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Omnium Gatherum – Grey Heavens
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Omnium Gatherum – Grey Heavens

Of all the albums I have had the pleasure of reviewing for RNRR, I have a clear favourite. In February 2013, ‘Omnium Gatherum’ released ‘Beyond’, an album that still manages to regularly find its way onto my playlist. I still regret not giving it the full 5 star treatment! Fast forward to February 2016 and the Finnish 6 piece have finally released the follow up. Given the name ‘Grey Heavens’, the album is definitely worth the 3 year hiatus.

Essentially, the formula remains the same, Omnium Gatherum serve up the most melodic of Death Metal alongside the ominous dirty vocals of Jukka Pelkonen. Epic guitars permeate throughout, in some of the tracks the guitar work is simply stunning. In ‘Frontiers’, where the whole structure of the track is first class, the harmonised vocals and excellent keyboard create a monster. It is great track.

10 Tracks long, ‘Grey Heavens’ does not let you down in any of them. Each song is individual, yet the track listing is put together in a way that encourages the album to flow. ‘Majesty and Silence’ follows ‘Frontiers’ and slows the pace a tad, but delivers ferocious verses coupled with sublime melodies, creating 8 ½ minutes of awesome. This creates a wonderful balance in the album, and it also makes the album fly past so quickly, you will immediately press play again when it ends.

Unlike my review of ‘Beyond’, I am not going to review every song. ‘Grey Heavens’ is an album that utterly demands that you listen to it. If Omnium Gatherum were a generic, no talent American metalcore band, they would be all over Scuzz and Kerrang! TV. But, they’re not. Omnium Gatherum are a band who have been on the go in some form or the other since 1996. They released their first album in 2003, improving and evolving throughout to album number 7.

‘Grey Heavens’ could merely have been the album that followed ‘Beyond’. Instead, it is THE album that follows. It takes all that was good with the previous album and improves upon it. Pelkonen’s vocals are a touch more aggressive, that little bit more committed. Markus Vanhala’s fretwork is a touch more crisp and the keys that accompany the tracks give each song a magnificent sense of grandeur.

In 2013, I said that Omnium Gatherum had released an album that would be vying for the best release of the year. With, ‘Grey Heavens’, the Finns have gone and done it again. If you buy this album, it will improve your life.