(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Finland’s Omnium Gatherum.)
As you know, we’re not really in the business of publishing negative reviews here at NCS. In fact I think the very idea of publishing something wholly negative gives Islander heart palpitations.
Still, I have to say that Grey Heavens, the seventh album by Finnish melodeath titans Omnium Gatherum, is, without a doubt, a thoroughly frustrating listening experience.
There are times when it positively crackles with the band’s patented musical magic, driven by the same passion and energy that made The Redshift, New World Shadows, and Beyond such thrilling, electrifying albums, ably accented by characteristic tinges of proggy melancholy and shamelessly extravagant fretboard theatrics.
Unfortunately, there are also times (more than I’m really comfortable with, truth be told) where it limps rather than gallops along, with a much more uneven gait, hamstrung and prevented from reaching its full potential by a nagging feeling of over-familiarity and a sense of “been there, done that” which lingers like a vaguely unpleasant odour.
Like I said… it’s frustrating, fluctuating as it does between utterly stupendous, and unsatisfyingly stock in its delivery. But that doesn’t make it a bad album. Just an uneven one. Continue reading »