Ohhms: Bloom

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Ohhms: Bloom
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Ohhms: Bloom
Doom Metal, Psychedelic Progessive Rock, Stoner Rock
Holy Roar Records
October 6th, 2014
Release length: 32:26
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It should come as no surprise that the varied Rock and Metal outfit Ohhms hails from the United Kingdom. Kent, to be more precise. This five piece brings together a mixture of Psychedelic, Stoner, and Post-Rock elements, not to mention crushing Doom Metal passages when the moment’s right. Back in July of this year, the group unleashed their debut Bloom, a two song recording composed of two songs that collectively total to over thirty-two minutes. Since then it which has been picked up by Holy Roar Records for a proper pressing in October. With music that is meant to be approached like a journey more than anything, can Bloom stand as something worth the ticket price, or is the maturing experience far from memorable?

The highly varied “Bad Seeds” runs through the fields of Rock and Metal with great ease. Things start off with a sobering Psychedelic Rock atmosphere laced with some Post-Rock elements that do sound fairly weak at first, even fake in some ways, as if the band were wearing a mask to hide their true emotional state of mind. This becomes far more evident as the Southern fried Stoner Rock riffs bridge the gap between the lighter start and a beefier, Doom Metal center that is emotionally crushing, revealing itself to come off more like some wicked narcotic induced hallucination during a voodoo ritual. What was weak riffs of moderate ease have become something dark and twisted by just the ten minute mark, leaving another eight minutes of literal self-exploration, not to mention crashing from the aforementioned high ahead of you. Soothing guitars and infectious drum beats bring you right back to earth, grounding you into a zen-like state of being that washes all the other emotions away to feel anew before venturing on.

While “Bad Seeds” is a fairly impressive track in its own right, “Rise of the Herbivore” is really where the band shines. This one introduces itself through an odd mixture of a droning rumble off in the distance behind the cleaner Isis style Post-Rock lead riffs that play up the desolate isolation quite well. There is a sudden musical explosion just past the two minute mark, but it’s a very brief expulsion of noise that caves into a nautical trudging pace along the lines of Ahab. But that tranquillity is destroyed come six minutes in, meeting with rich, louder distortions and feedback with some Sludge Metal style rougher vocals and harmonizations that all plod along in a helpless manner, carrying on against its will to an unforeseen dismal fate. This downward spiral doesn’t last too long though, eventually caving to some solid Progressive musicianship that retains a certain trippiness to put you at ease before reverting back to the droning start once more.

Something else worth noting about Ohhms is the animal-related lyrics that appear in both songs. On Ohhms‘ official Facebook account, the About page lists “animal rights” with the list of styles they dabble in. This could be just a poor interpretation on my part, but the lyrics seem to take on a different meaning, writing them in a way that considers human animals, and not the more vegan lyrical approach of bands like Cattle Decapitation. Of course, without actually having the lyrics, this could be the polar opposite and just a poor translation on my end, but was something I felt worth noting in this review.

On your first spin of Bloom, chances are you may dismiss the effort due to the less-than-engaging music that kicks off the experience. But, after a little while, it all starts falling into place, taking you on a wild experience that is both soothing and unnerving over the span of thirty-two minutes. For a debut album, Ohhms establish themselves as a strong contender in the avid Post-Rock world, and the addition of Doom Metal elements makes them even more unpredictable, not to mention volatile at times. If you’re into this sort of emotional journey, Bloom stands as an album that is worth looking into, or at least sampling from the band’s Bandcamp page before it is gone..


01. Bad Seeds – 18:00
02. Rise of the Herbivore – 14:26
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Ohhms
Ohhms

Digital review copy of this release provided by Holy Roar Records
via Earsplit PR.