Omnium Gatherum - Beyond
Lifeforce Records
Melodic Death Metal / Progressive Death Metal
11 songs (62:45)
Release year: 2013
Omnium Gatherum, Lifeforce Records
Reviewed by Metalette

One thing I love right off the bat about this album is the artwork. I would seriously hang that painting on my wall. And the band’s logo fits perfectly with it. In fact, the entire album fits perfectly with it, or vice versa, actually. There’s not a song on this album that the artwork doesn’t capture the essence of, in one way or another.

Artwork included, I would describe this entire album as tasteful. There’s never anything done in excess. There’s never a moment when everyone’s playing all at once, as fast as they can, and there’s no song that sticks to either metal heaviness or acoustic melodies. It’s always a mix of both, and there are even some very surprising combinations. In Formidable, the verse features muted, acoustic guitar picking under growling vocals. I’d never expect that, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t expect it to sound good. But it seems like Omnium Gatherum can pull off just about anything, because Formidable is actually one of my favorite songs on the album, and the unique verse is just one of the things I love about it.

I’m going to be grossly cliché here, but, to describe the vocals on this album I have to use the word “brutal”. No, seriously, it really fits the bill in this case. They’re predominantly deep growling, though there are higher growls used at times, and I really like the sound. I also really like the fact that I can understand most of what he is saying. I know there are probably people who can understand 90% of all growling, but I just can’t for the most part. So being able to hear the actual words of the lyrics is an added bonus, for me, to already awesome vocals. It’s not like I’m going to growl along – I would if I could, trust me – but at least I can brutally lip-sync in my car.

Though rarely used, the clean vocals are fantastic too. That guy can hit some seriously low notes; I mean, wow. He’s got a very rich voice and occasionally for some reason reminds me of more recent Ozzy Osbourne. I’m not sure why, but either way it’s a good sound. I actually wish that there were more features of the clean vocals on the album, though I suppose wanting more is always better than having your fill when it comes to music like this. The clean vocals stand out and are much appreciated, rather than just becoming part of the overall sound of the album.

Let’s talk about the guitar, though. Not a single bad solo on any track – none of them sound recycled or stereotypical at all. They are wonderfully varied, and to me, so rock’n’roll. Well, maybe more like classic heavy metal, but there are some bluesy moments. The leads go from sweeping metal to crooning single notes in a way that just makes me happy. They’re totally righteous. And the rest of the guitar-work throughout the music is great too. Plenty of harmonies, tasty riffs, heavy chugging, acoustic picking, and even some black metal-esque strumming thrown in once or twice.

My favorite songs on the album are Formidable, as I mentioned, The Unknowing, and Living in Me. They all feature great guitar and solos – well, duh – mood-setting synth, and rousing drums, among generally impressive technicality. I also like Who Could Say because it makes a lot of use of the clean vocals, and is a well-done metal ballad.

One complaint I have with this album is the lack of the “catchy chorus”. And I’m not talking about anthemy sing-alongs or anything, but we all know there is something to be said for a chorus that makes you want to jump up from your chair. There’s nothing dislikeable about the choruses on this album, but there wasn’t one that really smacked me in the face. These songs, to me, rely on all the individual parts rather than having the throw-away verses and hard-hitting choruses that you might expect. It’s the overall musicianship that makes these songs so great, and the leads are what will make you jump out of your chair. Now, if they did add catchier choruses, this album would be absolutely unstoppable.

The only song that didn’t do anything for me was White Palace. An almost 11-minute song ought to be full of, well, stuff, and there just wasn’t much going on in this song that required over ten minutes to do. If the whole thing were cut in half – except for the lead; they could even extend it if they wanted to – I’d have no problem with it, but I just didn’t see the point of making it so long.

If you like technicality, melody, and brutal vocals, then you should listen to this album. And you should stare at the album artwork while you listen to it. Also, there’s a Rush cover that just makes so much sense with Omnium Gatherum’s style. Altogether, Finland does it again with some damn fine metal.

Killing Songs :
Formidable, The Unknowing, Living in Me
Metalette quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Omnium Gatherum that we have reviewed:
Omnium Gatherum - The Redshift reviewed by James and quoted 69 / 100
Omnium Gatherum - Years in Waste reviewed by Jay and quoted 85 / 100
Omnium Gatherum - Spirits And August Light reviewed by Crims and quoted 93 / 100
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