Welcome to another chapter of my Album of the Year 2018 top 30 countdown. We’re now dangerously close to the top 5, the five best records released in 2018 according to me, the oracle of all things metal. If you believe that, you’ll believe anything!
However, I have been left speechless by the amount of interaction and support this series has received. Even if it was to crash and burn now, it would still definitely be the most successful countdown I’ve ever undertaken. So thank you everyone for tuning in each and every day to read my work and for all the comments, as well as the occasional slice of good-natured abuse!
As always, if you’ve missed any of my previous posts, head down to the bottom of this post to check out the links for numbers 30-7.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the series so far – and here’s the next choice to get your ears around…
‘The Burning Cold’
Century Media Records
Score of Much Metal: 9.75
Pray silence for the very best melodic death metal band on Earth – Omnium Gatherum. I have realised, as my review confirms, that the Finns really are my favourite melodeath band around at the moment. I love Dark Tranquillity and Soilwork plus numerous others, but the moment I press play on an Omnium Gatherum record, I smile and I am transported to a place that I love to be.
And again, as my review below attests, it is that wonderful combination of heavy riffs and gurgling growls, alongside huge atmospheric synths and gorgeous melodic guitar harmonies and leads that means that, to my ears, these guys are peerless within their chosen genre.
I can’t actually remember the last time that Omnium Gatherum released a substandard album and so theirs is a name that regularly features within my end-of-year countdowns. Did OG release a record this year? Then I wonder where the Man of Much Metal will place them in the list. With ‘The Burning Cold’, they have once again delivered the goods and so they sit proudly and justifiably within my top 10.
What I like so much about this record is the honed and professional songwriting that means that the album rips along at a great pace. I had worried about the lack of any longer tracks on the album but as it has turned out, that has worked to the band’s advantage. The tracks enter, do their damage, and then leave. And what damage it is too – the music really is like being hit by that cliché, the iron fist in a velvet glove.
I love everything about this band – the rest of the melodeath scene has its work cut out to match the consistently stellar quality of this outfit.
To quote my review of 24 August 2018:
“Coining the phrase ‘adult-oriented death metal’ some years ago, Omnium Gatherum have always had a tender side. As such, they have consistently sought to blend the heavy and abrasive elements of death metal, with the soothing, atmospheric and downright gorgeous elements of AOR. And they do it brilliantly, as ‘The Burning Cold’ demonstrates, seemingly with ease. Swathes of keys, offering their soft, welcoming and atmospheric embrace are an ever-present aspect of the Omnium Gatherum sound, but rather than interfere with the overall feel of the music, they very much enhance it as far as I’m concerned.
What I love most about Omnium Gatherum though, and what makes me go weak at the knees every time I hear it is the combination of two big factors, namely those massive, atmospheric keys and the dual guitar harmonies and lead melodies. Together, the end result is devastating, pure nectar to these ears. Granted the Finns can belt out the spiky, heavy riffs and can provide some hugely powerful rhythms – without this they’d struggle to warrant the metal tag. However, it is the immediacy of the material that has an equally big impact upon me, not to mention the sheer amount of warmth that their music contains. Listening to Omnium Gatherum is a bittersweet experience; dark and heavy but also strangely uplifting and life-affirming. It’s hard to articulate, but that’s how this music makes me feel.
… ‘The Burning Cold’ is every bit as epic and grandiose, just in a more honed way. It is testament to their song writing nous, as the Finns become ever more confident and adept at creating their music.
Once again, Omnium Gatherum have delivered a boy of work that further underlines their extensive qualities, whilst continuing to build on their numerous strengths in all the process. ‘The Burning Cold’ is, quite simply, an album with class stamped right through it. And so, in homage to Omnium Gatherum, I’m going to conclude this review by reprising something I said at the beginning of this piece: OMNIUM GATHERUM ARE THE BEST MELODIC DEATH METAL BAND ON EARTH!”
Read the full review here.
If you missed the previous posts in my 2018 list, click here:
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 7
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 8
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 9
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 10
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 11
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 12
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 13
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 14
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 15
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 16
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 17
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 18
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 19
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 20
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 21
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 22
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 23
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 24
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 25
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 26
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 27
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 28
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2018 – Number 30
If you missed my ‘best EPs and compilations of 2018, you can read that here:
And here’s a reminder of my countdown series from previous years: