Released: 2003, Rage of Achilles
It’s so hard to keep up with all the bands out there. I was mildly shocked to learn that Omnium Gatherum has four or five previous releases already, although most of them fall into the pro-demo / indie CD category. This is my first exposure to them and now I must go visit their back catalogue.
It has been said that over time a reviewer and even fans can become jaded, disinterested or even cynical. The debate about originality rages on. Some metal fans value originality above all else, and others value consistency and execution of a familiar form. And then there is that ‘X-Factor’, that indescribable element that just makes a listener get excited for no discernable reason. For me, Omnium Gatherum is that band that has a huge ‘X-Factor’.
I love these guys and I can’t exactly put my finger on it. The more I try to analyze why I adore this CD, the more it slips through my fingers. This CD kicks eternal ass. My immediate impression was, ‘This is the band that Callenish Circle WISHES they were’ ! Strong words, I agree but for some reason that X-factor has come into play. There are faster bands, more melodic bands, more atmospheric bands, darker bands, more melodic bands and yet OG in my mind stands above the pack.
The relatively new record label, Rage of Achilles presents us with a very acceptable package in terms of lyrics, some nice photos, credits and a cool design and layout. OG are a Finnish five piece who as mentioned have several releases under their belts. The disc has nine cuts most of them in the four to five minute range. The production is excellent, clear, crunchy guitars, cymbals are clean and clear with a great sound on the ride, especially in the cut ‘Son’s Thoughts’ Everything sits nicely in the mix and is sonically pleasing to me.
There is a real 80’s vibe in the solos. Lots of flair and flashy solos from lead guitarist Markus Vanhala is he is not afraid to show he has mastered his instrument but with an understanding of when to play and when not to play. OG are certainly in the heavier zone, almost death metal but not quite. I suppose some might attach the Gothenburg label to these guys, as they do have a great melodic death sound with raw vocals and heavy guitar crunch. They are a wonderful blend of thrash, death and classic metal. The songs are catchy, yet dark and progressive to some degree. I think that might be the missing link. OG take a number of elements from various sources of inspiration, crunch them together and have recorded some really strong songs with a sound that is all together extremely well done and enjoyable. Find more information about this fine band at http://www.omniumgatherum.cjb.net.