Omnium Gatherum - Years in Waste
Nuclear Blast
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (43:40)
Release year: 2004
Omnium Gatherum, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Jay

Omnium Gatherum is another casualty of the implosion of Rage of Achilles records. They managed to get signed to Nuclear Blast virtually days after being left without a label. No small part of the decision to sign this band was their debut album, Spirits and August Light, which really turned many heads in the metal world. Eagerly anticipating their new album, Nuclear Blast made the band a priority and got the album out. Another smart decision as the new disc is fantastic.

While their first disc was packed with upbeat melodies and experimentation, Years in Waste changes direction radically. It is far darker and gloomier with more depressing and introspective lyrics. This is already apparent from the album cover. The band explores pain and depression in their music. Certain flairs have been added as well. On a whole, the album feels far more complete than their debut. While I was left wanting more from the first album, this disc has the closure the first album lacked. Song structures are more varied including some beautiful instrumental work. When the band recorded this album, it’s clear that they had much better guidance from their studio team. The actual sound is very similar to the debut album. Noticeable from the beginning of the disc however is one small production fault. The bass is at a very low level for the entire disc. I had to bass-boost this album to the max to be able to get the full body to the music. While this is not a critical flaw, it should have been taken into consideration. Synth sound arrangement has also changed. Very few of the tracks have synth leads and there are no electronic solos at all. This aspect of the music has been relegated to a supporting role. Drummer Jarno Pikka seems to be holding back at his craft as well. He has a good role in the band but there seem to be few fills and unique patterns on the disc. A little creativity with the drumming would have made a drastic impact.

Opeth seems to have influenced the band greatly since their last album. Many parts of this disc made me think of the Swedish prog-death pioneers. From the first notes of "Gravesilence" you’re reminded of many of Opeth’s tri-tone melodies and arrangements. One of the bridges even has an acoustic part that really drives the Opeth influence home. Once Antti Filppu’s vocals come in, there is no doubt that this is not Opeth. Filppu’s voice has a great tone and deep warble to it that certainly makes him the right choice in singer for this band. On several tracks he experiments in choruses and breakdowns with clean vocals and they do sound good for the few seconds we get to hear them. "Auguries Gone” is the track where he spreads his wings the most so to speak. This track is the hardest one of the disc and has a really crushing intro and verse. The chorus builds up the thick melodies and then the solo kicks ass.

Anyone who loved the popish songs on the first disc will be disappointed that they pretty much dropped that sound. They did progress significantly from that as evidenced by the brilliant, sorrowful and poignant “Black Seas Cry.” It’s a ballad that is a wicked ride. A slow droning verse which is almost hypnotic is mixed along with a progressive instrumental section in the middle of the song. It’s a feast for the ears. The first single, “The Fall Went Right Thorough Here” showcases about as much of the older style sound that you’re going to get on this disc. Yet even this song is much harder in the verses than most anything on the debut. Bottom line is that this is a brilliant album and the ideal follow up to their last album. Not quite good enough for Album of the Month, but it’s damn good. I wouldn’t be surprised if this shows up on my best of list for the year.

Killing Songs :
Black Seas Cry, The Fall Went Right Through Here, Gravesilence
Jay quoted 85 / 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 - Spirits And August Light reviewed by Crims and quoted 93 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Dec 27, 2004 6:35 pm
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