Omnium Gatherum

Picture of Omnium Gatherum

Spirits And August Light

Omnium Gatherum - Spirits And August Light ©2003 Rage Of Achilles
1. Writhen
2. Deathwhite
3. The Perfumed Garden
4. Amor Tonight
5. Cure A Wound
6. The Emptiness Of Spirit
7. Wastrel
8. Son's Thoughts
9. It Shines

So Omnium Gatherum is obviously quite influenced by your omnipresent Scandanavian melodic death metal scene. So you can pick out what bands they sound similar to. It all doesn't matter because Omnium Gatherum proves they can take a familiar style and come up with a fresh sounding album. The secret, of course, lays in excellent songwriting. Spirits and August Light is the kind of album that may initially turn off listeners who have had enough of the style, but if you actually play it past the first minute, you'll quickly discover the immense ability of the band to sell you on their merits.

For those who require a quick rundown of similar bands, Omnium Gatherum takes a healthy dose of Soilwork's later material with a handful of Dark Tranquillity's earlier aggression, adding in a slight bit of Moonsorrow epic atmosphere and melodicism from latter day Amorphis. The result is an album that might be just right for those who think Soilwork has turned into a soft band. Spirts and August Light is a riff heavy album that contains a reasonable amount of harmonizing leads. The secret ingredient that sets these guys apart is occasional diversions into clean passages ("The Perfumed Garden") as well as digging out some Immortal sized riffs (witness the grand centerpiece of "It Shines" for a riff that is bigger than your cat a year after fixing him). Moreover, for those who feel clean vocals are a travesty, you're going to be hardpressed to find anything but growly, hoarse vocals throughout this CD. It stands to reason the band will experiment with clean singing on future releases, but for the moment, their singer has found a sore throat and is sticking with it.

While not quite the most original thing ever, Spirits and August Light overcame my initial feeling that I had heard it all before by sucking me in with a collection of very well written songs. It's hard to criticize a band who can take the familiar and just make it a bit better. Omnium Gatherum is recommended for those Soilwork fans who simply can't get enough or for those who realize Dark Tranquillity lost their muse.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2003

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