OMNIUM GATHERUM — Beyond (review)

OMNIUM GATHERUM — Beyond album cover Album · 2013 · Melodic Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
UMUR
"Beyond" is the 6th full-length studio album by Finnish melodic death metal act Omnium Gatherum. The album was released through Lifeforce Records in February (Europe)/March (United States/Canada) 2013. Since their inception in 1996, Omnium Gatherum have slowly but surely increased their fanbase with each new release while simoultaniously developing their sound and they are today one of the most successful and popular melodic death metal acts from Finland.

...listening to "Beyond" it soon becomes abundantly clear why that is. These guys have a special gift when it comes to composing catchy melodies and epic atmospheres. Add to that excellent musicianship and a crystal clear and powerful sound production (mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö) and this album screams high quality. The songwriting is also on a high level and the band are equally successful in writing melodeath type tunes like the absolutely fantastic "New Dynamic", "The Sonic Sign" or "Living in Me" and more heavier tracks like "Nightwalkers" and "The Unknowing" (which to my ears is a pure doom/death metal track). "Nightwalkers" and especially the closing 10:41 minutes long track "White Palace" even cross into semi-progressive territories. To my ears the latter mentioned even features a couple of sections that remind me of early Dream Theater (check out the atmosphere/mood during the guitar solo or the solo itself or how about the solo in "Living in Me"). It´s mostly fellow countrymen in Swallow the Sun and especially Amorphis that I´m reminded of even though Omnium Gatherum also draw on melodeath as an influence. The lesser known Norwegians in In Grief could also be mentioned as a reference.

The vocals are predominantly growling, but there are whispering and clean sung sections on the album too. Most prominently on "Who Could Say", where the vocals in the vers are clean sung while they are growling in the chorus. I´m not wildly impressed by the clean vocals though and I generally think Jukka Pelkonen are more successful when he whispers or delivers more choir type clean vocal sections. His growling vocals are a bit too processed and unintelligible too, but they get the job done and they are not a major distraction. Overall I´d say the vocals are the weak link on an otherwise brilliant album. The instrumental part of the music is very well played. Solid rytmic foundation, nice melodic guitar work and solos and some very tastefully played keyboards.

Despite a few issues with the vocals, which may ultimately just be an aquired taste, "Beyond" is one of those special albums that reeks class. For fans of melodic and polished melodic death metal, this is a mandatory listen. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.
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UMUR wrote:
13 days ago
It´s actually very rarely I change my mind significantly regarding albums even after many years (there are exceptions of course), but the way I rate has changed over the years.
adg211288 wrote:
14 days ago
I expect a lot or even most of mine don't reflect how I currently feel about the albums either.
UMUR wrote:
15 days ago
The more music I listen to the more critical I get, and some of my early reviews are probbaly a bit too enthusiastic. But I´ll revisit this album one day and rewrite my review. I do that quite often actually.
adg211288 wrote:
15 days ago
So, more than ten years after this review was posted and I originally commented on it, I finally heard this album for the first time today.

I have been going through their work in order of release actually and while I find them generally solid (with a couple of weaker releases early on IMO) I can't say I enjoy them as much as other melodic death metal acts I've been really checking out lately. This one is probably the best up until this point but I can't see them being a band I revisit much once I've got through their back catalogue.

adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
The random review button led me back here. Despite my earlier post I actually completely forgot about this one. Saved it to my Spotify library, hopefully I'll remember it this time.
J-Man wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Brilliant indeed!
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Can´t say I´m a giant melodeath fan either (there are of course exceptions), but melodeath is just one of the elements of the sound on "Beyond". It´s so much more than that. A brilliant album to my ears...
adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Keep hearing a lot of good things about this one. Melodeath bands don't normally do much for me so I don't end up checking them out. Might have to make an exception for this one though.

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