Omnium Gatherum
New World Shadows


4.0
excellent

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
February 4th, 2011 | 167 replies | 29,719 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Who says cheaters never prosper?

Omnium Gatherum escape the trap that comes with all the second and third tier pre-release hype from metal-zines and really come out with something powerful here, an album that draws from critic-heralded melodic death metal groups from across the world to make their fifth and best release, New World Shadows. Amon Amarth can be heard here ala the powerful guitar tone of the mid-tempo riffs and the deep growls of vocalist Jukka Pelconen; the work of Finnish Insomnium and Amorphis seemingly flow through the band’s melodic work as well, guitar and vocal; and lastly, Be’lakor and In Mourning wave their progressive metal heads in the band’s songwriting, particularly on both nine-minute book-ending pieces, “Everfields” and the glorious “Deep Colds”.

So is New World Shadows just a bunch of copycatting? Well, yes, actually, it sort of is. Yet Omnium Gatherum comprise and meld the work of those bands mentioned above into a sound of their very own, in a way, greatly improving over the songwriting and playing of their past releases, and making an album full of excellent, flowing melodic death metal tracks in the process. While highlights are plentiful, New World Shadows certainly works best when played all the way through. There’s something climatic and euphoric that comes when one hears the final climax of closer “Deep Colds” after traveling through the album’s contents, for instance, bringing to mind the same type of effect that came at the end of Insomnium’s “Last Statement” on their 2006 album, Above The Weeping World. In retrospect, it makes sense, then, that many were turned off by New World Shadows' title track when it was released a few weeks ago – in context of the rest of the album, the “repetitive” nature of the riffs here work well in this sort of lulling, transitional track, segueing the more confrontational and involved “Ego” with highlight “Soul Journeys”.

It’s the latter mentioned song, though, "Soul Journeys", along with the closer, that truly is New World Shadow’s defining moment. Here Omnium Gatherum employ varying tempos and catchy riffs to build the backbone of the song, while Pelconen puts on his best vocal performance and Dan Swano offers his cleans. Here Swano's vocals work to build a wonderful atmosphere for “Soul Journeys”, once again bringing to mind Insomnium in how Swano puts his voice to use to engage and sooth the listener. The other areas in which the singer employs his cleans are on the title cut and on the closer for chorus-like melodies that work well within the songs. It goes without saying, however, that Omnium Gatherum are wise to use these moments sparingly, though, being careful to avoid the pitfall of many melodic death bands where the overuse of clean vocals greatly damages and oversaturates the music– kind of like, say, what happened to Universum.

Remember last year when Barren Earth’s Curse of the Red River was released around this time, and many of you said, “hey, melodic death metal isn’t dead yet”? Well, New World Shadows is 2011’s sign of hope for the subgenre, so to speak – at least, that is assuming that Amon Amarth and Insomnium fail us later on this year. Is it innovative, or does it sport a sound that the band can truly call their own? Not really. But as far as ripping-off your contemporaries goes in melodic death metal, no one, and I mean no one, does it better than Omnium Gatherum does on New World Shadows. Find riffs as powerful as the fist-in-the-air moment that comes two minutes into “Nova Flame”, or a chorus as catchy as that of “The Distance” in the work of any other band like this. Yeah, you can’t, and that’s why New World Shadows is just so excellent. If you're going to rip other bands off for your album, then you might as well steal from the best of the best, right? Well, Omnium Gatherum do just this and come out with their strongest album yet.



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user ratings (205)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
eyesofapocalypse (4.5)
Omnium Gatherum is proving melodic death metal can still be relevant and fantastic....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
February 4th 2011



10593 Comments


You're a machine lol

Sounds kind of cool actually, good read man

Willie
Moderator
February 4th 2011



15919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sounds good, but you really want your reviews to be autonomous pieces (at least as a staff member), so I don't know if that first paragraph is necessary.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

Scoot
February 4th 2011



17734 Comments


is this leaps and bounds better than their other shit?

Ponton
Emeritus
February 4th 2011



5791 Comments


Thanks willie. You need to hear this

qwe3
February 4th 2011



21355 Comments


used to really like their first record then i hated it i dont think i'll bother with this

ev0ken
February 4th 2011



586 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like this band, im really looking forward to this one.

Nomos
February 5th 2011



831 Comments


Album is amazing thus far.

New World Shadows was a definite highlight. The song, I mean, not the album.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2011



18343 Comments


Lol Jared gets flamed by new user accounts again.

Digging: Shed - Shot Selection

Acanthus
February 5th 2011



9537 Comments


"Nova Flame" is fun, going to give more tracks a listen before I decide to get this though.

Tyrael
February 5th 2011



20829 Comments


Cool stuff, checking out now.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2011



8329 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounds good man, definitely going to look into this. The vocalist of this band is really boring though.

Whispered4tw
February 5th 2011



609 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's been a while since I've heard some good Melodic Death. A very fun album to listen to, with the title track and the two long runners being the highlights.

Can't shake off the feeling they could've done more with this though, more ambition to make something really cool.

Hawks
February 5th 2011



35662 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review man. I've only heard a few songs by this band, but I'm gonna check this one out.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2011



7177 Comments


Lol Jared gets flamed by new user accounts again.

But where is the comment though?

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

FadeToBlack
February 5th 2011



10926 Comments


derp the mods deleted them

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2011



7177 Comments


Prepare for more diseased ballsack porn from MJ.

GhostOvPerdition
February 5th 2011



132 Comments


this sounds really bad so far.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
February 5th 2011



10593 Comments


Didn't enjoy tooooo much. But really, this isn't quite my thing. Still neat though.

jingledeath
February 5th 2011



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wasn't expecting to see a positive review for this but good job man. I probably won't like it but I'm still giving it a shot cause their last album was the first thing I reviewed on this site.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2011



7177 Comments


Question for you Jared: do Staff members miss getting pos votes? (or unexplained negs? LOL - I've always been curious)



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