Finland’s own melodic death metal masters, Omnium Gatherum, have released their 8th studio album with The Burning Cold. The Burning Cold was released via Century Media Records on the 31st of August.
Omnium Gatherum are very consistent with releases, giving us new music every 2 to 3 years since their debut in 2003 called Spirit’s and August Light. Their last release, prior to The Burning Cold, came in 2016 with the very good Grey Heavens. Omnium Gatherum are a melodic death metal band though you can pick out other genres and influences in their music. There are some obvious progressive elements as well as some power metal too. We reviewed the first single from the new album, Gods Go First. You can read our thoughts on that here.
Omnium Gatherum have had a large amount of line up changes through their career. Only lead guitarist Markus Vanhala remains from the original formation of the band back in 1996. He also looks after guitar duties for another Finnish melodic death metal band, Insomnium. Joining Markus on rhythm guitar is Joonas Koto and on bass is Erkki Silvennoinen. Jukka Pelkonen is the vocalist and Aapo Koivisto is on keyboards. Finally, on drums we have Tuomo Latvala.
The Burning Cold is 11 tracks, or 51 minutes of powerful, blazing melodeath. It is a really strong release showcasing memorable hooks, blistering solos and progressive, genre enhancing structures.
It all starts with a 2 minute instrumental called The Burning. The opener sets the scene with a nice blend of chunky riffing and powerful guitar lines, getting you in the mood before hitting you hard with fast and thrashy lead single, Gods Go First. You can read our thoughts on that single above. Across the rest of the album you get a perfectly balanced blend of punchy heaviness and sorrowful melody. Tracks like Refining Fire kick straight in with crashing drum blasts and bass heavy, pit inducing riffs before a mesmerising guitar lead drags you off into the clouds. The vocals are gruff and forceful, blended nicely into the music so the band can remain equally balanced, a sum of their parts.
Be the Sky is similar, hitting hard with resounding riffs and thumping drums before easing aside to allow a clean guitar to penetrate the clouds. An instrumental section follows that builds and builds before exploding back into life with huge roars and a spine damaging rhythm. Other tracks like Driven By Conflict lean hard on melodic death with vicious verses and cleaner choruses. Rest in Your Heart slows everything down a bit to an epic sounding, groove track with a glorious main riff. It has a little modern Amon Amarth it. The Frontline is similar, keeping that groove line mixed in with the occasional soaring solo and leading guitar line.
The Burning Cold ends on an epic, near 6 minute track called Cold. I like what they did there. First track, The Burning, last track Cold, thus making the album title. Cold is brilliant. A gentle acoustic starts you off before it builds into a huge sounding song with drawn out guitar notes and powerful vocals. There is a spoken word section in the middle and the keyboards add an almost symphonic element at times. There is a huge solo at the end that is emotional and intense to listen to before it gently fades away with the same opening acoustic melody.
The Burning Cold is a supremely impressive album. The songs are crafted beautifully and the album is so well balanced. 11 tracks fly by in minutes, each bringing you further along on the journey before hitting you with Cold right at the end. The musicianship is impressive but it is how well everything works together that really stands out. Omnium Gatherum have just sent out one of the best releases of an already very strong year.
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The Burning Cold is out now on all the usual streaming services, like Spotify and Apple Music. You can pick up a physical copy from Century Media here or from the band, here. Keep up to date with news from the band at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Omnium Gatherum are on tour in the US throughout September before heading back to Finland. They then head out on a big European tour throughout November. Check out those dates here.
The Burning Cold by Omnium Gatherum (Century Media)
The Final Score - 9/10