When it comes to melodic death metal, few have struck the balance between engaging hooks and savagery as Omnium Gatherum. These Finns have have showcased a medley of beauty and brutality since their inception in 1996, with each album boasting a more well-formed sound. The culmination is The Burning Cold – at least for now.
Emboldened with woozy synthesizers a la Netflix’s Stranger Things, Omnium Gatherum set a moody stage in an unsettling place on “The Burning” before unleashing impenetrable blast beats and guttural celebrations. The chorus of “Over the Battlefield” goes heavy on texture and keys that temper the staccato blasts of the verses, only to engage a dream-like refrain with clean vocals and a resolute guitar passage. “Be the Sky” is marked by a calculated plod that turns quickly into a gallop, all built upon a melody that threads the synths and guitars, including a middle section brimming with interplay including an elegant bass run. The album-closing “Cold,” a bookend to the opening track, reprises the original synth melody, its intoxicating waver coursing like blood through eager veins.
While many in the death metal game seek to overtake listeners with speed, fury, and ugliness, Omnium Gatherum not only infuse melody into their sound, they paint it on like Willy Wonka gone wild. Although the ever-present synthesizer occasionally dulls the sharp edges of what are, at heart, punchy tracks, The Burning Cold is a remarkable album that is full of life and heart.
The Burning Cold is out August 31 on Century Media Records. Buy it here!