Stuck Here on Snakes Way
Candlelight Records 2007
A casual listener might be moved to label this album as part of the over abundant and ever expanding Gothenburg-styled clones. However, Finland's Omnium Gatherum are so much more. Sure they have the prerequisite melodic guitar passages but those are merely a canvas on which to paint all the extra influences and nifty tricks that Omnium Gatherum have added to their arsenal. The opening clean guitar line instrumental called The Snake and The Way is just preparation for the myriad of different aspects that Omnium Gatherum weave into their songs. The Chorus of Into Sea with its killer vocal line and keyboard passage illustrates this band's creativity. The main melody of The Third Flame is so sorrow-filled that even Katatonia would be proud. The same pretty much goes for the Goth inspired Just Signs which immediately follows. As a matter of fact it would appear that despite a lot of the "happy" riffs, the feeling of sadness permeates this entire album. My favorite song is the galloping and catchy Undertaker because of the main strumming sounding riff. As a matter of fact it is so compelling how Omnium Gatherum's music is so catchy and accessible yet it contains a depth usually devoid from other purveyors of this style. To illustrate what I mean listen to Bastard - O which is by far the catchiest song on the album with its bouncy and "happy" riffing Yet they break it down with a bass playing the main riff and then later cut to some clean guitar play a melody that reminds me of a calm summer's day. Then they burst through with a blast of near grindcore intensity. Jukka's deathly growls are usually great though sometimes they sound a little dry. Omnium Gatherum might be swept under the rug as somewhat typical but they are anything but. I look forward to years of sifting through the many different layers of Stuck on Snakes Way.