The recruitment of the new drummer Emil Amos (formally of the band Grails) has brought around a new sound to the band Om. When I first heard the news that Chris Hakius had left the band and had quit drumming all together I was worried that Om was over. This however was not the case. Al found a new drummer to join Om and I must say he has fit in very well. Amos brings a different style of drumming to Om. As opposed to Hakius who’s drumming was very repetitive, Amos’s drumming is full of twists and turns. Just listen to the drum fills on “Meditation is the Practice of Death”. Not to mention the fact that his drum kit sounds just amazing!
God is Good is composed of four songs. The first song entitled “Thebes” is a crushing 19 minutes of pure hypnotic doom. It also incorporates something new for an Om album – the addition of other instruments aside from the bass and drums. Thebes starts out with a tambura that drones on and on and flows just right with the song. Al proceeds to come in with some very slow bass licks. These bass licks fill your mind and are perfect for meditating to. “Descends supine grace of the luminant” is the first verse that comes out of Al’s mouth. I swear Al Cisneros must have the one of the greatest voices I have ever heard. Then the drums arrive, when hearing these drums I am reminded of a far away land, perhaps somewhere in the Middle East. There is something very tribal about these drums. About 8 minutes into the song things change. A single distorted bass note changes the whole atmosphere, from a relaxing hypnotic jam to a stupendously loud world of riffs and amazing drumming.
The second song “Meditation is the Practice of Death” is another great song. Al’s bass pummels on and on. There are plenty of strong drum fills. Al’s vocals are everflowing and make you just want to bob your head up and down for the whole song. Near the end of the song there is another instrument added into the mixture of bass and drums – a flute. The flute really brings out the best of this track and I am glad that Om decided to add more instruments into this album.
The album ends with two Cremation Ghats. The first of the Cremation Ghat’s is fast and upbeat. Al’s bass provides a funky and fun head nodding flow. While the drums and claps can really get you into the song. The song is also accompanied by some nice chants of Al and another vocalist who brings in some very high-pitched vocals. Despite these vocals being so high-pitched, they fit right in with the song. The second Cremation Ghat is a slow droning song. The tambura is back and mixes very well with the song. While I was listening to this song I found myself wondering what a Cremation Ghat was exactly. So I did a little research. In South Asia “ghat” refers to a series of steps leading down to a body of water. Now, I suppose to become a cremation ghat a body is cremated by the water, allowing the ashes to be washed away. This is kind of what Cremation Ghat II does to you. It’s like it washes away your entire being. At the end of this album I feel much replenished. That may sound strange, but that’s just the feeling this album gives me.
It seems that everything about this album just flows together. It really must be one of the greatest releases of 2009. If you’re looking for music that slows you down and puts you in trance – start listening to this album. In fact, I would recommend that you start listening to this band all together.
- Onod, December 1st, 2009
1. Thebes 19:09
2. Meditation Is the Practice of Death 06:52
3. Cremation Ghat I 03:12 instrumental
4. Cremation Ghat II 04:58 instrumental
Al Cisneros Bass, vocals
Emil Amos Drums