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Omnium Gatherum: Beyond

Though most eyes inevitably turn to Sweden when talking about melodic death metal, Finland's Omnium Gatherum has been creating some of the genre's most interesting music for a number of years now. They first grabbed my attention with 2011's beautiful New World Shadows, and with 2013's Beyond - the act's sixth full length observation - Omnium Gatherum has crafted another excellent melodic death metal release. The band's sound has very little in common with any traditional forms of death metal, but Beyond's exceptional compositions and musicianship make it an easy recommendation to anybody except the staunchest extreme metal purist.

The tag that best suits Omnium Gatherum's music is undoubtedly melodic death metal; however, if truth be told, their sound is so melodic and polished that the death metal label is almost misleading. That's not to discredit the fantastic music heard on Beyond, but it does mean that those who are hesitant towards sleeker forms of extreme metal will want to look elsewhere. Those who enjoy melodic styles of metal will find a lot to enjoy on Beyond, though, as the album is filled to the brim with killer riffs, mesmerizing arrangements, and memorable melodic lines. Stylistically, Omnium Gatherum bears some resemblance to acts like In Flames and Dark Tranquility, but the band also includes some progressive ideas and influences from genres like traditional metal and melodic power metal. Very few of the riffs here sound particularly death metal-oriented, and apart from the predominately growled vocals (which Jukka Pelkonen delivers in a deep and satisfying style), most of the music here could fit comfortably on a melodic metal album (albeit one that would seem rather unconventional).

On Beyond, the listener is treated to an array of moods and forms of expression. Though the album maintains a rather melancholic and reflective tone throughout its entire duration, Omnium Gatherum explores this using atmospheric instrumentals, wondrous guitar leads, and commanding grunts. The band is not content with sticking exclusively to one style, though, and you can hear this when comparing the powerful intro "LuoTo" to the power-death assault in "The Sonic Sign" or the highly progressive "White Palace". In spite of these stylistic shifts, Beyond manages to maintain an epic atmosphere throughout its entire duration, and this cohesion is a large part of what makes this such a special album. Every track is a memorable and unique experience in its own right, but the way they flow together makes Beyond an even more effective listen.

In case my review hasn't made it clear yet, I'm pretty enthusiastic about what Omnium Gatherum has put together for Beyond. It's not too often that I get this excited about a melodeath release, but the maturity and attention to detail exhibited here is masterful, to say the least. As great as New World Shadows was and still is, Omnium Gatherum have refined their sound even further for Beyond, and the result is nothing short of magnificent.

Track Listing:
1. Luoto (3:32)
2. New Dynamic (4:56)
3. In the Rim (4:52)
4. Nightwalkers (8:15)
5. Formidable (4:54)
6. The Sonic Sign (4:36)
7. Who Could Say (4:45)
8. The Unknowing (5:58)
9. Living in Me (4:41)
10. White Palace (10:41)

Added: January 8th 2013
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Omnium Gatherum Website
Hits: 3096
Language: english

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