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Omnium Gatherum - Origin review




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Reviewer:
8.1

134 users:
7.99
Band: Omnium Gatherum
Album: Origin
Release date: November 2021


01. Emergence
02. Prime
03. Paragon
04. Reckoning
05. Fortitude
06. Friction
07. Tempest
08. Unity
09. Solemn
10. In Front Of Me [Infected Mushroom cover] [bonus]


After going Beyond, Omnium Gatherum seek out the Origin of their success.

With this year commemorating the 25th anniversary since their formation, Omnium Gatherum are now genuine veterans of the melodeath scene. It doesn’t always feel like that to me, having only heard their albums since the relative breakthrough that was New World Shadows and always having them inextricably linked with their similarly named Finnish brethren Insomnium (who, of course, have featured Omnium Gatherum founder Markus Vanhala for a decade now). Still, whilst there is a clear personnel and sonic overlap between these two bands, the more uplifting and at times ethereal nature of Omnium Gatherum’s music helps set them apart from Insomnium, and that nature has arguably not been exhibited more successfully than on 2013’s Beyond. I’ve been waiting for them to recapture the magic of Beyond since its release, with Grey Heavens and The Burning Cold not quite hitting that sweet spot for me; thankfully, here comes Origin to get me right on board the OG hype train.

One of the things that I liked so much about Beyond and New World Shadows was their inclusion of longer, more spacious songs such as “White Palace” and “Deep Cold”; however, prior to the release of their two subsequent records, both Vanhala and frontman Jukka Pelkonen told Metal Storm interviewers about how much they appreciated taking a more ‘in-your-face’ on each of those albums. Now, I can respect that, and those records did result in some quality offerings (I’m fond of “The Pit” and “Be The Sky” in particular), but when I heard those “White Palace” tones on “Fortitude” during my first playthrough of Origin, I couldn’t help but be excited at their return, and what a successful return it is, with those cleaner guitars creating soothing atmospheres and delivering lush solos whilst Pelkonen’s growls exchange with distant clean vocals.

Now, there is still some ‘in your face’ music on Origin, although in general this feels like one of the least ‘aggressive’ Omnium Gatherum albums yet, so if that’s what you’re hoping for, you may be disappointed. “Prime”, whilst not really being full-pelt at any point, is still a track with drive and energy, along with several strong hooks spread across the synths, guitar leads and riffs. “Friction” also opens with a real sense of purpose and a relatively ominous tone, although the gentle nature of the chorus does take some of the edge of that darker intent, and “Tempest” even finds time for a few rounds of blast beats. Overall, however, this is a more restrained record, and one that places more emphasis on melody and atmosphere than speed.

Thankfully, both melody and atmosphere are in abundance across the album. The 80s vibes to the central hook of “Reckoning” goes nicely with the prominent keyboard work on this track, even when contrasted with the contorted verse riff that it trades off with. The song that goes closest to the New World Shadows/Beyond era of the band, however, is the closer “Solemn”, which clocks in at an exciting 9 minutes whilst treating listeners to great riffs, leads, clean vocals, solos and keyboard work in a pleasantly sprawling package.

There’s times when the album feels a bit ‘OG-by-numbers’, but ultimately this is pretty much what I was hoping to hear from an Omnium Gatherum album in a post-Beyond world, and as much as I enjoyed aspects of its predecessors, this record is the one that really gets me excited in the band again. Another solid effort in a very strong year for melodeath.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 8





Written on 09.11.2021 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments

Comments: 13   Visited by: 192 users
09.11.2021 - 21:42
TenebrisAlas

Seems like this guys cannot write bad music, all that is , is at least very good this one is yeat again great !
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10.11.2021 - 02:11
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
Good to hear that this is their comeback. I'll be putting more emphasis on listening to this soon then, as I've unfortunately been quite disappointed with everything after Beyond.
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10.11.2021 - 04:48
Aries Rising

Written by LeKiwi on 10.11.2021 at 02:11

Good to hear that this is their comeback. I'll be putting more emphasis on listening to this soon then, as I've unfortunately been quite disappointed with everything after Beyond.


While I don't hate what came after it, Beyond was truly their high water mark.
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10.11.2021 - 05:31
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
Written by Aries Rising on 10.11.2021 at 04:48

While I don't hate what came after it, Beyond was truly their high water mark.

For me it was New World Shadows and The Redshift. Those albums had some proggy elements if I remember correctly, whereas Beyond felt like the point where they started to lose some of that magic.
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10.11.2021 - 05:54
Aries Rising

Written by LeKiwi on 10.11.2021 at 05:31

Written by Aries Rising on 10.11.2021 at 04:48

While I don't hate what came after it, Beyond was truly their high water mark.

For me it was New World Shadows and The Redshift. Those albums had some proggy elements if I remember correctly, whereas Beyond felt like the point where they started to lose some of that magic.


I do need to give their earlier albums another listen but Beyond satisfied me beginning to end. If you had to pick one OG album would it be New World Shadow or Redshift?
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10.11.2021 - 05:59
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
Written by Aries Rising on 10.11.2021 at 05:54

I do need to give their earlier albums another listen but Beyond satisfied me beginning to end. If you had to pick one OG album would it be New World Shadow or Redshift?

I don't have moods for music, but if I did I'd go with New World if I wanted something more immersive/proggy and Redshift if I wanted something more straight forward and heavy. Both are amazing imo!
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10.11.2021 - 11:47
s_t_s

Nice review! Indeed the album requires more time than usual to be fully appreciated and while some songs hit you in the face at first listen, others need more spins. By the way you should have mentioned the very nice cover song "In Front Of Me".

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10.11.2021 - 12:21
musclassia

Written by s_t_s on 10.11.2021 at 11:47

By the way you should have mentioned the very nice cover song "In Front Of Me".



I'm always conscious of going on too long with my reviews, considering I always do it, so I usually veer away from mentioning bonus tracks, but yes it's a nice cover, although I prefer the original songs on the record to it
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12.11.2021 - 08:15
Fallen Ghost
Craft Beer Geek
Written by Aries Rising on 10.11.2021 at 05:54

I do need to give their earlier albums another listen but Beyond satisfied me beginning to end. If you had to pick one OG album would it be New World Shadow or Redshift?


They created some kind of magic on New World Shadows that they haven't been able to recreate since, such a beautiful album!
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13.11.2021 - 09:56
Until the End

As someone who isn't a fan of the more progressive tracks on the albums up to 'Beyond', this feels like a good compromise on 'Origin'. Whilst the majority of tracks are over the 6 minute mark, they're not what I'd class as "plodders" and keep my interest throughout. In fact, I'd probably say 'Fortitude' is my favourite so far, it just has a wonderful atmosphere and is a perfectly balanced song. You can't beat a good choir synth when you want atmosphere! Plus, it's got a catchy chorus you can easily sing along to which helps... "So many times, they go by!"
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13.11.2021 - 19:15
Pablo

I found all OG albums enjoyable. It became my favorite melodeath band. THE BURNING COLD was a more in-your-face-kind of album, with lots of 90s melodeath influences, and it's my personal favorite. ORIGIN is very enjoyable too. I found lots of 80s influences (also black & gothic metal). It depends on what kinf of OG you want to listen to. These guys can't disappoint.
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15.11.2021 - 08:23
Leperor

Suggest me some epic death metal solos.
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19.11.2021 - 00:41
Steiner

Seems like I'm always agreeing with musclassia's reviews and this one was certainly no exception. History will ultimately decide how this album compares to the rest of their discography but, after 25 years, can't we all just enjoy this one for being vintage Omnium Gatherum? I think that's all it's trying to be. Plus, in an era where mega bands like Dark Tranquillity, In Flames and Soilwork suddenly devolved into something else entirely, it's just kinda nice to get exactly what you'd expected.
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