Omnium Gatherum
Grey Heavens


2.5
average

Review

by Quattro Bajeena CONTRIBUTOR (153 Reviews)
February 28th, 2016 | 93 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Recommended for people who started listening to melodic death metal yesterday and Insomnium fans.

I can't say I'm familiar with Omnium Gatherum and thats what make my first experience with them quite confusing; Grey Heavens sounds like a very familiar album. Melodic death metal's degeneration into homogeneity has been well-documented over the past few years, and unfortunately Grey Heaven doesn't do much to combat that stigma. It's almost as if you can trace each guitar pattern, each vocal phrasing and each melody back to a band who has already done it, and more than likely done it better. Opening track "The Pit" is certainly eager enough, but at the end of the day you're just listening to another Amon Amarth song. The two following tunes "Skyline" and "Frontiers" rip-off Scar Symmetry so shamelessly, I had to check and see if they shared any members. To my genuine surprise, apparently they do not. For its majority, the rest of the album suffers from this same problem; as a first time listener, I wanted to hear an Omnium Gatherum record, not a melodic death metal compilation.

I will say in their defense, at least they ape the genre's better bands and with admirable enthusiasm. There is an undeniable energy that permeates Grey Heavens and acts as something of a saving grace for the record. Throughout their (hopefully unintentional) imitation of Insomnium, Amon Amarth, and others, the music is still enjoyable enough to get your head moving and fists pounding. As far as metal goes, those two things are the most basic requirements for a decent album, and Omnium Gatherum definitely manage to meet them. It's kind of what makes this experience so frustrating; there is nothing offensively bad here at all. The instrumentation is tight, the vocals both clean and rasped are strong, and the production perfectly accommodates their synth-laden branch of melodeath. If the group had managed a modicum of individuality, Grey Heavens could have been spectacular. All the proof one needs can be found in the album's stand-out track "Majesty and Silence". Though it undeniably takes a feather from Insomnium's cap, it doesn't sound like any direct homage of their work. At close to nine minutes in the length, "Majesty…" is modern melodic death metal at its best. A highly atmospheric piece, it takes you on a journey from the brooding contemplation of its crunchy start-stop rhythms, to the massive and uplifting sing-along chorus. From top to bottom it’s a thoroughly engaging listen.

There are a few other instances of brilliance scattered throughout Grey Heavens. The chorus of "Foundations" makes excellent use of vocalist Jukka Pelkonen's powerful guttural roar, and "Ophildian Sunrise" is bursting with joyous leads and beautiful acoustic guitar breaks. Unfortunately, these shining moments aren't enough to illuminate the whole album. Nobody was expecting anything groundbreaking here; it is melodic death metal after all. However, Grey Heavens is a bit too derivative for its own good, and it's unlikely that any longtime fans will find many reasons to consistently revisit this. Maybe next time guys.



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user ratings (128)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
February 28th 2016


18415 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

These guys have always sounded kind of generic to me. I'll still give it a listen, but maybe low expectations will make it better for me than your high expectations did for you.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2016


26380 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I think I more went into it without expectations than high ones. I wasn't expecting to be overly impressed, but even so, this was kind of a let down.

Digging: Carved Cross - Severance of Disparity in Absolute Acrimony

mifzal
February 28th 2016


3358 Comments


Pales in comparison to other Finnish bands with similar Style.
outside Finnish borders Skyfire still remains underrated

zaruyache
February 28th 2016


21917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

NO SPIRIT DON'T DO THAT STOP NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO you did the thing how could you

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2016


26380 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

honestly surprised you dig this bruv

zaruyache
February 28th 2016


21917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's fun melodeath ^_^

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
February 28th 2016


10692 Comments


wow what a terrible summary dude, you can do better than that

review is probably fine as usual

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2016


26380 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I like my summary. It's snarky.

Dmax28
February 28th 2016


748 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You gotta try their albums New World Shadows and Beyond. These guys are my favorite melodeath band.



EvoHavok
February 28th 2016


7711 Comments


I never got around to checking this band despite my love for melodeath. This is certainly not the ideal starting point, eh.

Dmax28
February 28th 2016


748 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'd recommend starting with The Redshift and working your way up to hear the band's progression. Or if you really want to hear how much they changed start with "Stuck on Snakes Way", despite the rawness of that release it's really aggressive for them.

Or just listen to Beyond and New World Shadows for their more "epic" side.



parksungjoon
February 28th 2016


11346 Comments


Man what it is with people not checking a band until they release a weaker album?

They're not an S tier band or anything but Redshift and New World Shadows were solid albums.

Shuyin
February 28th 2016


13560 Comments


Yea, the 3 previous albums were pretty good, specially NWS

Flugmorph
February 28th 2016


22315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the spirit does in fact not like insomnium.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2016


26380 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Above the Weeping World is good.

Flugmorph
February 28th 2016


22315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

*is amazing

Mongi123
February 28th 2016


20676 Comments


Awesome review man.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2016


26380 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

@flug- ehh, wellllll

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2016


26380 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Thanks Mongi :]

Darkwatch025
February 28th 2016


364 Comments


This review fucking sucks. Skyline and Frontiers sound nothing like Scar Symmetry haha. What the hell are you talking about? I've been listening to melodic death metal for years and this has to be one of the best releases in the genre I have ever heard. The guitar melodies and keyboards are amazing. This is just as good if not better than their last three albums. I know we all have our opinions, but I am just shocked by this review.



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