Album Of The Year 2021 – Number 4

Welcome to Day 27 of my Album Of The Year 2021 Top 30 Countdown series.

No long intro today, but before I do reveal my choice at Number 4, just the usual reminder to anyone new to this series, to check out the links at the bottom of the post to find out who made the cut, from 30 down to 6, as well as my lists from previous years too, going back to 2012.

Number 4

Omnium Gatherum

“Origin”

Century Media Records

Release Date: 5 November 2021

Score Of Much Metal: 93%

First things first, I got the score for this album hideously wrong, although in fairness this was an epiphany that struck relatively recently. Every time I went to place this record in my Top 30, I held off, pushing it further and further up the list as time went on.

I owe this band a great deal. At my lowest point in 2021, when I could barely listen to any music at all, it was Omnium Gatherum that somehow shone when I half-heartedly looked through my CD collection. I put on ‘The Burning Cold’, and it transformed me. Not instantly, but over time, as I slowly came to my senses. And so, when I had the opportunity to listen to, and review ‘Origin’, I jumped at the chance.

Initially, I felt vaguely disappointed, as if some of the zip, energy, and soul of the band was missing. After all, they had lost half the band, and so you couldn’t blame the Finns if something suffered as a result. And in part, that’s why the review ‘only’ scored 93%.

If I was to review this album now, after a further six weeks, it would be up around the 95-97% mark. You see, the fact of the matter is that I have barely been able to go a day without playing ‘Origin’ since I reviewed it, with the music just getting stronger and stronger. Not only that, but the impact that the music has on me just gets more powerful too; listening to songs like the stunning ‘Fortitude’ can either elate me, or have me on the verge of tears. ‘Origin’ is therefore a bittersweet listening experience but one that makes me feel things, which I find so important.

I have said it before and I will say it again: Omnium Gatherum are the best melodic death metal band on the planet. Moreover, they are one of my favourite bands of any genre, with ‘Origin’ only further confirming this fact. I love this band.

What I wrote at the time:

“In essence, having digested ‘Origin’ as much as humanly possible over the past week or so, it means that Omnium Gatherum have decided to dial down the death metal a smidge, whilst dialling up the melody. And the increase in melody appears in many ways, from the lead guitar lines, from the keys that have always been an important element of the band’s sound, and also from what I perceive to be an increase in clean vocals. This upturn in melody is accompanied by a more measured pace overall, with fewer bursts of intense, pacey aggression, leading to a feeling that ‘Origin’ is a more gentle and serene animal than anything before it within their discography to date.

...there remains something about this band…that entrances me and pulls me back into their warm, comforting, melancholic embrace. And that something is the melody; this band can speak directly to my heart as if it’s on speed dial.

I have once again fallen for the not inconsiderable charms of Omnium Gatherum. ‘Origin’ may be even more melodic and less aggressive than ever before, but if you’re prepared to let the music get under your skin, it can definitely have the same effect on you as their previous efforts…considering the backdrop of the last couple of years, it’s remarkable that the Finns have returned at all, let alone with an album of this high quality.”

The list this year so far…

Number 5

Number 6

Number 7

Number 8

Number 9

Number 10

Number 11

Number 12

Number 13

Number 14

Number 15

Number 16

Number 17

Number 18

Number 19

Number 20

Number 21

Number 22

Number 23

Number 24

Number 25

Number 26

Number 27

Number 28

Number 29

Number 30

‘Honourable Mentions’

Also, if you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here:

2020

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

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