Omnium Gatherum - _The Redshift_
(Candlelight Records, 2008)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (
With their last album _Stuck Here on Snakes Way_, Omnium Gatherum managed to get their creative juices running again after the ever so boring sophomore effort _Years in Waste_. And they seem to be gathering more momentum with their fourth release. On the first listen _The Redshift_ sounds rather bland and uninspired, but given the effort an interesting and enjoyable album unfolds. The band members are meshing their individual output more cohesively and with an improved eye (or ear) for detail and songwriting, they offer a good selection of songs.Jukka Pelkonen's vocals have not only improved, but they are more varied and expressive than ever before. His usual rasp is mixed with quite a bit of clean singing and whispering and it works wonders in injecting the album with plenty of atmosphere. Even some keyboards are sprinkled here and there that tighten certain songs at appropriate times. But it is the guitars that elevate the album. At times typical melodic death, like in the opener "Nail", the guitars are not afraid to change tempo and harshness. Where "The Redshifter" begins with a brutal riff, only to change direction several times, "Greeneyes" and "Song for December" are mellower and more introspective. The same with "Distant Light Highway", which begins slow and evolves with a gorgeous, playful theme that immediately transforms into a more crunchy staccato guitar line, only to later blend with the first riff again.The standout track in _The Redshift_ though is most definitely "The Return". Imagine a blend of Mors Principium Est and Rotting Christ with a touch of Omnium Gatherum's _ Spirits & August Light _ all over it, and what you get is an immediately addictive song that is hard to let go. Thankfully, as mentioned, there is not just one good track in the album. Most songs have something to offer, and it seems Omnium Gatherum are recapturing the elements that allowed them to create such a magnificent debut album.With so many melodic death metal albums chucked out constantly in the past year(s), _The Redshift_ definitely has a place amongst the better bunch. It is well written, catchy and very enjoyable to listen to. Good on them for persevering and not playing by the numbers.
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