If there were a Hell, a special room would be reserved in it for the kind of sadists like us who publish enthusiastic reviews of new albums months before their release. But in our defense, Omnium Gatherum’s new album is one of those that, once heard, must be trumpeted to the skies without delay. Keeping quiet about it is simply too much to ask.
We’ve already posted Andy Synn’s detailed review, and we have at least one more coming in the near future, so I will be brief, especially because I’m still trying to finish compiling our list of 2012’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Speaking of which, with 2013 just around the corner, it’s time to start making a list of candidates for the most infectious songs of next year. I have no trouble deciding which songs from Beyond belong on that list: all of them.
Good lord, there ought to be some kind of law against stuffing a single album with so many undeniable melodic hooks and neck-snapping rhythms, or at least some requirement that they be shared with bands who slave away for years and never come up with anything as good as any song picked randomly from this album. Hell, the ballad “Who Could Say” would be a radio hit even in our metal-challenged nation if the vocals were exclusively clean instead of being mixed with Jukka Pelkonen’s monstrous roars.
But don’t get the wrong idea: despite the tremendous melodies, this is still very heavy, very powerful music, as often doom-shrouded and melancholy as it is furiously hard-charging. And despite the alluring simplicity of all the viral riffs, the music is multi-layered, with depths left to plumb after the first listen.
The instrumental performances are top-notch, and Pelkonen’s truly cavernous gutturals have never sounded better, or more harrowing.
Dark melodic death metal had a banner year in 2012 with releases by the likes of In Mourning, Daylight Dies, and Be’lakor. If 2013 brings us nothing else in this style besides Beyond, it will be a banner year, too.
In a nutshell, this is Omnium Gatherum’s best album to date, a riveting listen from start to finish, and an album that’s sure to be a monster hit. You may have to wait 2 or 3 months to lay hands upon it, but trust us, it will be worth the wait.