So here they are again, one of the best newcomers in 2003, the critically acclaimed OMNIUM GATHERUM. We all know how “S.A.A.L.” did wonders for the band last year in winning tons of Metal hearts worldwide (including mine), obviously this has boosted some confidence into the O.G. camp. A November release date via Nuclear Blast for a second album seemed like the perfect timing and after months of anticipation that time has finally come.
Finland’s hottest hopefuls in the category “New Wave Of European Death Metal” have taken a step in the right direction with “Years In Waste”. All the elements they had running on “S.A.A.L” have been intensified and lifted up to higher grounds. The second sign of recent maturity in the band is revealed in the skilled and varied song writing, penning a memorable song doesn’t seem to be the most difficult of tasks for the talented sextet and hell, it’s great to hear the cold and ghastly voice of Antti Filppu, it took some time to appreciate his work but they really do suit the atmosphere.
This CD has gotten large amounts of spins in my stereo, I like the music but what really keeps the longevity from fading is the number of details and wicked sense for progressive instrumental patterns. There’s much to discover, “Misanthrope (Let The Crown Fall)”, “It’s A Long Night” and partially “Gravesilence” are short controlled bursts of well arranged Melodic Death Metal with a rough old school attitude and even those have a few surprises up their sleeve.
The already familiar opening pre-teaser (be sure to check the sample) hasn’t left me cold yet, it’s one of the most atmospheric Death Metal songs that has passed through my ears, everything from the crying lead guitars, subtle keyboard shades, catchy riffs to the classic soloing, odd time drumming and overall smell of progressiveness creates a deeper and more elaborate sound than any of their colleagues (NORTHER, KALMAH, MORS PRINCIPIUM EST and SOILWORK to name a few). “Waste Of Bereavement” continues to forge the path but with an extra inclusion of vintage keyboard sounds and star skied clean guitars, love the ending passages on this one.
The album peaks with the stellar Prog reeking trinity of “Black Seas Cry”, “The Nolan’s Fati” and “More Withering”, all showing the present potentials of the band as well as a small look at a possible future direction, no words needed, must be heard to be fully graced. Another strong track is “Auguries Gone”, which has plenty of Thrashy C.O.B. “Follow The Reaper” era riffing (compliment or the opposite, you be the judge of that) but continues on a more melodic pace and there’s enough of lead harmonies from Markus Vanhala to make Michael Weikath blush, that says a lot. The band has kept their misty sound but made sure to polish it so the small things could be made more effective in complimenting the music.
With proper promotion OMNIUM GATHERUM is sure to be the next big thing in the genre, the Finns have done their part so the office heads at Nuclear Blast better not fuck this up hehe. “Years In Waste” is a fresh Death Metal CD you don’t wanna miss, Progressive Metal fans are also invited. (Online January 2, 2005)