Thursday, August 9, 2012

Album Review: Om - Advaitic Songs

Album Rating: A-
For years, Om has been making deeply meditative music that transports the listener to a world of absorbing and bizarre sounds.  Thought of as the “thinking man’s” metal band, Om’s music is deceptively deep, and largely a tough sell to those unfamiliar with more contemplative songwriting.  From the band’s outset, the duo has featured long form compositions that take their time in giving the listener a payoff.  While this has been what has made the band seem “unwelcoming,” for fans this is what makes Om so appealing.  With all the weird eastern influences and droning soundscapes, Om is unique, giving listeners a one of a kind sound.  This is carried over into the band’s latest, Advaitic Songs, their most impressive outing to date.

Advaitic Songs, much like the rest of the band’s discography, features engrossing and hypnotic songs that in all actuality are surprisingly varied.  Sure it drones and meanders, but Advaitic Songs never rests on its laurels, mixing things up at every turn.  In a way it is incredibly exciting, which is not something many people attribute to this sort of music.  But when the strings begin to lull in “State of Non-Return,” it becomes evident that Om really knows how to make an intriguing song.  Per the usual, vocals do not play a large role, which isn’t so bad considering the flat delivery is one of the album’s weaker points.  But the skillful artistry of the music as a whole is what makes Advaitic Songs such an immense success.  The music ebbs and flows with beautifully placed moments of sheer intensity that are somewhat subtle.  During the album’s lengthy run time, these moments are literally everywhere, making each massive song engrossing in its own right.

Om gets tagged as psychedelic/stoner music, but honestly you don’t need to be under the influence to become totally entranced with Advaitic Songs.  Om has hit one out of the park with this, their finest album, and 2012's best piece of metal thus far.

Track List:
1. Addis
2. State Of Non-Return
3. Gethsemane
4. Sinai
5. Haqq al-Yaqin

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