» Blog Archive Omnium Gatherum Kick Off Tour In NYC -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Reviews, Tours

I guess I’ll eat my own words this time. I’m a vocal fan of Omnium Gatherum, one of Finland’s more seasoned and refined melodic death metal bands. Last I saw them, they were opening for Sonata Arctica in New Jersey, and flash forward nearly two years later and they’re opening up a hell of a line-up: Other than themselves, they shared a stage with Moonspell, Dark Tranquillity, and Amorphis. They worked perfectly with Sonata Arctica last time, and the likes of Omnium being paired up with Dark Tranquillity isn’t unheard of. But Moonspell and Amorphis? A dream line-up if I’ve ever seen it.

If you haven’t heard, Omnium’s latest album is solid album of the year material. The Burning Cold had the insurmountable obstacle of sizing up against Grey Heavens, the band’s 2016 release that is as close to perfect as it can come. Somehow, against all odds, The Burning Cold is as good, if not better in some ways, and it only coming out a short while before this show only helped fuel the hype. I was excited, to say the least, but then I remembered back to the NJ show and how on the money the band’s set was. Six songs, coming out guns blazing, and they managed to have a tight as hell set. Could that be done again?

Well yeah, who was I kidding? Omnium Gatherum in 2018 don’t pull any punches and took a *gasp* creative risk in completely redoing their entire set. While still technically restricted to six songs, the band was able to explore four different albums all the while playing to some fan favorites to keep things interesting. Remarkably yet, of the times I’ve seen Omnium Gatherum, this was perhaps their most diverse sounding performance thus far. “Frontiers” and “Gods Go First” sound like the same band yet are distinct from one another, while “Skyline” and “The Unknowing” are far and away different feels all around. It’s like the band said “Hey, this new album is great, but I don’t wanna play the same songs we’ve been playing for the past three album cycles. Let’s diversify!” And it worked, too!

I do take one issue with the set, and that it was the band’s choice of a closer. “Ego” is a great song, and New World Shadows is one of the band’s finest works, but I couldn’t help but feel it would have been better placed earlier in the set following “Gods Go First” instead. “The Unknowing” is such a beautiful and emotionally-charged song, that sending their all-too-brief set with it would have been a majestic way to go. This wasn’t a make-it-or-break-it issue, obviously, but rather a nitpick I had in hopes to see the band fully utilize the strengths of their discography.

But even still, opening band or not, Omnium Gatherum always come out and act like they own the stage. Between frontman Jukka or lead guitarist Markus propelling themselves around the stage, striking poses and being generally photogenic, you can’t help but be entertained simply watching this band do their thing. There’s always something going on, people are always moving, and most of the time the instrumentalists are doing something wild and trading off solos on guitar.

Omnium Gatherum just get better with time like the best of wines. It’s time, however, for the band to graduate beyond being an opening act and to take on longer sets in a bigger supporting role. 30 minutes a night just won’t do it anymore, as an additional 10 would allow them to have a bigger show and more time to prove to new listeners just how great they are.  TL;DR, Omnium Gatherum are still great, they’re kicking ass on this tour, and you’re a fool if you pass up on the opportunity to see them.

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