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Album review – Omnium Gatherum – Origin
“Adult-Oriented Death Metal at its finest glory, that dark and shiny place where Def Leppard and Death Metal meets. Death Leppard, maybe?”
No, I have not lost my mind completely. This is a direct quote from Omnium Gatherum’s guitarist Markus Vanhala upon the release of ‘Reckoning’ which is one of the tracks listed on their 9th studio album ‘Origin.’
Is he wrong? I can’t say he is, he has a point. Although I’m still not sure what ‘Adult-Orientated Death Metal’ actually is, but I have enjoyed it nonetheless. Does this make me an adult? God, I hope not.
Anyway, I digress, this album which dropped on the 5th of November 2021 is nothing short of epic and I will use that word a lot.
Omnium Gatherum have maintained a heavy presence in the Finnish Melodic Death Metal movement for two decades now and have nurtured a well versed, colossal sound throughout their tenure. They have faced various lineup changes throughout the years and this new album has brought forward new bassist Mikko Kivistö and drummer Atte Pesonen.
Collectively, the band have produced a more melodic death metal sound with elements of prog and infectious hooks compared to more extreme death metal in previous records.
Origin is a very mood-inspiring record, quite upbeat at times but also maintaining that edgy, doomy feel. The tracks are well textured without losing any detail, no one sound is drowned out by the other but at the same time it isn’t overwhelming either.
The record begins with ‘Emergence’ which is a very apt name for an opening track. This 2 and a half minute long instrumental showcases the band’s musical prowess. It’s epic and has an almost cinematic feel to it. It’s catchy, upbeat and sets the scene for the album.
Then, we dive head first into almost ethereal keys and catchy hooks with ‘Prime,’ which in my opinion is certainly one of the strongest and epically infectious tracks of the record. It’s quite operatic at times, very upbeat and bright which is offset by Jukka Pelkonen’s brutal death metal vocals. The following track ‘Paragon’ is in the same vein.
This brings us to the aforementioned ‘Reckoning,’ cited as the ‘Def Leppard meets Death Metal’ track of the record. Upon hearing this quote before I listened to the album, it did raise an eyebrow and I wasn’t sure if this would be a good thing or not. Is this the case? I believe so. Does it work? In my opinion yes it does, it’s epic.
‘Fortitude’ breaks the album down at its half way point and changes the mood. It’s considerably more solemn and doomy/darker with heavy progressive elements. The track itself is powerful with its almost celestial background vocals and booming drum beats. Once again, the gutteral death metal vocals are offset by epically clean melodies.
The latter half of the album experiments with more progressive and melodic elements albeit that raw power and the energy are very much still present.
Overall, this record gives the impression of embarking on a voyage, an adventure, an epic journey of discovery. It’s both uplifting and dark at times. Powerful and just epically motivational. Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate that absolutely stunning album artwork? I completely vibe with this record and I give it 8/10.
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