Released: 2008, Independent
Reviewer: Simon Lukic
Universum are a 6 piece that originate from South Australia and have delivered a world class debut on an unsuspecting world. In short, LETO DESTINATUS contains 50 minutes of pure melodic death anthems that will blow the minds of Soilwork and Scar Symmetry fans alike.
The CD gets off to a great start with the title track and it makes an early impression with an intelligent arrangement and killer dynamics, making it the perfect opener. What will become apparent by “Day Of Redemption” is the clear fact that Universum has taste and that they know how to write songs with hooks, yet can still retain that heavy approach metal fans crave. Other highlights include the very awesome “Disconnected”, the ripping “Damage” as well as “War Of Ages” and “False Paradigm”. Another plus for the band are their melodies which are very much in the power/prog metal mould. This gives the music another dimension as well as an edge over their contemporaries who still adopt an At The Gates/Iron Maiden like approach to their melodies. Universum have instead added a touch of Evergrey/Vanishing Point to their sound which gives their music a fresh, exciting feel. The vocals of Adam Soininen are strong and effective as well, especially when singing in a death metal style, but he is also backed up on clean vocals by Michael Soininen whose voice is dark and not too “sweet”, if you know what I mean, making the vocal attack powerful and rather consistent, as well as natural.
LETO DESTINATUS is a stunning debut, as well as a professional effort and it’s been a long while since I have seen a band take so much pride in their work. Universum not only produced the album themselves – it sounds amazing, but they took the added incentive to get the album mixed and mastered in Sweden by Jens Bogren (Soilwork, Opeth, Amon Amarth) and sought out the talents of Gus Sazes (Sonic Syndicate, Nightrage, Firewind) to create the stunning artwork. LETO DESTINATUS is essentially a ready made package and if a label doesn’t pick up on this band then there’s no hope. I mean, Universum have got it all and for an independent band to be so organised so early into their career is quite impressive.
Until greater exposure comes their way and I’m sure that it will, be the first on your block to have LETO DESTINATUS. In short, the album is simply huge!
Day of Redemption
War of Ages
Ignite the Subconscious
Adam Soininen - vocals
Michael Soininen - guitar, vocals
Stephen Murphy - guitar
Rachael Madden - keyboard
Jaron Soininen - drums
Liam Brophy - bass