Omnium Gatherum

Stuck On Snakes Way

Written by: MY on 30/03/2007 23:44:11

Dear Lord. Back when I wore my stripey pyjamas and prayed to you upon bended knee at night, I was always certain to ask you one thing. Why, oh Lord, were Omnium Gatherum not huge whilst less worthy bands reaped the rewards of your good work? This band have floated around the underbelly of Finnish metal for a few years and never came close to warranting the success I strongly believed they deserved. Quite often I would finish my bedtime cup of Cocoa while gently rocking out to "Spirits and Autumn Light" (One of the best metal albums of 2003, forget what anyone else tells you).

But sadly, we live in an unjust society. There is a reason why some bands take the skyward leap into the Metal Stratosphere (NOT where Stratovarius hail from, D&D fiends) and some don't. Heres the deal: This band write riffs that straight up fucking rule. They own. They slay. They pillage the village. They race with the devil on a Spanish highway. They.... you get the idea. Unfortunately for them, they have always been hampered with less-than-inspiring vocalists. Previous singer Antti Filppu wasn't stunning, and unfortunately this new guy really isn't much better. Hearing this record is kinda like finding the missing chapter of the Dead Sea Scrolls in your attic, only to find some wags completed a Sudoku puzzle on them and ripped the last page in half to write a 'phone number' down.

It's a crying shame, because musically there really is some great stuff here, particularly in Markus Vanhalas lead guitar work. The intro "The Snake and The Way" (the one thing I nearly always skip on albums) is superb. Some wonderful and clever chord changes, it sets up the album great. And there really is an onslaught of inspired musical moments everywhere: "Bastard-O" is exhilarating, some insanely moody riffing and awesome keyboard pads on the chorus. "Dysomnia" causes the neck to ache, the intro to "Undertaker" (who the hell came up with these titles?) evokes a great chilling mood and then explodes into some brutal riffola and Dream Theater-esque highbrow noodlings. "Drudgery" kicks off with a cool double-kick intro, and "Insane World" hits a watertight groove in the verses.

Again, this all pains me to say because musically this band have it all down pat, sorted. If this band had a vocalist with the snarl and attitude of a Jeff Walker or Tomas Lindberg, they would be quasi-legendary by now. But unfortunately to be taken into the arms of the adoring Metal Militia, they have some serious work to do. Hope it's better luck next time, eh? A sad, sad disappointment.


Download: The Snake and The Way, Bastard-O
For the fans of: At The Gates, Entombed
Listen: MySpace

Release Date 02.04.2007
Candlelight Records
Provided by Target ApS

(Written by Dan Turner)

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