Rating:
9.0
Om - Advaitic Songs
24 July 2012


01. Addis
02. State Of Non-Return
03. Gethsemane
04. Sinai
05. Haqq Al-Yaqin


I'm not really all that into doom metal, but lately I've been discovering several bands that have really piqued my interest with their unique twists on the genre's sound (Yob, Evoken, Esoteric, to name a few). Now I'm not exactly one to judge an album by its cover, but when I saw an album called Advaitic Songs by a band called Om that had a portrait of John the Baptist for the artwork, that inner voice in the back of my head told me that I was in for some truly interesting music. I had high expectations just from looking at the album, and my expectations were met.

Om are not your average doom metal band, plain and simple. If you want to get really specific about it (which I know many Metal Stormers do) I suppose you could refer to their style, at least on this album, as "Oriental Doom Metal," because it sounds like just that: a fusion of doom metal with Middle Eastern folk music. Advaitic Songs kicks off with "Addis," and right away, like being submerged in a dream, the listener is plunged into an intricate web of Hebrew(?) chants, a cello, a piano, and an underlying bass line. It cannot be overestimated how much the piano and the cello help to shape the overall sound and "feel" of the album. Since Om write very (guess, kiddies) spiritual lyrics, focusing upon otherworldly realities and the nature of the soul, in a way the piano and the cello help add to this vibe. After all, would one commonly expect these two instruments to be featured in a doom metal band? No, and this unorthodox approach helps accentuate the mysterious vibe of the band's lyrical themes.

Epic! Yes, that's the word for Advaitic Songs, and by going for an interesting balance between doom and folk metal, Om are sure to please fans of both. The folklore-ish, historical lyrics, as well as the instrumentation to accompany them, are there ("And Ezekiel saw the wheel/Prana exits toward the azure locus/On vrittiless path he walks/Contemplative ascends," from "Gethsamene," for example) and yet the heavy, memorable riffs of doom metal that we all know and love are as well. The cello/bass outro to "State Of Non-Return," the rhythm around 8 minutes into "Gethsamene," and the drum patterns at the beginning of "Haqq Al-Yaqin," in particular, have been stuck in my head ever since first listening to the album.

In essence, Om run circles around many other doom bands that go for the typical droney, monotonous approach to their music. The cello, piano, and Middle-Eastern chants give the album a refreshingly unique atmosphere that I haven't yet heard any other doom metal band replicate. Is this strange style of "Doom Folk Metal" a new spin on the genre that Om are developing? It's a possibility, and I for one would certainly like to see the band take it farther. This original approach that Om take to the genre from which they come has easily made Advaitic Songs, at least in my book, the doom metal album of 2012. Play it loud guys.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Om
Album: Advaitic Songs


 


written by Apothecary | 15.11.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 8  
Users visited: 77  
Search this topic:  


!J.O.O.E.! - 15.11.2012 at 15:05  
To be honest, I'm not sure I'd ever call this record doom. There's just too few tropes present in doom on this one to do so really. It is however fantastic.
BudDa - 15.11.2012 at 15:39  
This album is awesome, no doubt about it. For some reason though, I feel their work becoming less and less interesting as the albums keep coming out. Their last two albums, God Is Good and this one, aren't as superior as Conference Of The Birds or Pilgrimage
Apothecary - 15.11.2012 at 15:43  
Written by BudDa on 15.11.2012 at 15:39

This album is awesome, no doubt about it. For some reason though, I feel their work becoming less and less interesting as the albums keep coming out. Their last two albums, God Is Good and this one, aren't as superior as Conference Of The Birds or Pilgrimage

I haven't listened to any of their albums other than this one, are the rest within this same kinda folklore-ish style?
BudDa - 15.11.2012 at 15:55  
Written by Apothecary on 15.11.2012 at 15:43

I haven't listened to any of their albums other than this one, are the rest within this same kinda folklore-ish style?


No and if so..not so much.(Theres hardly any Cello, Piano and all. Just bass, effects and drums). And that probably is the biggest difference. The focus on the other two was on a major heavy-droning-doomy-almost repetitive bass riff.(Check out "Unitive Knowledge Of The Godhead") Thats what hit you first. The spirituality and the experience came later. On this album and also on God Is Good, the riff seem to take a back seat to that other stuff.
Mr. Doctor - 15.11.2012 at 16:28  
Like Joe pointed out: There's nothing remotely doom about this album... Actually scratch that: There's barely even metal on this album.
I fucking love it... but let's not use wrong tags.

Written by BudDa on 15.11.2012 at 15:39

This album is awesome, no doubt about it. For some reason though, I feel their work becoming less and less interesting as the albums keep coming out. Their last two albums, God Is Good and this one, aren't as superior as Conference Of The Birds or Pilgrimage


Haven't heard Pilgrimage yet but I found God Is Good to be easily a superior album compared to COTB (which I highly enjoyed as well but it doesn't achieve an equivalent to the grand atmosphere of GIG)... And I find their music more and more interesting by each release now that they are leaving metal more and more. It just have a stronger hypnotic atmosphere for me.
BudDa - 15.11.2012 at 17:03  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.11.2012 at 16:28

Haven't heard Pilgrimage yet but I found God Is Good to be easily a superior album compared to COTB.


Really? Anyhow, never seen them live. Hope I will someday. I would though think "At Giza" would trample over anything on God Is Good Live.
I rationalize it this way with this "almost perfect" formula.
COTB = "At Giza", God Is Good = "Cremation Ghat I"
At Giza > Cremation Ghat I
Hence COTB > God Is Good
Mr. Doctor - 15.11.2012 at 17:07  
Written by BudDa on 15.11.2012 at 17:03

Really? Anyhow, never seen them live. Hope I will someday. I would though think "At Giza" would trample over anything on God Is Good Live.
I rationalize it this way with this "almost perfect" formula.
COTB = "At Giza", God Is Good = "Cremation Ghat I"
At Giza > Cremation Ghat I
Hence COTB > God Is Good


Huh, no wonder we disagree... Cremation Ghat I is the least interesting song from God Is Good. The second part is probably my absolute favorite thing from that album with Meditation Is The Practice Of Death as a close second since that flute is the sexiest thing I've heard by them ever.

I've seen them live at Roadburn... Highly enjoyed their more recent songs. I consider COTB more of a fun groovy tone... It's fantastic but it doesn't compare to the thick, esoteric and hypnotic atmosphere of their more recent stuff which gets full force live.
R'Vannith - 16.11.2012 at 06:13  
I don't think saying there is a bit of doom about it is that much of a stretch. For your consideration:



That entire track has a droney/doomy feel going on in the background. Its not always doom, that's for sure but look at, say, 0:30- about 3:00. Don't know about everyone else but I'm definitely sitting in doom country there. Mind you its not doom in the purest sense of the term, then again what is?

Though, above all, stoner (metal wise that is) fits it more aptly than anything else I think, especially when the vocals kick in.

And very nice review, not an easy album to describe.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Reviews Death - Human 4.5 28.03.2012 by Apothecary
Reviews A Forest Of Stars - A Shadowplay For Yesterdays 4.5 21.10.2012 by Mindheist
Reviews Horn Of The Rhino - Weight Of Coronation 4.5 21.10.2012 by tea[m]ster
Reviews Urfaust - Verräterischer, Nichtswürdiger Geist 4.5 31.05.2012 by Oaken
Reviews Nachtmystium - Silencing Machine 4.5 11.11.2012 by D.T. Metal



Hits total: 2001 | This month: 4