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Omnium Gatherum Biography

Last updated: 11/29/2003 02:00:24 AM

OMNIUM GATHERUM was formed somewhere in time 1995-96 by the guitarist Markus Vanhala and the vocalist / guitarist Olli Lappalainen. Soon more musicians joined the crew, and after a year of hard training and songwriting we recorded our first demotape "Forbidden Decay" in the spring of -97. The tape was distributed only to friends and local heavydudes; we weren`t satisfied in it `cause of a shitty 4-tracker production. After this, Janne Markkanen (bass) and Harri Pikka (guitar) came along to play their parts. Following recording sessions were the OG cd-ep in -98 (recorded at our rehearsal place, HellHole) and "Gardens, Temples…this Hell!" in -99, recorded at local AK-sound studio.

Especially "Gardens.."got much positive feedback from magazines, radio stations, and from some companies too, but no good record deals were offered.

As the years passed by, still some line-up changes were done, and so Jarmo Pikka joined the mob as a drummer and Tomi Pekkola as a session keyboardist. The effort to record our fourth demo was a failure at first, due to poor sound quality and lack of proper equipment. Then ways departed with the old vocalist Lappalainen during the fall of 2000, and by the end of the year Antti Filppu was called in to do the vocal parts for the forthcoming demo. This eventually led into his permanent stay in the band as things seemed to work out well.

"Wastrel" demo`01 was recorded without any expenses in the winter-spring of 2001 at local Pumppulaitos studio, and was released on the 18th of May. It brought us words of praise like its predecessor, with the review in Terrorizer summing it up quite nicely: "…there is a sense of something special happening here. Technically the sextet have got it all worked out, but if I could apply the word 'beautiful' to metal songs then I would do so here because they are as complete as would be expected from any top class album."

During the fall Tomi Pekkola was replaced by Mikko Pennanen. In December a new and growing label RAGE OF ACHILLES offered us a deal that sounded good and even before signing it we went to the Sonic Pump studios to re-record "Wastrel" to be released as a debut MCD. It was done in 6 days with Nino Laurenne taking care of recording and mixing. Mastering was left to Göran Finnberg (at the Mastering Room, Gothenburg). The title was changed to "Steal the light" so that no one would mistake it for the demo, but it certainly suffered the same fate when it comes to delay; it came out on the 2nd of September.

In August 15th we entered the Sonic Pump studios for the second time, to record our first full-lenght album called "Spirits and August Light". This time we had 14 days to complete the bullshit and to forge the debut's spirit. Mastering was done at the Finnvox studios, Helsinki, by Mika Jussila.

Once again the keyboardist got lost somewhere between the sessions and the new one, Jukka Perälä, made his first appearance in the band during a video shoot in January '03.

"Spirits and August Light" was delayed like it is the habit, and so instead of the original schedule (a February release), it came out in England by the end of March, in Finland around the day of Odin, and the rest of the world has been taken slowly step by step following the coming of the summer of love and death metal.


There has been a lot of confusion and disagreement concerning the definitions or the existence of various sub-genres and categories inside metal. And as we are an omnium gatherum, some straightening out is obviously required when it comes to describing our music.

Death Metal is the bastard son of Heavy and Thrash / Speed metal (yes, they're actually different persons, but who gives a fuck). This son has many brothers and sisters, like Brutal DM and Melodic DM, and it seems their quarrels can never be effectively solved or stopped.

The careless use of the label 'death metal' has been the main accusation lately against many bands claiming to play Melodic Death Metal; there are people to whom only the likes of Autopsy are the real thing. But the fact is that the term was connected with musically diverse and separate bands in the Eighties before it even came to be the basis of an official genre!
Nowadays, in contradistinction to this confusion there are a lot of people who desperately try to invent new categories just to prove that they're not fooling around.

DM style was most clearly separated from his parents by a visceral vocal delivery. And this has remained as a succesful way, perhaps the only, of making distinctions.

Heavy Metal was abandoned in the mid-eighties because the bands playing it were not down to earth anymore; stadion rock didn't have that smell of an under ground mould.

Today it's all different. Bands are trying to get back into the womb, having sex with mother Heavy Metal. DM is trying to achieve a state of 'sincerity' (or call it what you will) once again. It is is illegal of course, but many people dream of succeeding in it.

And it seems as though there is no way to achieve a musically diverse style anymore. Rebellion isn't easy these days. The only way is to commit incest.

One shouldn't forget that in 2003 Iron Maiden is still alive. Halford is still the god of metal. And Metallica (the band whose existence played an important role in the birth of Speed / Thrash Metal, without which DM would have never seen its florescence in putrefaction at all) has just released a new album. And even though full-blow capitalism has already consumed and integrated into its fucked up spirit of dead end cock sucking the whole lot of endless UG-bands trying to go against a flow that no longer exists, there are still ways to rock the boat to another direction.

And Death Metal as a category can hardly ever die, since its very own nature is such that it never even really lived.