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Omnium Gatherum - The Redshift
Wednesday, April 01 2009 @ 01:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Sage

The Redshift

Artist: Omnium Gatherum Finland

Title: The Redshift

Label: Candlelight Records United Kingdom

Genre:  Gothenburg

01 Nail
02 A Shadowkey
03 Chameleon Skin
04 No Breaking Point
05 The Return
06 Shapes and Shades
07 The Redshifter
08 Greeneyes
09 The Second Flame
10 Song for December
11 Distant Light Highway

As I listen to this album, I'm already thinking of bands past that have slipped and never recovered from their slide into the unconscious oblivion of substandard metal.  The Gothenburg scene in particular have overwhelmingly been hit by doomed projects like this, and inevitably, it seemed, Omnium Gatherum were destined for the same fate with a decent release with Stuck here on Snake's Way.  This was slightly better than what was found on Years in Waste, but still didn't come close to living up to the band's first aural birth in Spirits and August Light, the album that featured memorable tracks and signature melodic styles bordering post-metal such as Amor Tonight and Wastrel.  While its my opinion that the band again failed to reach the level of originality and perfection in composition found on Spirits and August Light, they came damn close with The Redshift.

The problem though, is that the band has put so much focus into their unique sound and character that they've lost the emotion that they once had with Spirits and August Light.  Granted, new band, new members over the years, thus a new sound is birthed, but there are many problems that come with it.  Many fans of the band viewed the lineup perfect in those days.  Now, with Jukka Pelkonen at the helm for the band, its hard to take their aggressiveness seriously when watching them.  When the music is the only thing present, his voice is more than enough to fuel the fire in any melo-death fan's soul, but his face and frame really take away from the music.  Antti Filppu, though even thinner than Jukka, was still a scary bastard with his extremely long hair and black metal persona.  When that hair was caught in his all-out fits, he resembled more of a dragon than a man.  His vocal lines also proved to be more catchy than any of those written in his absence.  No one's really sure what happened on Years in Waste, but its obvious the band wasn't feeling the same flame.

As mentioned, the emotion is different too.  EVERYONE remembers that line from Writhen, “...because I've got the guts... and I feel the guilt!!”  That was a fucking powerful phrase, enough to bring your thoughts away from the overly happy melodic line for the opening / verse riff.  Then you'd get to tracks like Amor Tonight that pounded away this same space themed sound with the modern thrash sound the band has become so known for, and do it to an extent that you could feel it in your heart when Antti screamed “So would you let me be...”  The band has lost that flame. 

However, that was 6 years ago and today's Omnium Gatherum is what we're going to get, nostalgic moments or not.  They're gaining speed with a new sound, and on a different level than before.  Now they're taking compositions to an entirely new level, with the typical Finnish sound utilizing strong keys in their melodic metal, and infusing clean vocals, though this time also on the band's own level.  The best way to describe them, especially for the album single “Nail”, would be a kind of southern sludge.  Then there's “Greeneyes” which features a more gothy tone on vocals with a typical ballad style song structure.  The space-melodies are still here, just used more sparingly.  The guitar solos are perhaps the one thing that has improved greatly since those early days, and with Dan Swano at the helm for production its no surprise really that they've definitely advanced in sound quality. 

Fans of more modern thrash-death styles will enjoy this if they can get used to the infused spacey sections of guitar work.  The single track “Nail” is by far the best the album has to offer which will be a slight let down as you make your way through the album.  The closer, Distant Light Highway, has some unique moving guitar work to fill the void as well.  For the casual browser,  I'd recommend Spirits in August Light first, then get to this release.  The difference between the two is deafening, but the ties still make it a worthwhile journey.


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