Omnium Gatherum – Beyond

Today we have Jude Mascarenhas reviewing the new album from Omnium Gatherum titled Beyond, released via Lifeforce Records. We usually don’t go for a track by track review, but then Mr.Jude here seemed to be too enamored with the album that he insisted it’d be the best way to put it across to the reader. Read away lads!

Omnium-Gatherum-Beyond

Tracklist :

1. Luoto
2. New Dynamic
3. In the Rim
4. Nightwalkers
5. Formidable
6. The Sonic Sign
7. Who Could Say
8. The Unknowing
9. Living in Me
10. White Palace

Omnium Gatherum are a melodic death metal band from Finland that has been around since 1996.

With the level of experimentation going on in today’s metal scene it was a refreshing break to be reviewing some straight forward melodic death metal. Now while I have heard alot about omnium gatherum, I hadn’t actually heard any of their releases. which really left a blank slate while reviewing Beyond.

TRACK BY TRACK :

luoTo – the first track off the album gives off a very ‘sparkly’ feel but not in the R-Patz way. When you’re done listening to the first few seconds of that chimey clean guitar transition into that soaring lead passage. You kinda get the gist of what Omnium Gatherum is all about : Dynamics and ambience

The New Dynamic – A little cheeky for a song title but unfortunately here’s the part of the album that I really have a bone to pick with : The vocals. The vocals just don’t fit in with the beautiful soundscapes the instruments manage to create. It’s like shoving a piece of bacon between two slices of fluffy cheesecake. That too it’s generic over the counter bacon, not the good stuff. Now I know some of you are ok with pairing sweet things and bacon (You heretics) But I’ll take the soaring clean vocal delivery towards the end.

In The Rim – The driving tempo of the previous track carries on into In The Rim. This is a pretty straightforward track but I do believe the vocals actually gel with the music and the arrangement on the track is pretty amazing as well.

Nightwalkers -Not really fond of this song. This track trudges along slowly and unfortunately puts a lot of emphasis on the vocals. You’ve got a musical break which is pretty trippy but it can’t save the song from sounding like a filler

Formidable – ok that intro sounds alot like Hotel California, but despite this heinous crime I really adore this track a lot as it manages to shift between sullen driving and upbeat trippy atmospheres quiet well and those clean passages have aurally pleasing acoustic guarantee some tasty bass licks to boot

The Sonic Sign – Cheesy intro. It’s like Dragonforce on valium. But despite that deceptively cheesy intro, the song does have some really nifty riffs, plus the best lead work on the album, they really do tear it up on this one.

Who Could Say – This song could easily pass for an 80’s pop-rock song (minus the uber-reverb on the snare drums) but the transition into that growling passage really hits you like a righthook cushioned with a dozen pillows. What the track lacks in complexity, it makes up with beautiful melodies, soul and an extra dash of epicness.

The Unknowing – This is the most, dare I say it, beautiful, track of the album. The track oozes epicness like a Lord of the Rings movie. The growls fit this track perfectly, and the addition of clean vocals would’ve hit this one right out of the park. The music is heavy but the overlay of subtlety and the generally soothing atmosphere make this a wonderful track.

Living In Me – The solo guitar on the intro could tell you that this is probably gonna be one of the heavier tracks on the album. And you wouldn’t be wrong. The last few tracks on this album is where Omnium  Gatherum really seem to hit home. The song is groovy, driving and has some really well-placed riffs. Straightforward in song structure but exceptional arrangement and sick riffs make this worth the listen. Also, the song has a sick solo with some stellar lead guitar passages.

White Palace – The sleeper hit on the album. Moderately paced and laced with that atmosphere of serenity. It’s almost like they want you to lie down in some open field, staring at the sky while you contemplate the wonders of the cosmos. This song could easily contest for best album closer of the year. Not because of extraordinary music or kickass riffs, but the ability to fit the mood of the albim perfectly and give it that final gentle push before it closes.

Just a heads up : It ends with the same riff on LuoTo, which probably is a hint that you might wanna play the album all over again.

 

PRODUCTION:

The production on this album is one of the vital elements as to why the album is so good. The ambience on the album with the synths and strings, and the underlying guitars gives you that feeling of ethereal awe. The same way you’d be impressed if you were to suddenly see a dragon burst out on the silver screen. While the latter is something we’ve grown accustomed to in movies.

The synths saturate the album while the guitars add the technicality without sounding wanky. The distortion doesn’t sound overly crisp but that suits the sound of the album just fine. The lead tone is probably influenced by a certain bald, sunglass-toting virtuso, but it is orgasmic (Ha..Zohan) The bass is actually audible and lends to the mood perfectly. I can’t imagine those sparkly clean guitar passages without those funky bass lines to add that extra tinge.

The cookie cutter growls just don’t cut it, even if clean vocals were to be properly introduced. The style and delivery is boring and stale and lacks the punch to perfectly top off the beautiful music.

Nothing special about the drums, just your regular melodic death metal drums. Lots of double kick, occasional half-timed blastbeats. Lather,rinse amd repeat. But hey, that’s exactly what this album calls for and I would’t have it any other way.

 

FINAL  REMARKS :

Few albums and bands can actually bridge the gap between heavy and ambient without overdoing any of the two or both. Omnium Gatherum have bridged a fine working link between the two but there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to vocals. I do hope Dan Tompkins comes in on a silver shining horse, wearing a white cape, after being tossed down an abyss while battli-…..ok enough LOTR references. Here’s wishing Omnium Gatherum the best of luck and that they continue to improve on this beautiful work of art.

 

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Lifeforms – Multidimensional

Today we have reviewer ‘Dev Arbikshe‘ reviewing the new album from Lifeforms titled ‘Multidimensional‘ released via Lifeforce Records.

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Tracklist:
01. Descent Into Madness
02. Multidimensional
03. Illogical
04. String Theory
05. The Ones
06. Digitize
07. Reflections II
08. Paradox
09. Interlude
10. Home

Music is one of those art forms which tops any other art form because it comprises of sound, poetry (in form of lyrics) and is compact in that it is brief compared to other art forms. But what makes it unique is that it can unfold a story of its own in such short time!
Multidimensional is one such album that achieves this feat. And it is not every day that you come across an album which has a compact beginning, middle and an end.  But I’d be honest I didn’t like the songs at first.,as the vocals seemed guttural and yet I couldn’t overlook the melodic elements and the impact of songs as a whole.  The songs here somehow reminded me of the trailer to the album ‘’Kolossus’’ by’’ Keeps of Kalessin’’ which is as good as any trailer of a movie based on ancient mythology. The point is ‘’Lifeforms’’ knows what they are doing and the messages are put across through their music.
The title ‘’Multidimensional’’ says it all. There is so much to explore here. There are no compromised fillers and every song has something in it which is unique and a reason enough not to skip any of the songs. But this is one of those offerings which is best enjoyed with going in for it without any pre-conceived ideas or expectations. This is not an album to be compared with other benchmark records in this genre like that of Born of Osiris ‘’ The Discovery’’. And to limit something by defining it as a part of particular genre is creating obstacles in enjoying music for what it is. The quintet of’’ Lifeforms’’ has amalgamated the elements of death core, djent and progressive music creating an animal with its own life.

To me every song conjured up an imagery creating a story in images with each passing second without even worrying about lyrics. For instance ‘illogical’ gave me chills and conjured up an imagery of badass killer bees flying with swords! The hurricane like atmosphere is the striking element of this album which bludgeons its way into your head and out of it. It will surely knock your socks off.

There is no dearth of chugging breakdowns. The test of good music is that it gets stuck in your head and that cannot be the case if the songs are not ‘’multidimensional’’. But the music that grows on you is even better as it stays on your playlist for long without the listener getting bored of it. This is a crossbreed of melody and’ in your face ‘straight-up no nonsense tunes. ‘’Multidimensional ‘’will reveal itself in layers on every listen. There is so much that can be written about the songs but there’s no point dissecting them here. I’d leave it to you to find out. From dismissing it at first listen to getting lost in its amazing diverse layers, it sure is a reminder not to pigeonhole music and stay open.

Hanging Garden – At Every Door

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Tracklist:

1. Ten Thousands Cranes (6:21)
2. Ash And Dust (6:25)
3. Heigra (6:33)
4. Wormwood (6:23)
5. At Every Door (4:24)
6. The Cure (8:20)
7. Evenfall (4:53)
8. To End All Ages (10:33)

Hanging Garden… I bet ‘Babylon’ comes to mind. But it does seem as if band names keep getting ludicrous over time, but not be fooled!! I chanced upon the Finnish Hanging Garden while going through the rest of Omnium Gatherum’s label(Lifeforce Records) mates. After being entranced by the beauty  ‘Ash and Dust’(First single off their album ‘At Every Door’), I headed on to explore the rest of their discography . The band having established themselves in as early as 2004, have released two full lengths on Spikefarm records At Every Door: Inherit the Eden and Teotawki. ‘Teotawki’ was the only album that I bought off flipkart, but it failed to impress me for it sounded like your average death/doom with drab gothic elements. And for some reason the vocals seemed a tad too hollow and less befitting for the kind of music that they intended to portray. The album did have its moments though, but were too few and far between for one to sit up and take notice. Yet I was far too enamored with their latest single ‘Ash and Dust’, and something kept pressing me to check this new album out. Finally I did get got hold of a promo, and boy wasn’t I floored!

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