Over the last two years, we’ve seen lineup changes, splits, the works, as the COVID-19 pandemic made many reassess their future. Finnish melodic death metal giants Omnium Gatherum have had quite the extent of this experience. Two years ago, the band’s planned 2020 North American trek with Insomnium led them to perform just one show in Philadelphia, PA, as they were asked to return to Finland just as they arrived in the states. The cancelled tour did have some attempts to reschedule or ways for Omnium Gatherum and Insomnium to return. However, due to undisclosed reasons, Omnium Gatherum were the only ones who’ve officially made it across the seas (so far), marking it their first-ever headlining North American tour.
During these unprecedented times, the band’s overall future was in question between the economic loss from the cancelled 2020 tour. Suppose it weren’t for their loyal fans who saved them; who knows what financial ruin they’d still be experiencing. Second, their sudden change in the lineup left Markus Vanhala, the only original member, with longtime members vocalist Jukka Pelkonen and keyboardist Aapo Koivisto. They eventually scrambled to find a new bassist, drummer and touring second guitarist. As Metal Insider has previously discussed with Vanhala, this near-end Omnium Gatherum experience steered the band to conquer through all of the challenges writing their latest album, Origin, one of the best records of 2021 and initiating their DIY-like headlining North American tour. The group has proven to always land on their feet despite the chaos with a phenomenal record and live delivery.
After such a long journey, Omnium Gatherum has invited Denver, Colorado’s technical melodic death metallers Allegaeon and Pennsylvania’s progressive death metal act Black Crown Initiate, to support them on an extensive month-long tour. Metal Insider refused to miss this trek, so we attended their show on February 26th at the Kingsland in Brooklyn, NY, and March 1st at The Masquerade (Hell) in Atlanta, GA.
For the New York show, the New York melodic death metal act Solemn Vision were there to open the night. The evening was jam-packed from the get-go, as the audience received well to the first performers who addressed the honor it was to open for such an incredible band that has influenced their sound.
As fans continued to guzzle the drinks, with only two heroic bartenders serving that night, along with fresh pizza, the venue somehow continued to pile on, making you’d think the Gramercy Theatre would have been a better choice for the sold-out show. The stage was already warmed up for Black Crown Initiate to dominate their set, giving their 2020 album, Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape, a proper welcome. While it was difficult to see the stage, the room echoed with an overdue amount of joy and positive feedback from the crowd as the band went into songs “Invitation,” “Son of War,” “Belie The Machine,” “A Great Mistake,” and “Holy Silence.” As for the Atlanta show, it came with a proper photo pit, where you could see all the action from Metal Insider contributor Kyle Finlan’s stunning photos, which didn’t come with a local opener. While it didn’t sell out, there was a decent audience and another memorable night.
Black Crown Initiate
Carrying on with the New York evening, Allegaeon were next and eager to celebrate their brand new album, Damnum, which was released on February 25th via Metal Blade Records. The combination of bands on this tour paired well together, displayed by the concertgoers’ constant reaction and consistent engagement. The Colorado metal outfit pummeled throughout their vibrant set with songs such as “Threshold of Perception,” “Into Embers,” “Of Beasts and Worms,” “Gray Matter Mechanics – Apassionata Ex Machinea,” “Vermin,” “Metaphobia,” and “Stellar Tidal Disruption.”
Finally, the long two-year wait was over when Omnium Gatherum took the stage. Happiness was sure in the air between the audience and the band as OG delivered a remarkable set on the tight Kingsland stage. Space didn’t matter that night; there was plenty of room for booze, headbanging glory, moshing, and pure enjoyment to a fan-favorable setlist. Jukka was unable to hide his smile behind his vocal delivery as he looked into as many members in the crowd singing along with all and sharing a few fist pumps as the night continued to progress. Vanhala prevailed through the small space, shredding as though he was headlining at the iconic Radio City Music Hall. The music transpired and led many bodies to flow with pure enjoyment and long-awaited adrenaline to see these Finnish metallers finally take the stage.
The tour is still going strong throughout this month, and the band has been revealing many surprises at each stop. From pinatas, waving OG flags, the works, it is proven they’ve been looking forward to this run for quite some time. Hopefully, they will return soon enough, and perhaps Insomnium will join them on the next run. Regardless, after such an absence of live shows, this is the perfect package to remind everyone what we’ve been missing for so long. A place to catch up with old friends, let ourselves go while enjoying live music, seeing the band directly in front of an audience instead of staring at a monitor. Omnium Gatherum have delivered and reminded all about this glorious return, where nothing can replace a live show. Welcome back, Omnium Gatherum. We’ve missed you!
OG Set List:
Rest in Your Heart
Be the Sky
Friction (live debut)
New World Shadows
Gods Go First
Remaining tour dates:
03/14 Portland, OR @ Bossanova Ballroom
03/15 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
03/16 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
03/18 Calgary, AB @ Dickens
03/19 Regina, SK @ The Exchange
03/20 Winnipeg, MB @ Park Theater
03/21 Minneapolis, MN @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
03/22 Madison, WI @ The Crucible
03/23 Chicago, IL @ Reggies
03/24 Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground
03/25 Montreal, QC @ The Ritz
03/26 Quebec City, QC @ Source de la Martiniere
03/27 Boston, MA @ Middle East Downstairs