds a whole new level of depth before Jukka comes in and brings the thunder. The track continues to go through various changes but keeps the overall theme and also features the amazing clean vocal sections as heard on previous tracks.
“Rejuvinate” comes in with an overall midpaced feel before kicking into overdrive with the drums and the bass keeping the pace of the song going. It’s one of the darker tracks on the album just by feel alone. Having no clean vocals adds to this feel along with keyboard patterns. The feel of the track remains the same until the 3:22 mark when it calms down for a few seconds before building back up into a quick verse and superb guitar solo. The chorus then comes by again before the song ends.
Now, onto what is possibly my favorite track on this album. “Foundation”. Everything about this track is just perfect. The melodies, the vocals, the guitar solos, everything. It’s just so good. The song opens with a low pass filter effect before kicking into the main riff and the heavenly piano melody comes in. A spoken word verse is then introduced alongside a suitably epic guitar harmony before the amazing chorus comes in with Jukka simply saying: “Some day!”. In the words of Grutle Kjellson.. “Ah… Fantastic”.
Up next is “The Great Liberation”. Opening with a synth melody before everything then comes in with the guitars having counter-melodies that bounce off the keys very well. Kicking into the verse, the song keeps the pace up until a very nice bridge featuring a piano solo comes in followed by a superb guitar melody. The song progresses in a similar manner throughout but still keeps the fast pace throughout.
“Ophidian Sunrise” then comes on and takes a much slower and groovier feel than the previous track. Having a similar instrumentation to the previous tracks, it has a much more relaxed and reflective feel to it. Slowing down into a more reflective section around the 3:17 mark before moving to a nice melodic guitar solo, the song then moves once more into the groove persistent throughout the track and ends with a slightly slowed down version of the main melody.
The penultimate and title track of the album opens with acoustic guitars and keys before adding in distorted guitars and drums at the 1:25 mark. Being the only instrumental track on the album is what makes this track sound a bit different and shows that the band can write some truly incredible music.
The final track of the album, “Storm Front” then plays and after a nice synth melody, the track kicks up the pace and everything comes in like a ton of bricks. Having both epic choruses and a extended section with a radio like voice makes this track a worthy finisher to this amazing and varied album.
Now, here comes the question which I’ve been trying to answer for nearly 2 months now… Is the album better than Beyond? In a word… yes. In a few sentences… It’s more varied than Beyond and has a overall different feel. That doesn’t mean it’s anything less than fantastic and I think the band should be proud of what they created. They’ve created what is probably going to be my album of the year and also a musical masterpiece.
Standout Tracks: Whole Album (It’s just too good!)