Now five studio albums deep, Om still operate from under the shadow of monolith-metal weed-prophets Sleep, from whose considerable ashes they emerged. Guitarist Matt Pike took their über-metal ethos and tabletop gaming imagery to High On Fire; bassist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Hakius bagged the shamanic trance atmospheres for Om. Hakius left in 2008, though, to be replaced by Emil Amos, and a lot of fans will tell you Om ain’t been the same since.
They’re right, in the sense that only very rarely does ‘Advaitic Songs’ (five tracks, 43 minutes) unleash a nostalgically doomy riff. Still, while ‘State Of Non-Return’ stomps its black boots marvellously, the duo are equally given to Middle Eastern-sounding chants, mournful strings and spacerock intros – if Om were ever a metaller’s band, they’re not now. Brain-rinsingly psychedelic without needing to tell you about it, they deserve to sit at the table with Current 93 and post-Syd/pre-stadium Pink Floyd.
Record label: Drag City
Release date: 16 Jul, 2012