Om
Advaitic Songs


4.5
superb

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
July 29th, 2012 | 246 replies | 35,989 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Om is where the art is

Literally translating from Sanskrit as “that which is sounded out loudly”, the Californian duo Om are a group which live up to first impressions yet demand further inspection and analysis. Formed from the lucid dreams of stoner rock behemoths Sleep, Om have blazed a trail that moves away from the bone-crushing riffs of their forebears and instead settles upon something more spiritual and transcendent; regularly bringing forth a quieter, more organic tone that appears to be in awed reverence of itself. Taking their lead from the structures of Tibetan and Byzantine chants, Om’s records offer more than the average release. Where most artists would be happy to lead the way, taking you the way they want you to go, Om offer you a number of paths. Indeed, their music has always evoked strong imagery pertaining to long journeys and arduous terrain with the promise of fulfilment and enlightenment awaiting you at the end.

Advaitic Songs, their fifth LP, represents the most complete and coherent example of Om’s modus operandi. The foundations laid on 2009’s God Is Good have now become an integral part of the colossal structure that Om embody. Instruments like the cello, flute and other orchestral embellishments are used to fuller effect here, giving a richer, more worldly sound.

Advaitic Songs contains enough depth and openness to interpretation to make any writer’s ink or painter’ palette green with artistic envy. The overall concept appears to be one of a slow, dangerous journey from East Africa across the desert wastelands and a pilgrimage to the Middle Eastern holy lands. Opener “Addis” cites Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital and the primitive, sparse instrumentation give you a better impression of the city than any po-faced, two-dimensional guide book ever could. As bongo drums and a drawn out, mournful cello weave among a sultry female vocal in an unidentifiable language, one can almost feel the searing African heat, the slow grind of daily life and the splendid isolation our imaginary wanderer must feel.

Of course, given Om’s former life it’s difficult to think that the tempo would never rise. “State Of Non-Return” is at once a shot in the arm and a sedative; Al Cisneros’ twisted, lurching and distorted bass line juxtaposing with the calm and mantra-like incantations of his vocals. Imagine that our traveller has met a wild-eyed Bedouin prophet with many facets and faces. Drummer Emil Amos delivers his best performance here, a testament to both talent and restraint.

The album’s last three tracks clock in at a wondrous 32:08. The scope and ambition deployed are enough to rival both their contemporaries and otherwise. “Gethsemane” is festooned with a sinister momentum; Amos’ cymbals ringing out like a warning siren as the song winds through something of a seven-minute outro. The religious connotations of “Gethsemane” are obvious, but it’s never as simple as that. Remember, Om don’t want to tell you where to go. The song *might* be about the betrayal of Jesus or it might be about the concept of betrayal itself. It might even be just a cool word to use and get people guessing. That’s the beauty of it.

Crawling towards the end of the journey, “Sinai” introduces us to a manic call-to-prayer over crackling speakers as Cisneros describes a number of priests descending in Lebanon. The last stop on this pilgrimage resides in “Haqq Al-Yaqin”, translated as “the total reality as certainty.” These ancient words concentrate on the notion of certainty as supreme truth. With its obtuse rhythm and the inevitably impenetrable lyrics, Om offer their own truth, one with many questions and answers. Destined for much bigger and better things, for them the journey has only just begun.



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user ratings (300)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Haspion93 (4)
Music that stays with you for a long time....

dronelove (4)
Interfaith heaviness - time to move beyond "stoner" tag....

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dune metal....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ire
July 29th 2012



41746 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh man it rules

good review

oWhoadYo
July 29th 2012



1224 Comments


Pretty good review. You should try to write a review in a different fashion. A lot of your reviews are quite similar to me. Also, I'd stop giving so much background information on a band, we don't need two paragraphs of information most of us already know or don't really care about. The descriptions of songs might have been a bit too "heavy" as well. Still a good review. I believe I like the other one slightly more though. It made understand the album more.

I still need to get this, I listen to the first track and it ruled. It's nice to see that they are progressing with their sound.

Evreaia
July 29th 2012



3952 Comments


Album is tits

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

GhettoHmbrglr
July 29th 2012



571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so sick. score is correct

minty901
July 29th 2012



1962 Comments


summary is the tits

Gyromania
July 29th 2012



15192 Comments


Solid review as per usual. I really need to hear this.

Tyrael
July 29th 2012



20724 Comments


Fuck yea Broseph

kingsoby1
Emeritus
July 29th 2012



4939 Comments


have to listen more, not sure if like it.

Gyromania
July 29th 2012



15192 Comments


After hearing a couple of tracks I'm not entirely sure what to make of this..

feanaro
July 29th 2012



808 Comments


fucking. awesome. summary.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
July 29th 2012



4939 Comments


ive never really liked cisneros' voice. kind of ruins his amazing music.

alachlahol
July 29th 2012



7471 Comments


lets juxtapose more new releases with overly high ratings

Xenophanes
Emeritus
July 29th 2012



10585 Comments


What do you mean?

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

LifeAsAChipmunk
July 29th 2012



4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can't find a stream for this. :[

Captain North
July 29th 2012



6779 Comments


Can't get past their name, which was Lister's band in Red Dwarf

Piglet
July 29th 2012



4651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ahahahah lister's band was classic

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
July 30th 2012



7019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol lamest summary I've seen in awhile

Drsmith4
July 30th 2012



1710 Comments


Fantastic summary!

Sucker PUNch

camaraderie
July 30th 2012



988 Comments


The summary is absolute gold.

alachlahol
July 30th 2012



7471 Comments


i didnt come here to read witty one liners



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