by Martin Popoff

Click Here for Martin's HardRadio HardReviews Archives

Fresh Metal

Omnium Gatherum - Years In Waste
(Nuclear Blast)

Back like a defiant, irascible scourge, invisible veterans Omnium Gatherum continue to build upon their reputation as the Dark Tranquillity of Finland, in sort of below the radar miniature. No mistake, this is the junior band with the most death thrashin' potential, and why that is has a lot to do with the fact that the band's motivations are impervious to criticism. No ghey NWOUSM melodies for these guys, but still, there' a fair bit of melody. Only thing is, where this melody goes is somewhat spooky, say toward Evergrey or Opeth, rather than some tangle inside American emo hardcore corporate radio. No, what Omnium Gatherum get up to - when not building a wall of fast, uncompromising, precise Swedish-style thrash - is a sort of spooky progressive, psychedelic, gothic sense of atmosphere. On punished mic, Antti Filppu offers a hollowed-out, hoarse presence, like he's been exhorting you to believe until the campaign trail faithful have to strain to hear him, knowing they must, because it's important. Very rhythmic, very dramatic, very Finnish, Years In Waste sounds like the solemn work of a Soilwork with permanent scowls.
Rating 8.5

Waysted - Back From The Dead

Out in late '04, this is just starting to creep through the distribution chain, this being the return o the ruff 'n' ready Waysted franchise led by UFO's Pete Way and classic Waysted lineup vocalist Fin. Long sordid story about why Paul Chapman's guitar tracks got wiped (Paul was also a big part of classic Waysted, as well as guitarist for UFO), but here we are. First off, I bloody love this album, in the manner that there are a few tracks I will play into the ground, and a bunch that aren't so hot. And Back From The Dead really can't afford that, given its scant eight track composition over 40 minutes of simple, songful grounding. But Fin's ragged, imperfect voice has lost none of its charm, and Pete's premise - straight line, traditional rock 'n' roll with Springsteen heroics tempered by a punk edge - has also been maintained, as evidenced by moody, measured opener The Alternativa (great first line: "Hey hombre, how close is he gonna pass you today?"; rippin' solo from Chris George as well), the uplifting Dreams and the Stonesy and near blissful Must B More 2 It Than This. The album closes strong as well, with a great ballad and then a mean boogie rocker called Lost In Cleveland. Damn, I just with it was 12 tracks long. Still, glad the boys are back in town, even if it's likely a fragile union, what with UFO being top priority for Pete. Now back to obsessing over half of this and all of Vices.
Rating 7.5

Hard Reviews Page 2