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Omnium Gatherum – The Burning Cold Review

Released by: Century Media

Release date: Out Now!

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Links: https://www.facebook.com/omniumgatherumband/

 

Line up:

Markus Vanhala – Guitar

Jukka Pelkonen – Vocals

Tuomo Latvala – Drums

Aapo Koivisto – Keyboards

Joonas Koto – Guitar

Erkki Silvennoinen – Bass

 

Tracklist:

The Burning
Gods Go First
Refining Fire
Rest In Your Heart
Over The Battlefield
The Fearless Entity
Be The Sky
Driven By Conflict
The Frontline
Planet Scale
Cold

 

One must question, does Omnium Gatherum/Insomnium guitarist Markus Vanhala ever sleep? Omnium Gatherum has been a part of the guitarist since he was a teenager back in 1996 when the band initially formed. While Vanhala is the only consistent member of the Finnish melodic death metal group, he is also the primary songwriter, as well as a member in another demanding Finnish band, Insomnium. Since 2016’s Grey Heavens and Winter’s Gate (Insomnium), Both Omnium Gatherum and Insomnium embarked on a handful of tours that makes you wonder how and when did Vanhala have time to write the music for The Burning Cold, which is out now via Century Media. When someone feels overwhelmed they should look back and say, “what would Markus do?” Somehow, despite his crazy schedule, he has written what could be the best album in Omnium Gatherum’s entire career. To top it off, vocalist Jukka Pelkonen lost his lyrics he initially started writing for the record, when his stuff got stolen at one of the pre-parties of 70000tons of Metal back in 2017.

With that said, the album begins, same as it ends with “The Burning,” which has a powerful introduction that places a natural symmetry and is a foreshadow on the record’s conclusion. It is a compelling and somewhat of a visionary masterpiece from the get-go. “Gods Go First,” is the first full song on the LP as it has a fast, fun and energetic pace. While it does have an uplifting beat, the overall theme of the album is the complete opposite of fun. There is a melodic guitar breakdown that adds the bleak emotion. Overall, it is an extreme track with a tight production as well as mixing a few progressive additions.

Musically, “Refining Fire” is one of the oldest songs written as Vanhala wrote this before the 2013 Beyond recording sessions. However, it is one of the newest songs written, lyrically. It is a fast pace track right from the start leaving no room to breathe, only space to embrace the chaos. There are a few progressive breaks as OG have been making more melodic death meets progressive metal arrangements. The TV series Penny Dreadful inspired Pelkonen to write the lyrics for the next track, “Rest In Your Heart” as it is intended to project the tragedies of the human condition. Musically, it kicks off with a slow electronic introduction, as the guitar comes in which slowly escalates to a catchy melody. Another riff from the OG archive, “Over the Battlefield” was also written five years ago, which happens to be Vanhala’s and Pelkonen’s favorite tune on the album. While it has a funky keyboard movement, the harsh introduction continues with blistering instrumentation. Additionally, this song highlights the band’s new drummer, Tuomo Latvala’s skills behind the kit.

While “The Fearless Entity” was originally planned as a B-side track, the group found a way to fit it in, and it worked. It starts off with a slow progressive guitar riff as it escalates towards somewhat of a progressive hallucination that includes a few pop arrangements. Additionally, similar to the previous song, it showcases Latvala’s skillset. “Be The Sky” is featured on the second half of the album; however, enhances a different style altogether. Vanhala didn’t initially write this piece for Omnium Gatherum, which is evident in its melody. It has a catchy electronic sound, and at this point of the record, there are no filler tracks. This song moves both aggressively and progressively while executing different human emotions from sadness to happiness, and all in between.

As the album moves towards its conclusion, it coincidentally gravitates to tracks “Driven by Conflict” and “The Frontline.” The former involves the madness before facing a battlefield, whether personal or an actual war to developing the confidence and will to fight, facing the “Frontline” head on. Musically, the former moves in a chaotic direction as the latter focuses on the progressive melodies. Both of these tracks lead to “Planet Scale” as the drums introduce this heavy tune. It is fast and relentless and the final turbulent melody on the record. Just as The Burning Cold began, “Cold,” concludes the LP. Similar to Vanhala’s love for brilliant filmmaking such as 12 Monkeys and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, the story begins just as it ends, leaving the LP with perfect symmetry and harmony, which helps the listener to play this one on repeat for hours on end.

 

Rating: 10/10

Written By, Zenae D. Zukowski

 

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