Since the release of the superb The Burning Cold in August, masters of melodeath Omnium Gatherum have been touring relentlessly across North America and almost all of Europe. Bringing compatriots Wolfheart and Nothgard along for the European leg, the three played The Dome in London, England on November 16th.
Opening the show tonight are Nothgard, who blend the pounding double kick and technical guitar one would expect of the genre. What's most surprising tonight is the sheer technicality of vocalist Dom R. Crey on guitar, which doesn’t come as a surprise to those familiar with his other band Equilibrium. Tonight's crowd initially seem a little lethargic from the drizzly British weather outside, but it doesn't take long before they're headbanging and fist pumping at the band’s orders, assisted by the energy of the performance and the catchy nature of their songs. There’s more than a hint of a “melodeath Alestorm” to Nothgard, including some strong nautical elements to both their music and performance, which is no bad thing as the roar of the crowd at the end of their set confirms.
Check out the video for set-closer “Fall Of An Empire.”
Wolfheart kick off a generous-length set with the first track of Constellation of the Black Light, the superb “Everlasting Fall” (my thoughts on which I have already shared in this album review). Vocalist Tuomas Saukkonen commands the stage by sheer presence alone, leaving the more outlandish stage moves to stand-in guitarist Geo Thane and bassist Lauri Silvonen flanking him. By the time they launch into the crushing “Zero Gravity.” a void in the crowd has opened; as expected, it’s soon filled with a pit of bouncing bodies and flailing limbs as the Finns’ winter metal warms all in the venue. The performance is far less theatrical than that of Nothgard, but thanks to the quality of the songs at Wolfheart’s disposal it’s no less impressive. Completing their set they leave the room with tangible anticipation of tonight’s headliners.
No fire on stage for tonight’s performance of “Breakwater,” but just as much heat was generated by Wolfheart’s performance
In contrast to the static frontmanship of Wolfheart’s Saukkonnen, Jukka Pelkonen of tonight’s headliners Omnium Gatherum bounds around the stage with a level of enthusiasm and joy at stark odds with the sheer brutality of his deep vocals. During moments without vocals, lead guitarist Markus Vanhala takes up the mantle by not only displaying his technical but also theatrical ability, dramatically twisting and turning whilst tapping out solos mere mortals can dream of being capable of playing. The other four musicians share the same level of energy on the crowded stage, even keyboardist Aapo Koivisto stationed on the drum riser which is then reflected in a wholly engaged crowd who jostle around with the band as the relentless “Gods Go First” opens the set.
Managing to both touch on every track in their back catalogue a longstanding fan would want to hear (highlight “The Unknowing” is one of the finest melodeath tracks ever written), as well as showcasing the best of latest album The Burning Cold, Omnium Gatherum’s set is a perfectly selected and performed melodic death metal concert. By the time they return to the stage to “Luoto” for a brief encore before ripping through “New Dynamic” to close their set, the response is rapturous from the crowd – arms in the air and throats torn raw from screamed appreciation.
The colour-filled video for “Gods Go First” off The Burning Cold gives just a hint of the energy of Omnium Gatherum’s music.
Combining solid set selection and the sheer superb quality of The Burning Cold, Omnium Gatherum continue to go from strength to strength and should rightly be growing amongst the metal scene. The extent of recent tours and already booked festival appearances for 2019 suggest this to be the case, and it is totally deserved. A band you must see when they play near you.
Omnimum Gatherum’s Setlist:
01. The Burning
02. Gods Go First
05. Be The Sky
06. Refining Fire
07. Deep Cold
08. Sonic Sign
09. Over The Battlefield
10. The Unknowing
11. Fearless Entity
13. Skyline Encore
15. New Dynamic