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Omnium Gatherum: Years in Waste

Omnium Gatherum are a Finnish death metal band playing cold, melancholic music that is often marked by fierce guitar riffs, interesting drum work, effective melodies and a very interesting singer to say the least. Antti Filppu's vocals may take a little while to absorb. Both his regular clean singing and death grunts are significantly different - he mostly spurts out the lyrics in a half-screamed and half-growled style, yet it is still easy to discern the words because his vocals are neither too distorted nor as brutal as, say the Cannibal Corpse or Six Feet Under vocalists.

Filppu's vocals mostly remind me of former Sentenced singer Taneli Jarva's style of delivery on the first The Black League album, Ichor. As a matter of fact, Years in Waste is also in the same vein, except that the music here is more on the technical and aggressive side. As with many other Finnish bands, Omnium Gatherum create a melancholic atmosphere despite their undeniable heaviness and raw approach to songwriting. The subtle employment of keyboards seems to add an extra layer that lends itself to plenty of comparisons that are hard to pinpoint. That said, Years in Waste is a very grim album, as both the artwork and song titles suggest, but it's completely devoid of gothic elements, which makes it very listenable. Then again, I don't really think they are a very melodic death metal band either, and certainly do not share anything common with bands like At The Gates or Katatonia as the label claims. Omnium Gatherum offer a harsher and more shadowy kind of metal occasionally mixed with sweeping guitar lines that spiral into punishing death metal riffs. The atmospheric vibe is also retained, as you will notice on "Black Seas Cry" which is the most The Black League tinged track with its acoustic guitars and constant tempo changes.

"No Moon & No Queen" sees the band merging their technical aspect with agile melodies that easily make this song stand out. There are also interesting guitar solos and a very competent drum work that focuses on adding the final touch on the songs "Gravesilence" and "Auguries Gone".

The album is slightly flawed though. I feel the drum sound really takes away from Jarmo Pikka's performance and the fact that they chose to open the album with one of the weakest tracks may turn some listeners off. Also, some of the riffs sound out of place, especially when the rhythm guitarist tends to follow the bass player (who is very integral on this disc) and merely plods along with him. There is plenty of crunch in the music, but they don't always develop into interesting melodies that stick to the mind, leaving you concentrating on the vocals, which I already said are an acquired taste. I personally like the singing, but can see many others being uninterested in Omnium Gatherum because of the vocals on Years in Waste. Certainly worth checking out though - there aren't too many bands like this around.

Track Listing

  1. Fall Went Right Through Here
  2. Waste of Bereavement
  3. Misanthropic (Let the Crown Fall)
  4. Black Seas City
  5. It's a Long Night
  6. No Moon & No Queen
  7. Gravesilence
  8. Nolan's Fati
  9. More Withering
  10. Auguries Gone

Added: September 10th 2008
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Score:
Related Link: Band website
Hits: 2234
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Omnium Gatherum: Years in Waste
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-09-10 08:34:49
My Score:

This is a review of the 2008 remastered edition from Metal Mind Productions.

Omnium Gatherum's sophomore release Years In Waste is a very solid melodic death metal album. While the band hails from Finland, you won't find much in common with their fellow Finns Children of Bodom or Amorphis. Instead, Years in Waste borrows more from the Gothenberg school of Swedish death metal, plus some bits of Opeth and Arch Enemy perhaps, for a well rounded, progressive, and at times technical death metal assault. The aura is generally quite moody, with ethereal keyboards punctuating the mix of crushing guitars and jackhammer rhythms, Antti Flippu's growling vocals taking center stage on most songs. Tunes like "Black Sears Cry", "Misanthrope", and "It's a Long Night" are quite well done, equally as good as some of the strongest material from the band's debut Spirit and August Light, and certain sections of "Gravesilence" have a certain Opeth feel to them, especially the swirling guitar lines. In fact, this 2004 follow-up to that near classic is all around equally as good, showing a band that was really starting to grow and mature, yet subsequent releases saw them take a step back in terms of quality, and so far they've yet to achieve the musical success of the first two albums. That's a shame, as this one and the debut are fine examples of progressive and melodic death metal.

Metal Mind's remaster here is splendid, housed in a lovely digipack with a booklet that recreates the original release, with lyrics, photos, and an essay about the band & album. Also included are more bonus tracks from the Woodbine Garden Sessions, including a cover of AC/DC's "Moneytalks", which is quite fun, as well as 5 other bonus cuts, including "Theme From Helsinki, Helsinki", "City Red Light", "Remember the Frozen", "Das Wegrecht", and "My Hands Were Tied".

Hopefully the band will get back to the lofty heights they reached with Years In Waste and Spirits and August Light. While they work on new material, no better time than now to go back in time and check out one of their early gems.



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