, alongside Dark
Tranquility and Insomnium
, has been known to many metalgoers as one of the greatest monuments of melodic death metal, and for a good reason. Established in 1996 from Karhula, Finland, this sextet has unleashed a plentiful sleuth of some of the most powerful and breathtaking melodic metal ever to hit the eardrums of listeners, and, as a result, has also obtained quite a large following. Their best work thus far, however, has been their 2011 full-length “New World Shadows
,” a simply phenomenal record packed with distinct tracks, excellent energy, and unforgettable melodies. It truly set the bar incredibly high for what was to arrive next later on. This is where Omnium Gatherum
’s sixth full-length album “Beyond
,” released early in 2013. With “New World Shadows
” being such a spectacle, the sextet returns with the intent to add another stellar piece of melodic metal to their lengthy collection.
In this record, the musicianship is as wonderful as ever. The death metal growls continue to thrive as in the band’s previous efforts, and they are well done. However, in regards to the vocals, the greatest highlight would be the clean singing. This is an area where “Beyond
” truly has “New World Shadows
” beat, because not only is the angelic singing more powerful and transcendent than before, but it has also increased in amount, creating even more dreamy melodies for this record. The drums are also nicely played, balancing between slower and faster tempos upon a strong line of musical dynamicity. However, aside from all of this, the strongest element of the musicianship is what it has always been: The guitar work. The beauteous melodies soar throughout the record without overdoing it, and they not only send chills down the audience’s spines, they generate a euphoric atmosphere that gives the music an even more epic feel as well. As for the sound production, while it does tend to sound a little muddy at times, it does make all of the musicians’ vocal and instrumental work shine distinctively. As a whole, the musicianship and production are both done quite well in “Beyond
For fans of Omnium Gatherum
’s previous efforts with their melodic death metal sound, expect “Beyond
” to be just that. In this record, the band stays true to its roots and creates a fitting sequel in respect of the sounds of “New World Shadows
,” composing of majestic melodic metal that delivers breathtaking melodies and spatial atmospheres. Each track is easily distinguishable from one another, allowing the record to conjure up something different as each song passes by. Along with that, the tracks themselves are solidly structured, showcasing great flow and transition. Nothing
sounds forced or blatantly sporadic, allowing the listeners to glide through each track without ramming into any obstacle. At the same time, though, “Beyond
” also demonstrates nice dynamicity between fast, steady, and slow paces, outlined by the drum work as stated earlier. The ingredients of excellent musicianship, fantastic melodies, concentrated structure, and nice dynamicity all coalesce into “Beyond
,” a potent helping of melodic metal. Although it certainly is not as memorable or gripping as its predecessor, this album is unwavering proof that Omnium Gatherum
has not run scarce of their steam.
The lyrics also serve as another one of this album’s strong points. Thematically, the lyrics focus on more personal topics, including love, internal conflicts, family, and other parallel matters. They are written in a very emotionally and somewhat poetically, utilizing a little imagery throughout to underline the lyrics’ dramatic appeal. However, this is not all that the lyrics should be praised for; they also deserve recognition for how fittingly they amalgamate with the dramatic tone of the melodic metal itself, as well as somewhat elevate it. They are artistically emotional lyrics combined with artistically emotional music. Overall, as well as the music itself, “Beyond
” excels in displaying lyrics that not only are heart-bracing to read, but they also do justice when heard alongside the album’s sonically melodic sounds.
After the band’s previous works, “Beyond
” did not at all disappoint. The musicianship is stellar, the sound production is well done, despite the occasional blurriness, the music flows smoothly and the structures are well-built, and the lyrics accompany the melodic metal perfectly in terms of emotional appeal. As stated earlier, although “New World Shadows
” continues to stand on the pedestal as Omnium Gatherum
’s most prominent release, “Beyond
” turned out to be a very enjoyable record. The transcendent melodies, as this album’s greatest strength, continue to gracefully lace the listeners’ ears and emit grand musical atmosphere in this fine piece of melodic metal. If you’re a fan who is craving for some well-built and well-mastered melodic death metal, “Beyond
” is certainly one great record to turn to. Even after almost two decades of soaring aloft the metal scene as one of the most monumental icons of the melodic metal genre, Omnium Gatherum
has once again proven that they will not be losing at their own game anytime soon.