OMNIUM GATHERUM - STEAL THE LIGHT - RAGE OF ACHILLES
Ooooh Omnium Gatherum, that's like so kewl.
Let me check... that's right! They are... wait for it... hold your breath... calm down... it's coming... breath in, breath out... Finnish! No wonder there is a naked man's back side on the cover.
Mikko plays keyboards. His granny is so proud of him. He is her little angel. She knows he will outgrow this 'metal' phase thingie and settle down with a good Finnish... girl. Two of the band members' last names are Pikka. Could it be that no one in that family can get a girlfriend? Seriously, get a girl and move on guys. And who is that on the inside cover wearing that, oh-so-Amorphis, Dervish-type blouse? He looks so pensive. Perhaps he is asking himself how he got into this mess which includes standing next to the guy in the Slayer T-shirt? What a farce. These kids are probably influenced by Children Of Boredom and Amorpiss to no end and are now waiting for the sales figures to rush in before they launch their world tour (debate rages, 'should we open for Slayer or have Judas Priest support us?')- especially the keyboardist is so adamant! All information will be announced on the band's web site www.SAUNAlahti.fi/wanhala/OG. That is not a joke either. Check the address for yourself.
These guys almost take the sport out of it.
The Finnish metal scene is in such an abysmal shape that if a physician had to be called to relieve its suffering, the only choice would be Dr. Kevorkian - Ali "The Metallian"
OMNIUM GATHERUM - SPIRITS AND AUGUST LIGHT - RAGE OF ACHILLES
The music of Omnium Gatherum on Spirits And August Light is difficult to describe. The band is heavy one moment and soft another. The singer can growl and scream while the song delves into a melodic and impressive guitar lead. Whichever the case, the overall effect is constantly undermined by the presence of a keyboardist who insists on crippling the band. Then again, given the band's Finnish nationality having a grown man scream on top of keyboards is considered normal. Perhaps titles like The Emptiness Of Spirit and Amor Tonight further elucidate the band's approach. Having said all that, congratulations are due the band, engineer Nino Laurenne and Sonic pump Studio for the powerful sound. It elevates the album greatly. Here is one note of trivia with which to close the review: one does not have to listen too closely to hear the band copy Pat Benatar's Love Is A Battlefield on the song The Perfumed Garden. Just listen to the keyboard. - Ali "The Metallian"
OMNIUM GATHERUM - STUCK HERE ON SNAKES WAY - CANDLELIGHT
Candlelight Records should really stop picking up the refuse of Nuclear Blast. These bands could not deliver on NB and there is no reason why they would do any better on Candlelight. Case in point is Finland’s Omnium Gatherum. There was a fair amount of hype on the scene for these guys, but the band is essentially the same pop goth rock sound that their country is known for. Sure, Just Signs is a melancholy Sentenced rip off, but the rest of the album (with the exception of the cover picture) is methodical generica. New singer Jukka Pelkonen is standard stuff especially when he drifts into crooning on the aforementioned Just Signs. Most of the time he comes across as the son of Barney Greenway. The keyboards are of course there, as is the cartoonish lead guitar sound and the twangy riffs. The double bass drums go rat-tat-tat without any force and the obligatory whispered layers on several songs further reinforce the notion that Omnium Gatherum has an ominous future. A-Part Of God is fairly generic take on Dream Theater and some songs are slower than others. Yeah, this is generic Finnish 'metal.' The rudimentary Drudgery with its predictable arrangement says more than I ever could and Janne Markkanen might have agreed. The bassist recently left the band citing a lack of motivation. - Anna Tergel
OMNIUM GATHERUM - THE RED SHIFT - CANDLELIGHT
It consistently confuses one how labels love to point to a band’s recording charts success. Apparently, Omnium Gatherum’s previous album, Stuck Here On Snake’s Way, hit the Finnish album charts at position 31. That being Finland, the figure in all likelihood signifies sales of some 500 copies, but the more pertinent issue is the validity of advertising a band’s chart success. How does it matter to a metal fan that a band was on the sales chart? Should metal fans start purchasing Celine Dion albums now?
Of course, Omnium Gatherum has a full-time keyboardist so the act is not far removed from being a pop band by any objective measure, yet the good news is how the Finns have improved their approach. With a revamped line-up behind it The Red Shift delivers some hard punches and mercifully assigns the offending ebony and ivory man to the background. The sound is tight and loud, the growls have become deeper - but typically Finnish a la early Amorphis - and the variety of the music ensures a certain degree of dynamism. The music titillates between progressive touches and intricacies to heavier pounding heavy metal. The Return is almost progressive in nature, for instance, whereas its follow-up Shapes And Shades revs up the deep growls.
The Red Shift - a Communist manifesto - is miles better than the band’s earlier days. With similar improvement on the next several releases Omnium Gatherum will soon become a stellar band. And those are big words from Finland, the land of milk and keyboards. - Ali “The Metallian”