Omnium Gatherum - Spirits And August Light
Rage Of Achilles
Melodic Death Metal
9 songs (41:45)
Release year: 2003
Omnium Gatherum, Rage Of Achilles
Reviewed by Crims
Album of the month

Almost a year and a half ago a friend of mine sent me an mp3 from a band called Omnium Gatherum. They were a Finnish band that didn’t have a full-length under their belt, but instead had quite a few demos and an official EP release, which was just a re-working of one of the demos. The song in question was Son’s Thoughts. I don’t really remember being overly impressed, sure enough it was a decent song with some good drumming and solid melodies but there was nothing that was memorable as it just sat in my computer for quite some time. Little did I know that over a year later I would have in my hands an instantly memorable, catchy, and well-played CD that has very quickly snuck into my current top 10 CDs of the year list.

Omnium Gatherum has a sound that is somewhat distinctive; everything is still familiar but they incorporate a nice range of influences from different bands from different genres that end up giving the band that unique sound. Overall the best way to describe the sound is to take the vocal style, guitar melodies, and some rhythms from early Dark Tranquility, add in a spice of Soilwork styled keyboards and thrashy riffs, then mix the guitars with a strong Children Of Bodom presence, stir in a large dose of Aurora song writing, and lastly toss in a dash of atmosphere and guitar style similar to Elegy era Amorphis for the mid-paced sections. The end result is perhaps still Melodic Death Metal but the band is much more than that; there is just so much going on with each song and the melodies are very clever, yet there is still plenty of aggression with a decent amount of double bass and thrash styled drumming. So there’s something for everyone (almost everyone). Metal fans who like atmosphere have that, but they also have a certain intensity that still allows them to let loose and just head bang; it’s a mix that’s not the easiest thing to achieve but Omnium Gatherum has done it which has resulted in one of the most listened CDs on my behalf since Hatecrew Deathroll.

It really is amazing how much the band has improved since the Steal The Light EP, especially with Son’s Thoughts. The song had some good strengths but they are fully realized with this version on Spirits And August Lights. The production is so much better than on the EP (that should go without saying) and even as far as Melodic Death standards go; the production is definitely high quality. The guitars are heavy enough, the leads are upfront but not too upfront, the drums sound good, and the vocal mix is more than adequate. The biggest achievement from a production standpoint, however, is the keyboards. The band has found almost the ideal mix level for atmospheric keyboards. They aren’t overpowering or too upfront, but they are loud enough to add excellent textures and colors to the music, which is exactly what they are supposed to do. Vocal wise the singer sounds like a mix between Angela Gossow (especially on Cure A Wound) and Mikael Stanne. The vocal style is typical, and perhaps expected for the style but it definitely works.

From a musical standpoint the guitars are definitely the highlight. Many different styles (some already mentioned) are executed with ease and there are even some old Katatonia styled depressive guitar sections. The band shows a lot of diversity with their song writing which flourishes thanks to the guitar playing since it’s so varied. Of course, that’s what makes this release so listenable as each song has something new to offer. The song writing is very dynamic and is always evolving. It seems to me that through the course of the CD Omnium Gatherum keep challenging themselves to incorporate a new influence from an established band and then add their own twist to it, but, the catch is to make everything concise and tight, and without a doubt Omnium Gatherum has more than succeeded in that regard. I still think the band can get even better but for now we have Spirits And August Light to give us our intelligent Melodic Death Metal fix that will last till the new Dark Tranquility opus is unleashed, whenever that might be.

Killing Songs :
Writhen, Deathwhite, Amor Tonight, The Perfumed Garden, The Emptiness Of Spirit, Wastrel, Son's Thoughts
Crims quoted 93 / 100
Jay quoted 90 / 100
Keegan quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Omnium Gatherum that we have reviewed:
Omnium Gatherum - Beyond reviewed by Metalette and quoted 80 / 100
Omnium Gatherum - The Redshift reviewed by James and quoted 69 / 100
Omnium Gatherum - Years in Waste reviewed by Jay and quoted 85 / 100
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