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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Om - Advaitic Songs - Full Album Review


The sonic alchemy of Om is a contientous effort towards hosting an array of disastrous doomsday hymnals for the modern man with ancient sounds. This effort marks the first time Om has gone on record as a trio, Bass titan Al Cisneros and Grails skinsman Emil Amos flanked by tamburist and co-vocalist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe from Lichens. The record is also flanked with 2 cellists, a violinist, flute, and tabla. The full rotation of Om's previous efforts is returned with another dose of drone-heavy ancient music. Evoking textures akin to the ancient isod (drone), the album plunges us into a trance-like pit of would-be archaic cult chants.

1. "Addis" - A lone and ominous female vocalist moans over haunting sahara-inspired bells drenched in reverb. Violin, piano, and guitar penetrate the background. Warm mesmerizing religious tones with cavernous depictions propel the piece.

2. "State of Non-Return"- Only making entrance as a mellowed guitar and piano tour, Al Cisneros snaps back in with a bassline reminiscient of his  Sleep years, a metallic beastly voyage of bass doom-dom winding up in a somber, brooding string arrangement.

3."Gethsamane"- A tune mirroring Grails persuasions towards big cavernous opuses, this tune plods on with a dark bass line connected with gregorian chantlike vocals and swirling violin all underpinned by a pulsing tambura. This culminates in a nasty octaved guitar line.

4."Sinai"- Wailing moaning overtone-rich drones pinch the intro to this tune before Cisneros' harrowing vocals arrive. The din echoes on until the tribal  pouncing drum kicks in, complete with a low tinged guitar line and piercing string snaps. The cello comes in and out with interplay a few times. 10 minutes of trance-like doom

5. " Haqq-Al Yaquin"- Might have the most demonic cello line I've ever heard on a doom record. Complete with plodding tabla and evocative quiet vocals with arabic tinged melody intertwined. A haunting closer complete with crafty folkish guitar shimmering over the trancelike rhythm.

Overall, the record speaks to a grooving ancient-sounding monolithic psycho-spiritual gloomfest. A triumph of Om's somber but monolithic intent to inflect atmosphere into their playing. A genuine return to form for the band, this album is a prime example of the power of orchestral instruments to inflect the most devious of sounds into the most prudently bellowing and electric music.


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