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Omnium Gatherum - BeyondIt’s hard to improve after releasing an album like New World Shadows, which Omnium Gatherum created in 2011. The album was so close to melodic death metal perfection as anyone has ever gotten to. Omnium Gatherum is very close with Beyond. The new album takes their music into a more moody, ominous and dark direction without forgetting the basics that got them this far.

The new album is very thoughtful in its construction and arrangements.  It’s definitely a piece of art that should be enjoyed as a whole.  Beyond starts with Luoto, an instrumental piece that takes the listener to a quiet isle in the Baltic sea where loneliness and cold sea breezes build a harsh beauty. The whole album has a feeling of Scandinavian autumn in which brief moments of lingering sunshine reminding you of the summer. The New Dynamic, In The Rim and The Unknowing are trademarks of their big sound with layered arrangements that are packed with feeling that really move you.

The band allows space for each of the musicians and aim to make the songs stand on their own without relying on virtuous playing from anyone in the band. The result is greater than the sum of its parts. There are no four octave solos required as the album has aggression, fear and desperation but no teenage angst; no pointless shouting.  The album is the product of people who faced and beat their demons turning the experience into Slavic beauty that stems from sadness. The music is laid back and the band is not in a hurry to go anywhere– a sign of maturity that only comes from years of making music, albums and touring.

Even though Omnium Gatherum has gone through numerous lineup changes they sound like they have played together forever. The guitars of Markus Vanhala and Joonas Koto complement each other ad effortlessly moving from thrash metal riffs to jazzy harmonies happens so fluently that you might even miss it.   Jarmo Pikka has a gentle touch with his drumming that is not flashy but delivers unbelievable selection of moods without diving too much into technicality.  Erkki Silvennoinen on bass and Aapo Koivisto on keyboards summons haunting backgrounds without the risk of sounding cheesy.  And finally the growling vocals of Jukka Pelkonen, finish the sound of Omnium Gatherum with brutality that balances the beauty of the music.

There aren’t many misses with this album but if one has to point something out it would be the closing track, White Palace, at eleven minutes long.  The guys indulged themselves a bit too much with slow riffing and delivered a song, which might be awesome to play, but could use some trimming to be more effective for the listeners.

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