The drone started almost immediately. The Bottleneck goes silent. The sounds of Tibetan bells, Eastern Orthodox style choirs and sabbathian drumming. Sludge-thick bass tones. Transcendence; in a word, Om.
San Francisco doom metal band Om, noted for being founded by the rhythm section of the legendary Sleep, has carved out an interesting space for itself in the heavy music sphere. Inspired by the aforementioned Tibetan and Byzantine chants, Om fuses this spiritual energy with bassist Al Cisneros’s Geezer-Butler-like basslines and drummer Emil Amos’s unrelenting fills. Tyler Trotten, a man of many talents, covers keys, atmospheric samples, and tambourine duties when needed. This power trio imbues the listener with what can only be described as an intense but divine serenity fit for blasting in the Hagia Sophia.
Om definitely lays down the vibes on their records without fail. Despite this, I admit that I was initially skeptical heading into the Bottleneck to see the band’s live material. How could they generate an accurate snapshot of the universal vibration without compromising to some extent?
As soon as they started playing, however, I could see my skepticism was unfounded. Om is a different sort of power trio, one so fine-tuned to laying down the heaviest meditative jam possible that it took me to another dimension. Cisneros’s performance was reminiscent of other weedian ventures, his vocal performance and lyrical meter on par with releases like Sleep’s The Sciences and Om’s recorded material.
Om’s presence definitely killed at the Bottleneck. For fans of stoner rock, Cisneros’s more well-known work, or religious music that isn’t Veggie Tales, I would definitely recommend seeing Om in concert on this tour, for their prowess in laying down vibes definitely warrants a gander. While not for everyone, diehard fans of loud amps will definitely love this power trio.