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Eight listens later... - 65%

GuyOne, July 18th, 2010

Omnium Gatherum's debut full-length album is one of those releases I find really hard to digest. Swallowing the music is not a problem. The melodies go down very smoothly and progression of the compositions as well but there is just something a little odd about the taste. Ahhh yes, Writhen has come to an end again and I can clearly see what the problem is. Even after the eighth spin of the disc I cannot find anything memorable about the majority of the songs offered.

Now let's not jump to conclusions. Somewhere inside my rotting heart tainted over recent years by black metal is still great love to be found for melodic death metal. After all, that is where the transition gap between hard rock and metal was created for me. Here is why I have a little bit of beef with this album: mediocrity. What we have offered here is a massive collection of melodic riffs which each song collectively progresses through but without any of these melodies actually standing out beyond the others. Some can appreciate the level of diversity . These songs never get boring and at the same time I cannot find too many of them interesting. There has been no point where I have found myself whistling any of these melodies while out and about town and for a melodic death metal band I find that a bad thing. Aside from opening riff of Writhen I had to wait until the chorus of The Perfumed Garden to get something memorable.

Eventually one gets to a point in their musical advancement that they know how they feel towards a release just after a few listens. I highly enjoy this album. This is known to me because every time I play this album I have a great time and finally after eight spins I am starting to remember what tracks have what parts. Which brings me to what I like: the sorrowful heart-breaking atmosphere is present through the melodies and clearly in the lyrics but what surprised me the most was even the guitar tone (both distorted and clean) really bleed sorrow. It just sounds like the entire package was meant to be as it is. The only other band that comes to mind that pulls this off so well would be another melodic death metal band that goes by the name of Ablaze My Sorrow.

As mentioning the clean tones earlier. Something I have come to love in metal is when clean tone melodies are incorporated in with distorted rhythm sections. Yes, some writers can really pull off the beautiful clean tone solo sections without interrupting the flow of the song but Omnium Gatherum has brought to the table here something that feels to me to be on a different level. The Perfumed Garden displays this perfectly with its beautifully executed clean toned intro that slowly introduces the rest of the band. Son's Thoughts also uses this method beautifully in the intro and verses of the song.

Going back to the lack of lengthly melodies, if this album was as consistant as Son's Thoughts this album would be near perfect. It has the beautifully eerie clean tones, the lengthly melody pieces and a relatively melodic chorus. Easily the standout track of the album.

The composing of the songs are great and there are some real gems hidden in the album it will take a few listens before finding the truly memorable parts. If the atmosphere doesn't immeditely hook you don't give up becauee you will be missing out on something I feel is really unique and hard to come by in the sub-genre. Writhen and Son's Thoughts display professionalism and a potentially bright future and The Perfumed Garden is hauntingly atmospheric and progressive -- but where the album begins to fall short is in between this tracks where the songs lack memorable melodies and choruses. In reality it is difficult to express the main problem I have with the album. The riffs are really not memorable. It is truly a moment when the riff comes and you think, "this is a fantastic riff" but after it ends it is forgotten.

If Omnium Gatherum concentrated on the stronger riffs, not that there are a whole lot of weak riffs to begin with, and developing the chorus melodies this album would be an absolute piece of art. Call it a "hit or miss album", "a great but flawed debut" or whatever you desire but Spirits and August Light brings to the table great ideas and fantastic atmosphere but with something left to be desired.