Illusion and reality
From the northern parts of the globe, from Finland, comes Omnium Gatherum – A melodic death metal band is known for its fierce live performances and fresh ingenious sound. Made of six members Omnium Gatherum delivers sophisticated but aggressive metal that is catchy yet original in composing and arranged to listen to time and again. Their “trademark” is to push the music ever forward without losing the heritage of the genre – to make something new and still maintain the feeling that is deep in the soil of melodic death metal. The thing about the band is that it has evolved through the years to be more than the sum of its members. There is a real feeling of a family within the group that has made OG take a life of its own so to speak. This is truly like a natural phenomenon and it has demanded a lot from all the members throughout the years – Omnium Gatherum lives up to its name! Six strong albums and countless gigs around the world. Now at the dawn of the seventh chapter Omnium Gatherum pushes onward stronger than ever. Enjoy the ride! We know we will!
HMA: Welcome back to Heavy Metal Artwork. We wanted to start by asking what are the ‘Grey Heavens’?
Jukka Pelkonen: Hello everyone. The ideas concerning the backgrounds of ‘Grey Heavens’ are many. After ‘Beyond’ I tried to create something really different but still keep some of the themes that were in ‘Beyond’ attached as well. Thematically ‘Grey Heavens’ consists of the problem/solution of understanding reality through many illusions it reflects. The various phenomena of reality are manifested through emotion reason and intuition. So the name reflects the personal capacity of an individual in this mystical experience called reality.
HMA: How has the band progressed since ‘Beyond’?
JP: Well in many ways of course. The touring definitely affects the band’s chemistry and helps the band to evolve. We are also more mature in many ways compared to the time of ‘Beyond’. The music has taken steps forward and is more and more unique OG sound. These things that progress with time are partly intentional and partly automatic functions that happen within the group. This is natural and there is no way to halt the progress.
HMA: What ideas did you have around this album? Was there anything specific that you wanted to achieve?
JP: We really wanted to make this album more on the aggressive side whilst not forgetting the trademarks on our music for example in the melody department. ‘Grey Heavens’ is indeed about the aggressive touch and yet it holds a lot of peaceful parts too. It is very important to us that the music takes steps forward and does not lose originality. This does not mean that the songs cannot be catchy. On the contrary, the mix starts to be really good.
HMA: What have been the high point of your career so far?
JP: Touring in general. I can’t pinpoint any specific occasion that would rise clearly above others.
HMA: On Metal Archives under lyrical theme we have ‘Personal subjects’, what might they be? Is it relationships, religion, politics… ?
JP: For me, it is always important to describe the reality itself and the vast mystery it appears to be. So maybe not so personal in one level yet in another it is completely personal because of everyone’s unique vision of reality. This, of course, means that lyrically there are no boundaries for me. And that is a good thing. Every theme is welcome as long it adds to the greater good which in this case is the whole lyrical sum up of the albums already written. In my opinion, it is moranic to restrict oneself and avoid certain themes just because they seem strange to the concept.
HMA: ‘Frontiers’ was selected for a full feature video clip. What can you tell us about filming?
JP: The filming of ‘Frontiers’ happened in one day in this old factory near Kotka (The city from which the band is from originally). We were filming from morning until midnight basically which was kind of tiring but because we had so tight schedule we had to make it happen during that one day. We had a couple of professional dudes to shoot the video and the director was also very insightful of the things we wanted on the video. Nothing special happened during the shooting. We had planned the whole thing so well in advance so it just worked work work to get all the shots we needed for cutting and editing. It was great actually to make it so fast and to see now that it looks awesome.
HMA: You are currently touring with country mates Amorphis, how has it been so far?
JP: It was awesome. Good dudes. Thank you! Stay metal!
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2016 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.