Review Summary: Featuring beautiful atmosphere and heavy yet soothing riffs, Omnium Gatherum keeps on evolving their new improved sound with Beyond.
Beyond. That word just sums it all up. The album cover and the music gives the listener a fantastic feeling. The joyful aura that this album projects is indescribable and it is what makes Omnium Gatherum such an amazing band. It’s not at all corny either so it gives the albums upbeat atmosphere even more strength. The first track called Luoto is a great mood-setter and opens up the album perfectly. It’s quite powerful track packed with emotion.
Omnium Gatherum has on later releases deviated further away from the traditional Finnish melodic death metal genre and focuses way more on atmosphere than a lot of bands in the genre. It’s not all atmosphere though and Beyond is filled to the top with catchy, compelling and impressive riffs. The main riff for the song The Unknowing is “beyond” godly. It’s a tremolo based riff which at the end of each segment turns into a beautiful guitar jingle. The keyboard is almost always present, but simply as a background atmosphere creator. It cannot be compared with bands like Children of Bodom or Kalmah where the keyboard most of the time follows the lead guitars and are overall quite frantic. The Keyboardist does, however, get his moments where his playing gets elevated in choruses and solos. There are of course guitar solos in just about all of the songs and they are with no surprise great. Not too much can be said about them except that the sound of them is not the usual trash sound, but it’s yet again more focused on atmosphere. Many of the songs actually rocks pretty hard like Living In Me and The Sonic Sign. They are faster songs with a more agressive impact.
The drumming performance is simple, but not a rating changing matter. It’s just melodic-death metal drumming, but with a very well-produced sound and a great sound on the bass drums. The bass guitar is as always when it comes to Omnium Gatherum very audible and at times fantastic. In the song Formidable, there is a bass-solo at about three minutes and it’s such an amazing part of this album. Beyond gets a big plus for great bass performance.
The vocals are in 90% of the album Jukka’s ordinarily “cookie monster” grunting/growls. His vocal performance can be discussed and it’s more of a “love or hate” situation. I personally think that they are nice contrast to all the stunning and often calm instrumentals. The vocal range is not a problem and Jukka is hardly holding Omnium Gatherums musical progress back, but it’s just how the vocals sound. Clean vocals are not as present here as in their last release which is not bad or disappointing, but they were really good in New world Shadows so that there wasn’t really any reason to not have a lot in Beyond. Could Say has, however, a lot of clean vocals and it’s a wonderful a bit slower, almost ballad like song. All the clean vocals are also sung by Jukka.
If you liked New World Shadows then this will with no doubt satisfy. If you haven’t heard Omnium Gatherum before then I would certainly recommend Beyond.