Originally written by Erik Thomas
I had really high hopes for this as this Finnish band’s debut, as Spirits and August Light showed the kind of promise that could not only revitalize the melodic death metal scene but elevate this young band quickly to its peak. However, the two years between that album and this follow up could well have followed the album’s namesake.
Despite the expected flourishing Finnish styled guitars, smooth layered solos, and exuberant harmonies, Years In Waste seems to be somewhat of a step backward for Omnium Gatherum. Where Spirits and August Light had a breathtaking riff around every turn, Years In Waste seems slightly tired and exasperated (a fact that is probably aided by the seemingly short of breath vocalist Antti Filppu, who still doesn’t seem suited to death metal) and lack the creative energy and punch that seemed to spurn Spirits and August Light. The musicianship is of an expected high level, but these songs are jut missing ‘it’. Three songs in (“The Fall Went Right through Here”, “Waste of Bereavement” and “Misanthropic-Let the Crown Fall)” and I’m absolutely unmoved by anything I hear. That’s not a good sign at all. Even the albums longest track “Black Seas Cry”, failed to ignite anything that even second tier Finnish bands like The Wake, Imperanon and Kaliban are at least able to do. The more urgent pace “It’s a Long Night” tries to energize the album after the prior tracks’ lengthy lethargy, but sheathing a faster pace with lifeless, forgetful riffs is not the way to revive an album.
“No Moon, No Queen” sees at least a moderate effort to rekindle the band’s flame with a short lived but sumptuous layered riff over the galloping percussion, but by that point, its way too late to salvage the album. “Gravesilence” also gives game effort to try and give the album brief moments of Omnium Gatherum’s prior mastery of the genre, but Ill admit, that’s 7 songs in and I’m already too perturbed to fully appreciate it. After that the album seems to just coast with little flare or character, something essential to break bands from the teaming swarm of melodic death metal and traits Omnium Gatherum seemed to posses in spades on their debut album. The band also possessed a sense of melodic melancholy that had a sort of Sentenced sense of sadness about it, other than the lethargic “More Withering”. That particular aspect of Omnuim Gatherum is gone and simply replaced by bouncy, cookie cutter melodic death metal. Even the production seems sterile and muted compared to the last album’s lush tones.
When I got this for review, I promised I would not go all fan boy and gushy, but instead I find myself doing the opposite and resisting the temptation to tear this album to pieces, admittedly more so based on the prior effort, but even if this was a stand alone album, it would not garner great marks.
A damn shame I tell you…