By Gruesome Greg
With six tracks stretching 70+ minutes, it’s safe to say that midnight will have come and gone by the time you’re done listening to this one. A bizarre, eclectic platter of sludgy/drone-doom/post-whatever—there are some solid riffs here initially, it’s just that they’re played at a snail’s pace. The first song, which is, in itself, an act in three (bowel) movements shows its share of Sleep and Saint Vitus worship, which I suppose isn’t a bad thing. Kinda takes off into a more post-sludgy type deal at the end, though.
“Gravity Well” starts out where the last song left off, with some of that sparse, airy, post-ambient whatchamacallit. Softer singing is not their frontman’s forte, that’s for sure. That said, as things get heavier, buddy’s voice is equally annoying. And are those simulated sitar sounds!?
“House of Cards” kinda starts off like something offa Wino’s Adrift solo album, if you replace the man’s legendary voice with a second-rate Hugh Dillon/Ed Roland attempting an Al Cisneros OM impression—and are those tribal drums—complete with faux Aboriginal chants? Ugh. Does this really go on for 13 minutes? At least OM’s post-meditational stuff is (comparatively) short and sweet nowadays…
This only gets weirder as we go along. The vocalist does his best Peter Steele impression over some pianos and more tribal drums on “The Stonebreaker,” mercifully short at four minutes, but the vibe continues on into “Back of the Beyond,” which sounds more like one of those drugstore sampler CDs (“press 18 to hear Lovely Sounds of Nature”) than anything remotely related to metal—complete with Collective Soul singing overtop. Okay, so it gets a bit heavier as we go along, I guess. Didn’t even make it through the 19-minute album-closer, though. Enough is enough!
This album can be summed up in one word: post. As in, the post-listening experience was more pleasant than playing it. Remember when everything was labelled alternative, and you had to ask “alternative to what?” In this case, I’d call it an alternative to listening to OM on LSD.
(Art As Catharsis Records)