Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: Omnium Gatherum - New World Shadows

Band: Omnium Gatherum
Album: New World Shadows
Year: 2011
Country: Finland
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

First off the vocals on NWS are pretty killer. Jukka Pelkonen has a great growl and contrary to what is the norm for the genre, his are lower and more guttural. It is a joy to listen to him tear apart his throat while delivering the lyrics. There is also a clean section during the track New World Shadows where Dan Swano does guest cleans. I listen to this song if only to hear how epic the great Dan Swano is and how much he adds to the track.

I can say this is actually a decent album but there are a few problems that bring it down for me. The band adds a little too much softer/gentler/whatever to the songs and it sometimes seems a little forced. Most of An Infinite Mind would be a good example of this. The song is really lacking in heaviness through a significant portion of its length and it is boring and I literally am waiting for the heavy part to come back and smash me in the face. The same could be said for Deep Cold and the instrumental track, Watcher of the Skies. Certain parts of the album just feel a bit inconsistent and these more mellow parts take away from the flow of it all. I know they were trying to be melancholy and all that but it just doesn’t do it for me. This is especially true in the back half of the album.

Ok so besides the songs where the band tries to play depressing softer tunes there are actually some really good guitar riffs to be found on New World Shadows. Both Ego and Soul Journeys have really fun riffs and they wreak of Amon Amarth/Viking metal worship. And as a whole these songs are good, especially how the vocals/lyrics go well with the music during the verse and chorus parts of Ego. But like I mentioned before New World Shadows has one of the most memorable parts vocally and the guitars only add to it.

The drumming is solid. There are some blast beats thrown in at times like near the end of Everfields and that helps to change things up a little. Double bass is also pretty present through a lot of the songs whether no matter what pace the guitars are playing at. The bass is also very prominent at times too, especially during the verse parts of An Infinite Mind. Otherwise its your standard melodeath affair of “bass? we don’t need no stinking bass!”. The keyboards add some nice atmosphere and aren’t the annoying in your face use like some bands. The production is very clear and I guess you could say “modern”.

If it weren’t for the fact that the band tries to shove more “progressive” elements and softer parts of songs down the listeners throat I would have enjoyed this album much more. But as its done to the degree it is I cant help but take a big chunk off the score. Of course that doesn’t make this a shitty release. Like I said before, it’s a decent album and there are still plenty of reasons to go back and give it listens in the future. If you are looking for a more progressive minded approach to melodic death metal then New World Shadows is probably for you.

Score: 7/10
Standout Track: New World Shadows

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