Rating:
10
Omnium Gatherum - New World Shadows
4 February 2011


01. Everfields
02. Ego
03. New World Shadows
04. Soul Journeys
05. Nova Flame
06. An Infinite Mind
07. Watcher Of The Skies
08. The Distance
09. Deep Cold


I know, very few albums deserve the rating you can see on the left, but trust me, I could only think of two or three more that would. Omnium Gatherum have showed me another dimension of metal music that is both strange and awesome. New World Shadows cannot be compared to other bands or albums. Of course I could name a few out of the melodic death and gothenburg genre, but even if I would, one could not even think of how this record sounds like. People have to listen to it, there is no other way to explain the music, since it is that complex and original. Hailing from Finland, Omnium Gatherum created their final breakthrough with New World Shadows, a nine-song album that runs for about 52 minutes.

I think the best way to describe this album is to do it by its single parameters and instruments, because there are especially three things what make this album new and unique. At first, the keyboards are not as much in the foreground as usual and do not often play the lead melodies. They rather work as a foundation together with the bass and the vocals. Yes, this marks the second special, the vocals growled by Jukka Pelkonen. His voice is very deep and his tone does not often change, that is why his vocals often work like a rhythm guitar. Where his vocals are missing, like in the wonderful instrumental "Watcher Of The Skies," a second guitar fills the gap, which is not always there during sung parts. And now we have reached the third aspect, we only have one guitar player in Omnium Gatherum. His name is Markus Vanhala and he is the mastermind of all the music. It is mainly his lead guitar riffing that dances above the base of drums, bass, keyboards and vocals.

The guitar riffs reach from edged dissonance to catchy and harmonious anthems. Especially the palm muted melodies like in "Soul Journeys" contain both aspects at the same time. Concerning the vocals one can hear that although they sound dark like hell itself they still contain harmony in it and a dignified character. This may be a result of either technique or talent, but in any case makes me say that Jukka Pelkonen has the only death metal voice that I could think of in an opera because of its glorious sound.

Overall this album has it all and shows it all. Omnium Gatherum have turned the way of songwriting in melodeath and show a new style that foreshadows like a new world. It builds from a heavy and dark foundation, contains vocals that sound better than a human could do and guitar melodies dancing above the atmosphere. Sounds like your usual gothenburg metal? It is not! Originality is the keyword of New World Shadows and every second is worthy. Some may laugh but I think others do understand when I call this a new era and say: Welcome to the death metal opera!

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 10


Band profile: Omnium Gatherum
Album: New World Shadows


 


written by Windrider | 07.05.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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warrior_of_ice - 07.05.2011 at 19:14  
Couldn't agree more
MechanisT - 07.05.2011 at 19:46  
I was going to write a review for it man, you beat me to it! Good job, though. Agreed on the general description, though the rating's a bit high in my opinion. Though I wouldn't go as far as calling it "generic", the originality does not deserve a 10 by any means. Excellent album, one of the great surprises of the year, and a strong contender for album of the year.
Windrider - 07.05.2011 at 20:19  
Written by MechanisT on 07.05.2011 at 19:46

Though I wouldn't go as far as calling it "generic", the originality does not deserve a 10 by any means.

Haha funny I was about to include a sentence "This album is the opposite of being generic" but I deleted it due to the word limit. I wanted to explain the 10 in originality with it, but nevertheless thanks for your comment
Troy Killjoy - 07.05.2011 at 20:40  
I ignored the initial hype surrounding this before giving it a listen, but even then it wasn't anything remarkable. Probably a 6 or 7 out of 10 from me, it's pretty run-of-the-mill keyboard-laden melodeath.
BlueMobius - 08.05.2011 at 06:20  
10 is a little high there. I listened to this and it was pretty average. The Red Shift was better and their first album was the best.
neonxaos - 08.05.2011 at 13:09  
I agreee with most of this, but the vocals drag the overall thing a little down for me. Perhaps it's because I've been listening to Monolith by In Mourning at the same time - really impressed with the growling there. Anyway, some people seem dissatisfied with the lack of an in-your-face wow factor on this release. All I can say is that this is an album about pervading atmosphere, not godlike shredding. The technique at display here is still mindblowing to me, but in restraint rather than excess. At first listen, you may get the "typical melodeath" vibe, but it really is much more. And OG simply know how to put together something that just sounds awesome and keeps sounding awesome after many listens. Highly recommended.
chaosscizzors - 08.05.2011 at 20:43  
This album is an '8' at best. i really don't see where you're getting your conclusions.
BehzadSh - 09.05.2011 at 10:12  
I think 10 is a little high, But "New World Shadow" is the best album of "Omnium Gatherum"
Ag Fox - 10.05.2011 at 11:03  
Written by BlueMobius on 08.05.2011 at 06:20

10 is a little high there. I listened to this and it was pretty average. The Red Shift was better and their first album was the best.
I thought the redshift is better too. Have yet to hear their debut...
Vikingr - 10.05.2011 at 22:23  
Excellent Album, well deserved of the 10
The Voyager - 11.05.2011 at 00:16  
I just kind of noticed this review, and I have to say, this is getting kind of ridiculous. A 10 for originality? A 10 for songwriting? A 10 overall? Come on. This is getting to be one of the most overhyped albums in recent memory. Only one off the top of my head that I can think of that beats it is Wintersun.
Troy Killjoy - 11.05.2011 at 01:18  
Written by The Voyager on 11.05.2011 at 00:16

I just kind of noticed this review, and I have to say, this is getting kind of ridiculous. A 10 for originality? A 10 for songwriting? A 10 overall? Come on. This is getting to be one of the most overhyped albums in recent memory. Only one off the top of my head that I can think of that beats it is Wintersun.

What about The Great Mass?
The Voyager - 11.05.2011 at 02:30  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 11.05.2011 at 01:18

What about The Great Mass?

I thought The Great Mass was an excellent album. Do I think it's the 69th greatest metal album of all time (or whatever it is right now)? Absolutely not. But I think it's a damn good album. Not 10 out of 10 material, but more deserving of the praise it's getting than this album is, in my opinion. Still a little overblown though, definitely.
Windrider - 11.05.2011 at 16:40  
Written by The Voyager on 11.05.2011 at 00:16

I just kind of noticed this review, and I have to say, this is getting kind of ridiculous. A 10 for originality? A 10 for songwriting? A 10 overall? Come on. This is getting to be one of the most overhyped albums in recent memory. Only one off the top of my head that I can think of that beats it is Wintersun.


Well I think this is even (slightly) better than Wintersun, 'cause here is nothing (really NOTHING) I can think of that could have been made better, and even in Wintersun there are some passages or even single notes that could sound a tiny bit better. New World Shadows is a great example of how (metal) music should be, different songs with intros, outros, changing passages, catchy refrains, heavy and haunting melodies and even some with two different refrains.
Btw there is a new article which I would recommend to many of you: http://www.metalstorm.net/pub/article.php?article_id=920
The Voyager - 11.05.2011 at 17:34  
Written by Windrider on 11.05.2011 at 16:40


Well I think this is even (slightly) better than Wintersun, 'cause here is nothing (really NOTHING) I can think of that could have been made better, and even in Wintersun there are some passages or even single notes that could sound a tiny bit better. New World Shadows is a great example of how (metal) music should be, different songs with intros, outros, changing passages, catchy refrains, heavy and haunting melodies and even some with two different refrains.
Btw there is a new article which I would recommend to many of you: http://www.metalstorm.net/pub/article.php?article_id=920

To be honest, saying this is slightly better than Wintersun doesn't really have much meaning to me, as I think the Wintersun album is grossly overrated and entirely mediocre. I just don't see what's so special about this album, and I probably never will.
Daydream Nation - 17.05.2011 at 19:25  
To be honest, your assessment of originality and complexity confuses me. This is by no means an original album to me-- albeit a sturdy album as you mention. In fact, I haven't heard an album this consistent but this unoriginal since Noumena's Absence.
Edmund Fogg - 17.05.2011 at 21:51  
This is a good example of non-staff review. The rating is far too high. From the fiew tracks I listened too, it sounds good but not worth a purchase and far from a perfect sound
Troy Killjoy - 18.05.2011 at 01:23  
Written by Edmund Fogg on 17.05.2011 at 21:51

This is a good example of non-staff review.

I'll be selfish and take that as a direct compliment. Thanks!
Edmund Fogg - 18.05.2011 at 01:40  
@troy : no problems. You should take it as a compliment and other reviewers as well. It is a serious job and demands a keen ear and a level of objectivity that not a lot of people have (me included)
Spacerunner - 20.05.2011 at 18:12  
Thanks for your review. This is my favorite album of last years. It brought me back many things that I loved so much in former melodic death.
Mikyz - 29.05.2011 at 10:04  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.05.2011 at 20:40

I ignored the initial hype surrounding this before giving it a listen, but even then it wasn't anything remarkable. Probably a 6 or 7 out of 10 from me, it's pretty run-of-the-mill keyboard-laden melodeath.


Same here, it might be better than the usual generic BS, but it still isn't as impressive as its made out to be. There are a tons of albums that blow this one out of the water for which I didn't even give a 9/10, counting this year's releases only.
Parasomnia - 21.06.2011 at 23:10  
This album kicked some ass, not your everday melodeath band. "Deep Cold" has one of the most emotion filled endings I've ever heard \m/
Daniell - 21.06.2011 at 23:56  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.05.2011 at 20:40

I ignored the initial hype surrounding this before giving it a listen, but even then it wasn't anything remarkable. Probably a 6 or 7 out of 10 from me, it's pretty run-of-the-mill keyboard-laden melodeath.


I agree.
Not bad for a boring sub-genre that is melodeath, but a hundred miles from a 10. Melodeath freaks feel free to disagree
ErnilEnNaur - 14.08.2011 at 00:33  
Written by Edmund Fogg on 17.05.2011 at 21:51

This is a good example of non-staff review.


Don't you mean this is a BAD example of a guest review?
Edmund Fogg - 15.08.2011 at 04:00  
Written by Guest on 14.08.2011 at 00:33

Written by Edmund Fogg on 17.05.2011 at 21:51

This is a good example of non-staff review.


Don't you mean this is a BAD example of a guest review?


Nah I think it's a good example of the lack of objectivity behind a lot of guest reviews
MétalNoir - 29.08.2011 at 21:55  
Can't agree with your rating. 10 for originality and songwriting??? C'mon try Be'Lakor's "Stone's Reach" and tell me without laughing "New World Shadows" is "that complex and original".
Growing - 21.02.2014 at 19:00  
Great cover.
BloodJuNkie - 24.04.2014 at 13:00  
Well it's a good album, not a perfect one. Personally i prefer Beyond more than it.
Wes - 21.05.2014 at 16:04  
I might prefer beyond, but both are 10s to me.
I just started to really listen to this one, and I love it.
Ace Frawley - 27.06.2014 at 05:38  
Hard to accept the legitimacy of the rating of 10 for originality, when the last track (as good as it is) sounds like an Opeth rip-off and the overall album, as Troy Killjoy has said sounds like "pretty run-of-the-mill keyboard-laden melodeath". I think it's a decent enough album, and obviously you love it, but in terms of where it stands in the pantheon of metal history, 10s across the board is a bit reckless.
Risto - 27.06.2014 at 11:10  
Written by Ace Frawley on 27.06.2014 at 05:38

Hard to accept the legitimacy of the rating of 10 for originality, when the last track (as good as it is) sounds like an Opeth rip-off and the overall album, as Troy Killjoy has said sounds like "pretty run-of-the-mill keyboard-laden melodeath".

Saying "Deep Cold" is an Opeth rip-off is as reckless as giving this album all 10's across the board. There's absolutely nothing that would support your claim, a long death metal track with clean vox is obviously not enough Omnium Gatherum have a pretty distinct sound for a melodeath band and I would score this album at least a 7 in originality.
Ace Frawley - 27.06.2014 at 13:43  
Written by Risto on 27.06.2014 at 11:10

Saying "Deep Cold" is an Opeth rip-off is as reckless as giving this album all 10's across the board. There's absolutely nothing that would support your claim, a long death metal track with clean vox is obviously not enough Omnium Gatherum have a pretty distinct sound for a melodeath band and I would score this album at least a 7 in originality.


There's a riff in "Deep Cold" which sounds like it's been lifted from Blackwater Park.

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