Omnium Gatherum
The Redshift

I’ll be the first to admit that the Gothenburg sound is probably the most overdone and over saturated style in metal, but I’ll also quickly admit that I’m a huge fan, especially when done right. Meet Finland’s Omnium Gatherum if you haven’t done so already. The Redshift marks the bands fourth long player, and fourth time they’ve brought something fresh and unique to a genre overrun with redundancy, despite the opinion of many that their past two efforts (Years in Waste and Stuck Here on Snakes Way) were lacking.

My words cannot properly do The Redshift justice. Rarely have I heard heavy combined with such beauty, sadness and sorrow. When I say heavy, I do not mean in the brutal sense – it’s more of a feeling. Trapped somewhere between Dark Tranquillity and Edge of Sanity (who is criminally underrated I might add), the melodies are nothing short of amazing, with the ability to completely drown you, yet carry you through the album – always smooth, yet cutting. These melodies split and share time with dual guitar and keys, one never truly stealing the show, but rather complementing and working off each other. Take “The Return” for example – it begins with keys, but gives way to a contrasting, chugging riff, only to come back again then succumb to an infectious guitar melody that carries the song – it’s these small details like this that truly make this album a great and addicting listen. On “The Redshifter”, the keys never really come out front, but simply complement the guitars, and in contrast, on album opener “Nail” it’s the keys that drive melody. The variation is plentiful, but never disrupts the flow, or overall somber atmosphere.

While the melody is what truly makes the album, it doesn’t work to over shadow the other elements of the music, as each holds its place and does a fine job. The bottom end is very solid, and made even more so by a bass you can actually hear without difficulty. Vocally, Jukka Pelkonen has improved leaps and bounds from his debut with the band last time around where his performance was pretty one dimensional. Here, his standard and nothing too special growls are again dominant (yet more fitting this time), but there is a great increase in the use of sorrowful sounding clean vocals that come off sounding as a cross between the cleans of Dan Swano, Mikael Stanne, and Peter Steele. “Greeneyes” is completely made up of these vocals, but other instances show up in “A Shadowkey”, “No Breaking Point” where it’s a super catchy chorus, the aforementioned “Nail” and “The Return”, “The Second Flame” and album closer “Distant Light Highway”, where the verses are more or less whispered.

You may have noticed I made two references to Edge of Sanity, and it should be of no surprise really as Mr. Swano himself expertly produced the opus. I must say he did an impeccable job.

One of the things I most enjoy about The Redshift is the flow of it – nearly 50 minutes spread over 11 tracks just breezes by. This to me is always a sign of a great album as I get lost in it, and when it’s over, I immediately want to hear it again.

The bottom line is The Redshift is a remarkable and masterful piece of melodic death metal that not only fans of the genre should enjoy, but any of you who were fans early on that have long since forgotten due to the retarded amount of bands attempting it. It may not click right away, but I found through repeated listens new layers of awesomeness that kept me coming back to discover more. “Amazing” barely even begins to scratch the surface.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
November 11th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Larry "Staylow" Owens

    The album hits streets here in the states today, by the way.


  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Definitely a return to form of Spirits and August light.
    I didnt care for Jukka Pelkonen’s clean vocals though


  3. Commented by: Stiffy0000

    Very nice review. Spot on. This is epic. Watch this band


  4. Commented by: Larry "Staylow" Owens

    You don’t his cleans Erik? I love that shit. It’s so Swano-esque, and I love that dudes voice. Edge of Sanity rules my face!


  5. Commented by: Dan

    I’ve heard mixed reviews on this band for a long time, but I think it might be time to check them out. The Dark Tranquillity comparisons have always been what caught my eye. I’m a big DT fan but they’ve been on auto-pilot since Damage Done (magnum opus IMO) and I’ve been looking for a new melo-death fix. I thought Detonation were going to take that place, but Emission Phase was a real snoozer.


  6. Commented by: Deepsend Records

    I’ll have to give this a few more listens with all of the praise I have heard about this album. I hate the vocals and always have. I really think they prevent this band from being one of the elite of the genre.


  7. Commented by: ceno

    I dig this band and the album a lot. These guys are one of those few that do stand out in the over-crowded melodic death scene.


  8. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Jukka Pelkonen sounds SO much better on this album than on the last one. He really sounds Swano-ish. Not alike because let’s face it, no one can sing/growl like him, but an agreeable facsimile. The only thing holding back Omnium Gatherum was the vocals, but now they can become a respected player in the overcrowded melodeath sweepstakes.


  9. Commented by: plaguemyheavensblack

    Thats good to hear about the vocals, cause like others have said, they’re whats really held me back in the past from getting into these guys, and the “gothenburg” style of swedish death is my fav type of shit.


  10. Commented by: ceno

    Jukka was a singer on last year’s Stuck Here On Snake’s Way and that album was pretty solid too. I think it’s their former vocalist that many find difficulty listening to. On the other hand, I heard a lot of complaints concerning Jukka as well. Some people think he’s got a disgusting voice. I absolutely disagree with them ’cause this guy sounds so unique!


  11. Commented by: Staylow

    I dig his vocals too, clean or growl doesn’t matter. I think he fits well – even more so now than on the last album.


  12. Commented by: Dark

    Jukka’s voice has improved soo much on this new album, very nice!


  13. Commented by: Dark

    I meant New World Shadows ;)


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