It isn’t even 2013 yet and already we at NCS are getting pimp-slapped by the hand of Zeus himself in the form of Omnium Gatherum’s new album Beyond. As Islander said in his review, melodic death metal of the darker sort had an absolutely fucking killer year in 2012, and to get hit with something of the same ilk already for 2013 gives me have very high hopes for the new year.
I will admit, this is one of those bands who I loved whenever I ran across them but never dove into out of sheer laziness or occupation with other things. I can say, however, that I’ve dived into this album, drowned, been brought back to life, and have repeated this cycle over ten times in the last twenty-four hours. Beyond is a dense, layered, passionate, and macabre work that could very well already seal my first favorite for 2013.
Like all melodic death metal that’s been killing it lately, Omnium prefer to immerse you in layers of interwoven melody lines as opposed to hard-hitting riffs, arming themselves with depressing yet infectious-as-plague melodies, ever-driven drum work, and a keyboard with a very Blade Runner-esque feel to it.
Beyond wouldn’t be so good if it weren’t for the stellar composition, the way in which this band approaches their particular melodic touch, and the just unbelievably astute sense of how to write hooks. Tons of tons upon a fucking tonnage of hooks exist within this beast. It’s like a 101 class in how to write catchy, legit melodic death metal with this album as the example to which students should aspire. The thing that’s most impressive concerning the composition is that these are real songs, real listening adventures, which ALSO incorporate hooks that are so memorable it’s almost unfair. I’d wager that 90% of this album is completely memorable, if not every single bit of it.
Beyond is a rare gem in the metal world, an album that manages to maintain that heaviness, that intensity, that sorrow and rage, but also manages to leech itself into your soul. Soul is definitely something this band has always had, but here it’s laid bare to an extent previously unheard. A modern melodic death metal masterwork for sure.
[Beyond will be released by Lifeforce Records in Finland, Germany, Austria, and Sweden, and digitally, on February 22; in the rest of Europe on February 25; and in North America on March 5. Special pre-sale bundles are now up for order at the Omnium Gatherum webshop, and the album can also be pre-ordered from LevykauppaX / RecordstoreX.]