Reviews Om Pilgrimage

Om

Pilgrimage

Sleep was great. High on Fire is pretty good. But Om consistently impresses me, and seems to gain momentum with every album. Om seems to be getting closer than ever to carving out its own unique corner in the psychedelic genre that I could simply call “zen doom.”

These days “hypnotic” is a much-overused word in review writing, especially since it’s such a subjective idea anyway. But albums do come along that really are hypnotic, like Om’s Pilgrimage, so I have to say it. This is album is beyond hypnotic, it’s trance-inducing. Al Cisnero’s droning but melodic bass playing and mantras that could be studied at a university-level combined with Chris Hakius’ explosive drumming are a potent combination.

Pilgrimage is a four-part epic that mentally takes me to a place few others albums could even attempt. “Pilgrimage” sets the tone for the album with ten minutes of chilled out drumming and absolutely sublime vocals. Instead of building tension in the way a post-rock album would, it relaxes and mentally prepares you for the onslaught to come. “Pilgrimage Reprise” wraps up the album in a similar fashion, easing you back into real life as the thirty-two-minute meditation nears its end.

“Unitive Knowledge of the Godhead” and “Bhima’s Theme” are the heart of the album. Whatever it is that’s on your mind, it will be forgotten as you are sucked into these meditative, contemplative songs. Repetitious? Yes. That’s the whole point: to wipe your mind clean of the pettiness of everyday life and revel in the magnitude of it all- the earth-moving riffs and dreamlike rhythms that lurch forward with the inertia of a planet in orbit. One can imagine the enormous bottom end and insanely heavy drumming these guys must produce in a live setting.

With every album, it’s gotten harder to pin down Om’s sound. Cisneros and Hakius make music that is more subtle and dynamic than that of most doom metal bands and more epic and cerebral than that of most stoner rock bands. I’ve even heard comparisons to early Pink Floyd as of late, which I can say isn’t that far-fetched. All I know for sure is that this is one of the best stoner albums in recent memory, not to mention one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. Combine that with a superb production courtesy of Steve Albini that helps bring out the spaciousness of the music and beautiful cover art, and you’ve got something that really deserves to be recognized.

9.6 / 10Tyler
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9.6 / 10

9.6 / 10

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