Since their last release, a couple of lineup changes have occurred. New to the band are guitarist Joonas Koto and bassist Erkki Silvennoinen. Songwriter and guitarist Markus Vanhala and vocalist Jukka Pelkonen remain, so their core sound hasn’t changed. It’s melodic death metal with atmospheric keyboards, crunchy guitars and a lot of hooks.
The opening instrumental “LouTo” goes on a little too long before the album kicks in with “The New Dynamic.” Pelkonen’s death metal style vocals contrast nicely with the catchy riffs and melodies, and there is some periodic clean singing. Omnium Gatherum are on top of their game on songs like “In The Rim,” a dynamic track that showcases both intense parts and almost ethereal sections.
One of the more interesting songs on the album is “Who Could Say,” a mid-tempo and fairly mellow track. Most of the vocals are melodic, with harsh vocals on the chorus. That’s opposite from the way it’s usually done, and it works well. The guitar work on that song is also excellent.
The album closes with the nearly 11 minute opus “White Palace.” It has a lot of ebbs and flows, going from subdued to majestic and back down again. A couple minutes could probably be shaved off, but OG still manages to maintain interest for the duration of the song. While it doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor, Beyond is still an outstanding melodeath album.
(released March 5, 2013 on Lifeforce Records)