Once again Steve Albini does his engineering thing and Om does their post-stoner drone thing, though with a new drummer.
There are two striking things about God is Good: Emil Amos‘ drumming is actually better than Chris Hakius, and the shift towards a more stereotypically “ethno” flourish is somewhat painful. I am upfront about my general dislike of the way Mr. Albini – who forgets more about audio engineering in his sleep that I could possibly remember – does his thing. The levels are uneven, there’s always a KABLAAAAAAM moment, but you can hear every last detail. In this age of hyperlimited brickwalls a slant towards dynamics is always welcome, but this is silly as all hell.
Anyway, there’s some flute on here, the album is pretty short, and it is generally recognizable as an Om release. A weaker Emil Amos. release, however.
Amos is a great drummer and all, but the sitars sound out of place, unlike the sparse use of flute, which feels right. No one has to do the same thing forever, and no fan has the right to demand as such, but not all change is particularly hopeful.
This wee split sounds exactly like what you’d think it sounds like. While this may be a cop-out in terms of music journalism 2.0, it beats saying nonsense like “…the mystical union of sonorous bonghits from a land that’s the crossed out stepchild of Black Sabbath and The Incredible String Band…” cut off only by the soundless scream of a knife being drawn across the windpipe of the soul unfortunate enough to put such nonsense to paper.
Let us clarify things, rather than obscure them: Om is a post-stoner band that is hard bass and ride cymbals and monosyllabic words about something or other. “Post-stoner” in this context means “slow and throbbing but without silly lyrics about getting baked.” Current 93 is totally batshit crazy in a really great way. Mr. Tibet proves it possible to be deeply religious, to be totalized without being fanaticized to the point where socialization with those outside of your little memeplex becomes impossible. Continue reading
I’m not particularly down with “real metal” or “true metal” or “authentic european black metal” – I know some forms of cultural transmission are more “pure” than others, and some are more like chow mein. That’s ok, though, because while I don’t like chow mein, I also recognize not everyone wants to eat “thousand year egg” and other traditional dishes. Tradition, sometimes, is gross and was only eaten because there was nothing else to eat.
So let’s eat, slowly.