All mush and no coherence

Omnium Gatherum is a great name for a band.

Unfortunately that doesn't constitute as a review so I have to tell you about their live performance at Bloodstock 2006. Omnium Gatherum were the only melodic death metal act on the main stage over the weekend, and anyone who has read my reviews in the past should know I love the melodic death metal genre. Arch Enemy, Children of Bodom, Dark Tranquillity are all excellent bands, however I have yet to check out Omnium. I have been aware of the band due to the name being banded about in the metal circles, and was eager to see what they were all about.

Death metal is a difficult style to put across live. There are many technical elements to the music such as rhythms and intricate guitar work, and only a good mix lets these ingredients sound coherent and cohesive. It's a pity Omnium Gatherum didn't have a good mix, if truth be told it was pretty poor, and even to these old noise deciphering ears it was a totally cloudy lagoon of clattering din.

Because of the bad sound the songs never came across as well as they should have. I could tell there was some great axe play between guitarists Markus Vanhala and Harri Pikka, and what they were playing during the main body of the songs seemed genuinely interesting, but this was purely visual and nothing to do with the sonics of track.

The crowd became a little sparse at the back, perhaps the incomprehensible din wasn't to everyone's liking, however, vocalist Antti Flippu's rapport with the audience wasn't totally endearing as he rushed his words leaving you wondering whether he's introducing the next song or just ordered something from the burger bar. The front rows seemed to appreciate the band however, but I suspect they were fans of the band before they started. Keyboardist Mikko Pennanen pressed his finger hard on the white keys but we mortals on the paying side of the stage heard very little, in fact Mikko looked fed up at times as he wasn't needed for all of the set but remained on stage all the while.

Although this review seems fairly negative, I do have the urge to look them up on the Internet, to visit their web pages and legally download some tracks, because I think there was more to them than met the ear on Saturday. Here's hoping at least.