Omnium Gatherum’s Grey Heavens Smashes Expectations
I am a huge fan of Omnium’s entire diverse Melodeth catalogue, but their previous release “Beyond” was a cut above any Melodeth release. “Beyond” was beautiful and as inspiring as enjoying looking out on Finland’s vast coastline, that can be experienced in a music video from this album. For me, Omnium foreshadows At The Gates’ last disappointing attempt at a radio friendly album and In Flames’ even more harsh attempt. Yes, without the Gothenburg Melodeth bands like At The Gates and In Flames there would be no Omnium, Insomnium, Woods of Ypres, and many more. However, I prefer the Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum style of Melodeth. The melodic sides of these bands rival anything I’ve ever heard before. So Omnium set the bar impossibly high with “Beyond” for me, and I was just sure nothing could top it. Boy, I was wrong. Finland has a lot of great bands, but I dare say that “Grey Heavens” puts Omnium high above.
I have reviewed a lot of albums since I began this blog, some great and some absolutely terrible albums, too. It is rare that I get to review an album that I truly enjoy every track on, so this album was mind blowing to review. I have listened to it a dozen times since it came out, because it is worth giving that many in depth listens. “Grey Heavens” is anything but your typical Metal album. The growls are perfectly set into a melodic pocket, giving this “beauty and the beast” sound to it. While the lead guitars are beautiful, the growls are harsh and chest rattling, especially on songs like Skyline and Frontiers. The guitars are melodic, but not understated. The guitars wail loudly and the technicality is absolutely astounding. Every sweep, solo, rhythmic underlay is perfectly executed with the guitars as well as the layered vocals. The vocals are mostly dirty, but the clean vocals evoke incredible emotion and tone on this record. You get a taste of cleans in the past two Omnium records, but “Grey Heavens” has superior mixing. Majesty and Silence has to be my favorite song on this record because of the layering; the acoustic guitars as well as heavy rhythmic guitars mix together expertly as well as the clean and dirty vocals. The juxtaposition of Melodeth that Omnium achieves on this record makes it an easy candidate for record of the year. Every song is flawless and will leave you speechless. I highly recommend it for entry level Death Metal fans and anyone with a good taste in music. 10/10