Om – Advaitic Songs (2012)

Om were an accidental discovery for me. I have had the mp3s of Pilgrimage for years thanks to a friend, but I had never truly appreciated them. To me it literally just seemed like SleepLite. What was the fucking point? Anyway, I’ll cut the bullshit and get straight to the point. One day I decided to try and smoke as much weed as I possibly could. I’m not talking “oh, let’s get totally baked”, I’m talking about smoking until I physically couldn’t lift the lighter to the bowl no more. I had to do once I guess, even if it could have given me schizophrenia if the Daily Mail is to be believed. And so I did it. And I had to do something whilst sitting there dribbling all over myself like a fucking idiot, so I managed to get my iPod on shuffle before I became 100% couch-locked. What followed was a musical journey of enlightenment which had two particular highlights; I devised that Electric Wizard used 87,000 guitar tracks on the Black Masses album, and I was also stoned enough to sit and listen to an Om song long enough for it to kick in! Bam! The rest is history! Dat bass!

After “Bhima’s Theme” melted my face off, I was blown off this planet once again by the band (and coincidentally, a fuckton of weed) at their Roadburn 2012 performance, and again whilst sober as a judge during the Bristol date of their recent UK tour. It was at that point I finally realized I might be a genuine Om fan and I decided it was high time (no pun intended) I bought some fucking records. I picked up Advaitic Songs from the friendly folks in Spillers Records and I couldn’t have been happier!

On this year’s release the band shy away from the endless distortion of old more than ever, exploring the heavy-Eastern and highly spiritual themes in more depth. That is not to say that the rumbling frenzy of bass doesn’t kick in every now and then to grind it’s way through another groovefest of neck-rolling awesomeness, but it is also used a lot more in its clean form. On Pilgrimage the clean bass parts did get a bit boring but here they are used to staggeringly brilliant effect; the climax to “Gethsemane” is something every musician should hear at least once – the clean bass takes centre stage, spazzing out in a jam of ecstasy without losing structure from the song, or without overpowering the other instruments.