“Grey Heavens” marks Omnium Gatherum‘s 7th full-length album to date, and the 5th with Jukka Pelkonen as their vocalist since “Stuck Here on Snakes Way” in 2007. According to their facebook page, Omnium Gatherum now classify their music as “adult oriented death metal” – one may wonder what that means.┬áI presume they are becoming more interesting, but something is still amiss for me.┬áI was reluctant to review this album off our list since I reckon from previous experiences that Omnium Gatherum do not really nourish my music curiosity, but I have decided to sort out┬áthis album however to give them another┬áwhirl.
“Grey Heavens” is soulful and nostalgic to their roots. It has a fuller atmosphere than previous releases – it is almost as if staring at an HDR TV – all the details are there, but one must focus on individual properties┬áto fully identify what is in the mix. The acoustic guitar interweaves and creates a very elegant sound, akin to what is done by Mikael ├àkerfeldt in Opeth. The guitars have monstrous layers, good tonality and does not have awful digitalized chugs – many guitar effects were used in resourceful┬áand very melodic ways. The enrichment and depth the keyboards provide can be easily missed if you’re listening to the album through terrible speakers or headphones – the orchestrations do not over power the overall output and is very subtle.
“The Pit” is a very strong introduction to the album, perhaps a misleading one at that as the other songs do not possess the same energy as this, hardly a song to base the whole album on.┬á”Skyline” is where I realized that this album will not fill the bill┬áfully – it is an easy to get into happy groove track with its generic and primitive riffs, roughly a piece you might hear from In Flames‘ newly discovered sound. “Rejuvenate” is a faster song similar to the intro with its brief but sensible solos; That is one thing to admire about “Grey Heavens“, it simply has excellent┬áand very fitting solos. “These Grey Heavens” is a┬áfour-minute instrumental track that hardly impresses me, it is not a very exceptional┬áinstrumental piece and quite ordinary. “The Great Liberation” or “The Children of Bodom -track” as I call it, is more to my liking – it embodies some of the elements CoB are known for.┬áFinally, “Frontiers” and “Storm Front” are also among the songs I┬áam somewhat partial to.
“Grey Heavens” is slow, fast, brutal, there is aggression along with tenderness, but I regretfully say I am left unchanged and unmoved. This is not a terrible album – it is simply for another type of listener.┬áOmnium Gatherum of course have “the freedom of choice” to make this type “of noise”.
1. The Pit
4. Majesty and Silence
7. The Great Liberation
8. Ophidian Sunrise
9. These Grey Heavens
10. Storm Front
Playing Time: 56:15
Release date: February 26th, 2016
Label: Lifeforce Records