OM's latest, 'Advaitic Songs', plunges deeper into the universal consciousness and brings back some devotional and uplifting delights. This album will do nothing to change their status as a band that exists on the fringe of extreme music - previously revered in certain metal circles due to their provenance as the rhythm section in stoner metal titans Sleep, but misunderstood by many and hardly covered by mainstream metal publications. The Eastern influences central to their music, while not necessarily difficult, are too much for a lot of potential listeners who would probably enjoy what they have to say, if they could get past the meditative chanting and the idiosyncratic tabla beats.
This latest album is their second without erstwhile drummer Chris Haikus, and in his absence Al Cisneros is free to plunder the calmer, less riff-orientated style of previous release 'God is Good'. While they are still referred to in some publications as a doom metal band, there is absolutely no way that 'Advaitic Songs' would every find itself in the doom subgenre were it released by a new band, or one with less history in that area.
First song 'Addis' sets the table with female chanting, and no vocal input from Al Cisneros at all. The uneven, swooping tabla and seductive bass roll around the unnamed singer's minimally processed vocals, which leads straight into the high-gain double tracked bass of second track 'State of No Return', an absolutely fantastic track that proves OM are still capable of just rocking out when they want to. The addition of piano is a nice touch, and all in all the song is a real headbanger.
'Gethsemane's slow burn opening slowly morphs into a more old-school OM vibe, like something from 'Conference of the Birds' but with added cello, and 'Sinai' changes tack completely with some electronic organ and heavily-processed devotional chants leading into a massive drum line, and thick bass rounded out by a small orchestral section, replete with drones and Al Cisnero's iconic chanting.
'Haqq al-Yaqin' takes what has been hinted at throughout the record and puts it front and centre, also calling back to 'Addis' with its tabla and huge cello riff running right through; a huge song from a band that is exploring, with every release, the outer edges of consciousness and philosophy. It's devotional music that requires no god. Inspirational.
Posted: Tue 24 July 2012 Total Views: 645Views Today: 0