March 25, 2011

Music Review: Omnium Gatherum - New World Shadows

New World ShadowsNever heard of Omnium Gatherum before, but it would appear they have been around for some time delivering their brand of melodic death metal since their debut back in 2002. The Finnish band has just know come to my attention with their fifth full-length release. I like them, but at the same time I do not feel they are taking me any place new. This is not necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact this could be sen as being a welcome occurrence when you consider some of the other stuff I have listened to of late it is refreshing to listen to a band that knows what it wants to do and executes the plan with skill and finesse.

So many bands try to balance the melody with some brutality, pop up the melody by relying on clean vocals, or they just aren't that good at pulling it all together. It doesn't help that metalcore co-opted many of these techniques thus leaving the melodic death metal genre to somewhat flounder as a "has been." Fortunately true music fans, not scene kids, understand that the genre never went away and fans will always be able to find the good music even in genres that are looking to regain a toehold in the big picture.

I am not saying that Omnium Gatherum fell off and needed to find their way back, I mean this is the first time I am listening to them. But I have found it hard to listen to melodeath and find something new. Sometimes I feel that the genre was strip mined in the earlier years by the likes of In Flames and Soilwork. Of course, this isn't true, as there is always something new waiting to be discovered. Not to mention the idea of bands executing n the formula. Not everything has to be cutting edge and boundary pushing. With Omnium Gatherum I have found a band that knows how to execute.

New World Shadows is a really solid album. These guys deliver some incredibly melodic music laced with keyboards and then topped with some fantastically harsh vocals. It is a bland that works perfectly well. Sure, there are a few moments of clean vocals, but it is far from the rule. They walk a fine line and I really like how it comes together. The vocals are the harsh, death variety but there is something about how they work with the oh-so-melodic guitar driven music that makes it very easy to listen to.

No, not breaking new ground, not necessarily destined to be a classic, but eminently listenable. These guys know how to play and that paired with solid production results in a fine sounding recording. I may just have to look into their back catalog.


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