Omnium Gatherum - _Stuck Here On Snakes Way_
by: Kostas Sarampalis (
Omnium Gatherum's debut album _Spirits and August Light_ was a brilliantly refreshing piece of melodic death metal. The same cannot be said for their sophomore album, which replaced quality songwriting with several clichés of the genre and an overall lack of the enthusiasm displayed in the first album. _Stuck Here on Snakes Way_ sits somewhere in between the first two releases. It is not as enthusiastic as the debut, but neither is it as bland and all over the place like the previous one.Take "Just Signs", for example: an absolute gem of a slow-paced, introverted and emotional death metal song with abundant melodies and focused structure. Surprisingly, the clean vocals are leaps and bounds ahead of the growls used in the album. Omnium Gatherum have been somewhat unlucky with their vocalists, changing them for almost every release. I much prefer the harsh vocals of the debut, rather than on this one, as the new vocalist sounds very bland and his rasp is somewhat annoying to my ears. The rest of the band performs rather well, and they seem to have retained the mastery of their instruments as exhibited in the debut.Consistency is somewhat of a problem with _Stuck Here on Snakes Way_, however. Songs like "Bastard-O" or the closing three tracks fail to hold my attention for long, but at least there are plenty of songs to make up for it. The solos are tasteful enough, and the band still retain the subtle keyboards that vary and complement the song structures. A couple of other highlights can be found in "Into Sea" and "A-Part of God", together with the aforementioned "Just Signs", but there is a uniformity of sound in most of the songs that makes it hard for them to stand out.Omnium Gatherum are still much better than, say, Soilwork in my book, and the potential is still there, as they are more than capable musicians. This is not a bad album by far, but with better vocals and some renewed spark they can easily once again jump outside the just-good and into the hell-yeah territory.
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