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Omnium Gatherum – Origin Award winner

Omnium Gatherum
Origin
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 October 2021, 8:00 AM

Formed in Finland in 1996, just after the first wave of Melodic Death Metal was emerging in the Sweden, OMNIUM GATHERUM was plagued early by line-up changes. One travesty about the band that I have always maintained is that they never enjoyed the success of their Swedish counterparts, and I never understood why. IN FLAMES, DARK TRANQULLITY, AT THE GATES, and ARCH ENEMY got most of the accolated for creating the genre, but one area where OMNUIM GATHERUM always excelled was at hitting the extreme sides of the genre harder and deeper than their counterparts, as well as the fantastic keyboard work of Aapo Koivisto. Once Jukka joined in 2006, they had a fierce growler who rattled the very depths of the genre with his deep and imposing Death Metal vocals.

“Origin” is the seventh full-length album with Jukka as the front man. Though most (or all) of the early pioneers of the genre have arguably run their course, OMNIUM GATHERUM is still creating fresh, innovative Melodic Death Metal to this date. “Origin” contains ten tracks. “Emergence” opens the album, and gives is but a taste of what is to come. While the bass thuds away with a slow, calculated rhythm, guitars and keys build the melody, which is thick and layered. “Prime” begins with keys, leading to heavy guitar, bass and drum work. Jukka’s vocals enter and remind us of his unbridled power. The guitar led melodies here are perhaps a little subtler than on previous albums, but still hit that sweet spot, ending with spacy keys. “Paragon” was the first single released from the album. It is a hard-hitting number, that is until the clean vocals following the chorus wash over you and cleanse you from the inside out. Those beautiful melodies make your cares fade away and are proof of the band’s meticulous songwriting prowess.

“Reckoning” begins with a healthy does of fat keyboards, leading to a nice, smooth, and jovial melody. Jukka’s vocals are especially deep in this song. The melody follows in the chorus; a very charming set of six notes, and the lead guitar picks it up as well. “Fortitude” is a slower song where the melodies develop in more of a melancholy way. This introspective track features both the might and power of Death Metal, and the brightness of melody, especially noteworthy in the clean vocals. “Friction” opens with fierce guitar notes and heavy, aggressive vocals. The clean vocals are such a breath of fresh air, especially tempered against the dark and brooding rhythms. Markus lays down one smoking solo as well. This song perhaps personifies the magic of the band best.

“Tempest” begins with clean guitars amidst the weighted but delicate melodies. Layers build in the chorus, in both the vocals and guitar work. Don’t let this song fool you…it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Sweet and sugary on the outside, but deadly and poisonous in the middle. “Unity” opens with keys and a short but memorable set of rhythms along with some ethereal vocal parts that transport you outside of yourself. Soaking in the charm of the song and the lyrical content, you never want this song to end. What a charmer! “Solemn” is a close to nine-minute opus, beginning with pretty guitar and key notes. What follows is a grandiose composition full of different directions…sometimes pure unadulterated bliss while other times smooth and mellow passages that blow your hair back gently like a warm breeze on a cold spring day.

“Infected Mushroom” closes the album. In contrast with many of the other songs, this track has a sad quality to it. But it also urges you to rise up and bust the chains that hold you back. This is truly a magical album. Even after 25 years in the business and presenting their ninth full-length album, this band is still hungry, and still chasing after that proverbial golden key that is perhaps hanging just out of reach. But a funny thing happens after taking in all ten tracks…you realize they have already attained everything that they deserve in the industry (though not commercial success, but that is not why they make music) and “Origin” stands as a statement of their love for life, their love of music, and their love of the never-ending adoration of their fans. Is there another band who has this much fun making music this great?

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Emergence
2. Prime
3. Paragon
4. Reckoning
5. Fortitude
6. Friction
7. Tempest
8. Unity
9. Solemn
10. Infected Mushroom
Lineup:
Markus Vanhala – Guitars
Aapo Koivisto – Keyboards
Jukka Pelkonen – Vocals
Mikko Kivistö – Bass
Atte Pesonen - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records
     


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Edited 27 November 2021
 

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