Finland has been the origin of many creatively talented Heavy Metal bands through the years. Ranging quite a few subgenres of Metal, including the likes of Melodic Death Metallers Insomnium and Folk Metal act Týr, within the confines of melodic Progressive Death Metal, there is Omnium Gatherum, who has taken a high ranking.
With over twenty years of existence and seven studio albums to their name, they are set to return with another strong contribution in the form of their latest album, The Burning Cold. Set for release on Friday, August 31st via Century Media, the album was mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö and produced and engineered by Teemu Aalto. Adding to the excitement surrounding the new music, they will also be on tour in North America with Dark Tranquillity, Amorphis, and Moonspell this fall. All this in mind, The Burning Cold could be one of Omnium Gatherum’s most exciting albums in sometime.
Sustaining a few lineup changes since their 1996 origin, the current lineup seems to be on the right track featuring Markus Vanhala on guitar, Aapo Koivisto on keyboards, Jukka Pelkonen providing raspy vocals, Joonas “Jope” Koto on rhythm guitar, Erkki Silvennoinen on bass, and Tuomo Latvala on the drums. Together they bring eleven new tracks that are peaceful atmospheric offering of fluid emotions on a mysterious platter of longing. Starting off the album, the first track, appropriately titled “The Burning,” is presented as a two minute long instrumental that sets the serene and melodic purposeful attitude for what is yet to come. Raging in, “Gods Go First” is gloriously melodic. That in mind, as far as heaviness goes, The Burning Cold has all it needs in the appropriate locations while still keeping a very melodic and progressive feel.
Most notably, the tunes “Rest In Your Heart” and “Be The Sky” exemplify the absolutely breathtaking keyboard melodies that drive the album to success. This, plus the intertwining of the most intricate progressive guitar solos, will leave listeners’ minds warped into a very melodic twisted tale of the most fantastical expression. Thereafter, “The Fearless Entity” is a dynamic following of ethereal prowess laced with the fearless vocals of Pelkonen that drive the Death Metal portion of the band’s sound home. The subtle changes in progress and melody from one tune to the next keeps the interest as depicted on standout “The Frontline” with its ever-changing battle of musical wits.
Bringing The Burning Cold to a close, “Planet Scale” will fulfill melodic Death Metal fans’ desires with its crafty drumming and deep growling vocals. Interestingly, and oddly, the final track, “Cold,” begins with what seems reminiscent of a slowed down Metallica riff. It is then layered into a very focused progressive tune that ends exactly as it begins, much in the way the circle of life plays out.
Overall, The Burning Cold proves itself to be a beautiful album from beginning to end. The album plays out in just as much contrast and extreme emotions as its title suggests, and that is why it is a bold moment in Omnium Gatherum’s career. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives The Burning Cold 4.5 out of 5 stars.