Omnium Gatherum - Grey Heavens review



Reviewer:
8.3

306 users:
8.17
Band: Omnium Gatherum
Album: Grey Heavens
Release date: February 2016


01. The Pit
02. Skyline
03. Frontiers
04. Majesty And Silence
05. Rejuvenate!
06. Foundation
07. The Great Liberation
08. Ophidian Sunrise
09. These Grey Heavens
10. Storm Front


Finland's Omnium Gatherum is one of those bands currently dominating the metal scene with consistent high-quality efforts. Early 2016 sees their 7th album being released via Life Force Records. In a world where fans dissect every move made on a melodic death record, I have to point out that they elegantly did play it safe by retaining the services of Dan Swanö as a producer. This brings continuity to their discography while allowing them to play within the boundaries of their sound.

While not being immediately obvious, the musicians made some adjustments that set a path towards a more direct approach on Grey Heavens. While their previous two albums were all about dynamic changes, this one does take the foot off the pedal at times to better cruise through the sonic landscape. As a result, the whole record is less straightforward. So it takes a few listens to develop its full potential.

But fear not, for Omnium Gatherum has kept all the essentials that made them a success. The guitar work of Markus Vanhala is as usual admirable. His ability to come through with poignant riffs and solos has not been compromised by his work with Insomnium. The aggressively-driven guitars melodies of Joonas Kotto are perfectly enhanced by Jarmo Pikka's drumming and Jukka Pelkonen's trademark low-guttural growls.

The set of tracks might feel less cohesive when compared to New World Shadows or to Beyond. However, what Grey Heavens lacks in uniformity, it makes up on variety. Songs like "Skyline" or "Frontiers" are at times more in tune with melodic rock than today's metal, showing that the band has a wider musical comfort zone. Another track that surprised me was "Majesty and Silence". With its mid-tempo and progression, it reminded me of the classic Gothenburg sound from Sweden [In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, and Swanö's Edge Of Sanity].

"Grey Heavens is an album full of feeling sweeping through the whole scale of human emotions and mystery like a pendulum. It is a dark album yet shining bright with positive aura as well. The thing about this album is that while being majestic it is still fast and aggressive. This combination really is what we were looking for after the release of Beyond. Beyond was so epic we decided to make the new album be more in the "in your face" style. Still Grey Heavens is epic too in its different parts." These were the very words that singer Jukka Pelkonen used during our interview. It sums things up perfectly.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 04.03.2016 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 287 users
04.03.2016 - 21:53
Windrider
Raureif
Great review, great album!
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04.03.2016 - 23:00
Nihil Aeternum
Great review!
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05.03.2016 - 03:11
Uldreth
I have not managed to get through this album, but I am a drunk now, so I am unashamed to say that I really like Frontiers for that juicy modern post-hardcore riff that dominates the second half of that track.
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05.03.2016 - 18:30
s_t_s
I agree with this review especially on the positive feeling that gets out of some tracks ! They give me goose flesh and make me feel like i'm full of energy ! I also agree when comparing them with Dark Tranquillity (new album is under construction btw !) and old in Flames (when I mean old I mean up to Siren Charms). Really nice album !
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05.03.2016 - 19:43
Verdun_sc
I feel differently about this album than everyone else here, it seems. It's disappointing because they are entirely playing it safe, doing nothing that they havent already (and mostly better) on New World Shadows and (to some extent) Beyond. The first three tracks are entirely filler. Majesty and Silence and a few others in the middle are pretty darn good stuff that could've fit tidily onto an EP, even though they still would've been nothing new. It's all like Insomnium's recent output where it's basically the same thing getting rehashed.
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05.03.2016 - 21:48
Warman
Erotic Stains
Written by Verdun_sc on 05.03.2016 at 19:43

I feel differently about this album than everyone else here, it seems. It's disappointing because they are entirely playing it safe, doing nothing that they havent already (and mostly better) on New World Shadows and (to some extent) Beyond.

I agree. That was my very first impression and I still feel that way. That's why it so confusing that I like this album so much. I feel like it's nothing new, but somehow some of the best they've done.
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05.03.2016 - 22:34
Daniell
_爱情_
Such a terrible album. 6 would be a generous rating.
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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06.03.2016 - 21:30
s_t_s
Written by Verdun_sc on 05.03.2016 at 19:43

I feel differently about this album than everyone else here, it seems. It's disappointing because they are entirely playing it safe, doing nothing that they havent already (and mostly better) on New World Shadows and (to some extent) Beyond. The first three tracks are entirely filler. Majesty and Silence and a few others in the middle are pretty darn good stuff that could've fit tidily onto an EP, even though they still would've been nothing new. It's all like Insomnium's recent output where it's basically the same thing getting rehashed.


I agree when you say it's nothing new yet to me it shows that they have found their sound. I'm not familiar with older albums of OG but from what I've heard they used to sound quite different so I would rather say that they have managed to change skin. Your comment about Insomnium's latest album makes me understand why you cannot like this album as I also think that Insomnium has found the perfect balance in their latest album (while the previous even tho good tended to be quite forgettable).

Yet they are still one big step behind Dark Tranquility...
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16.03.2016 - 22:06
Teravolt_Danny
The Great Liberation is, by FAR, the best song on this album.
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