Omnium Gatherum - Beyond review
|Release date:||February 2013|
02. New Dynamic
03. In The Rim
06. The Sonic Sign
07. Who Could Say
08. The Unknowing
09. Living In Me
10. White Palace
11. Subdivisions [Rush cover] [feat. Dan Swanö] [digital bonus]
Now before you all think, "Oh god, not another melodeath fan who thinks that every new melodeath record is the greatest one there ever was and will be... much like the city of Qarth" I ask that you all hear me out as I truly believe that this album is exceptional and enough time has passed that, if I once was, I am no longer caught up in the hype that typically follows the release of every melodeath album.
If you are a fan of Omnium Gatherum's short, catchy, fast songs with plenty of jumpy melodies such as "The Distance" or "Ego" off New World Shadows, there are plenty of those on this album, too: "Living In Me", "New Dynamic", and "The Sonic Sign". And if you are a fan of Omnium Gatherum's relatively prog-like lengthy songs that were featured for the first time on New World Shadows, they are even better on Beyond. However, if you no longer enjoy melodeath or you just never liked it in the first place, then this album won't have any effect on you, as this is as melodic as it gets.
Taking a leaf out of Insomnium's book and crafting an instrumental introduction surpassing even "The Gale", "Luoto" is an excellent opener and whenever I hear "White Palace's" outro of "Luoto's" lead, my mind is blown. There are many fantastic tracks on this album, though "Nightwalkers" does tend to drag on a bit without really resolving into anything.
Each and every instrument can be heard clearly, and it really is nice to be able to hear the bass guitar for once, something which I thought was practically inaudible in New World Shadows, as well as most melodeath, really. The bass adds substantial depth to this album and along with the much louder keyboards, they create a slight ambient atmosphere.
Now, there has often been some… controversy surrounding the vocalist's "Cookie-Monster" growls and many believe them to completely ruin the music. However, the brutality and incomprehensibility of his growls have grown on me and now I believe them to amplify the beauty of the music through stark contrast rather than bludgeon it to death. The guitarists continue to write incredibly beautiful and seemingly simple melodies, yet layered with relatively progressive elements of complex harmonies, one may realize that this music is not simple; it is the gorgeous ramblings of a melodic musical mastermind with a high dose of inspiration.
The only downfall is the lack of originality; honestly this album isn't so different from New World Shadows, as made obvious by the comparisons of the formulas of the songs off each album. Nevertheless, this is excellent music and for fans of previous Omnium Gatherum albums, Dark Tranquillity, Insomnium, Be'lakor, In Mourning and Enthrope, this album is a must-have.
Highlights: "Luoto" "New Dynamic" "Formidable" "The Unknowing" "White Palace"
|I've been listening to Omnium Gatherum for a while and I like their stuff. Surely there's enough energy in their music to keep you going and the band seem to know what they're doing with their music, but let's face it; they're missing something, besides originality of course.
Beyond follows the same formula as New World Shadows and it certainly seems compelling for the ears, but terrible for the brain. The inconsistency is far too great for the musicianship or the performance to maintain a proper balance. The album has some decent moments and the catchy melodies are brilliant and dynamic but in the end, they all sound bland and uninspiring. What you're left with is a bunch of good songs with little to offer and a couple of fillers by the time you reach the hour mark. Even the bonus track "Subdivisions" comes out as a song that's a little hard to digest, although it could've made Rush proud.
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