Jul 26, 2012
Om - "Advaitic Songs" ...
The one recurring element in the bands albums has been the meditative quality that they are so good at producing in the studio and during live performances. The new album, just released 'Advaitic Songs' pushes even more into the realms of meditational darkness. While the album cover has the image of Christ on it, the album draws most of its influence from Hinduism, in fact it actually embraces the concept.
The first thing fans of Om will notice is this is a new Om at work and the tag "stoner-doom" can no longer be applied to the band at all. If anything this album is a modern-day take on minimalistic performance art a-la La Monte Thornton Young. The aesthetic beauty this album possesses is quite stunning, whether it be the way the complex instrumentation breathes or from the perspective of the transcendental. What the lyrical themes are about is really anybody's guess but it does give you something to analyze and study with every spin of the album which is something pretty rare within the world of doom and drone music.
'Advaitic Songs' has five tracks on it but it is best off played from start to finish, loud while sitting alone for maximum effect. The sound is thicker than molasses but the feeling to these pieces is so relaxed and hypnotic, the sounds seem to slither out of the speakers, rather than blasting you in the face.
The single 'State of Non-Return' is the only time on the album where the band approaches anything straight-forward, especially in the riffing department so this is the most accessible track the album offers. It appears second in the albums playing order and it is the first time you hear any of Cisneros's typical mesmerizing bass-lines but don't get too comfortable with it because the album twists or should I say slithers all over the place from this moment onwards. The album is heavy on the violas and cellos and also features tabla, santoors and flutes which do take a bit of getting used to and this is a step away from the sound the band had in its early days but it grows on you pretty quickly. It is a bit of a stretch to call this a "metal" album but it is heavy but it is more likely to have you swaying back and forth rather than headbanging. The vocals are sparse and are as meditative as the music itself and are a perfect match to the oblique nature of the instrumentation.
Highlights? Well the whole album is one giant highlight really but where you rank it alongside their other albums is cause for debate. I am sure this will be a favorite for many fans of the band, while for others, it may seem too obscure and impenetrable. The track 'Gethsemane' stands out as the albums golden moment for me personally but the entire album is basically one long trip of progressive mind-bending music. As a reviewer of albums, this is one album that could be reviewed 10 times over and you could write something different about it each time. 'Advaitic Songs' is expertly played, arranged and produced and it has so much depth, you will discover new elements with every spin of the disc. In closing; this album might not be the total classic release that many people will say it is but it is right up there with some of the most inventive and original releases ever unleashed on the world and it will finished up at number one in album of the year polls once this year is out.....9/10.
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