Omnium Gatherum – New World Shadows

My first introduction to Omnium Gatherum was their The Redshift album. At first I wasn’t particularly taken with that album, but over time it grew on me and nowadays it’s one of my favourite albums. When I received the news that the band was working on new material, my expectations went mountain high. With high hopes I entrusted their latest offering, entitled New World Shadows, to my ever hungry CD player…

At first I was rather disappointed with New World Shadows. It still had the trademark Omnium Gatherum sound, but the material sounded like a collection of several ideas thrown together, instead of a cohesive entity. However, as with The Redshift it started to grow on me. Slowly, but surely it managed to draw my attention and after a few days I finally got to the core of the album.

New World Shadows isn’t an easy one to get into. It starts with a nine minute song, entitled Everfields. It’s full of progressive twists and turns and some folk elements for some additional spice. Think Opeth meets Amorphis. Deep Cold follows the same pattern. Ego, Nova Flame and The Distance have much in common with the older In Flames (Clayman) and Dark Tranquillity (The Mind’s I) material, while An Infinite Mind and Soul Journeys could have been on AmorphisTuonela and Am Universum records.

Compared to The Redshift the material on New World Shadows is a bit more complex, but above all a bit harsher. This is especially highlighted by the deep growls and grunts by Jukka Pelkonen. This album is expertly mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö (Coldworker, Opeth). He also provided some additional clean vocals on Deep Cold and the title track.

It has to be said that Omnium Gatherum have delivered their best work yet with New World Shadows. It’s varied, dynamic and progressive enough to draw the attention of some prog heads. I just hope that the band will put a greater emphasis on finding a more distinct sound of their own, instead of showing their influences. Besides that, New World Shadows is a great album by any standard.

Written by Raymond Westland

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