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OM - Pilgrimage

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Southern Lord SUNN86LP
Release Year: 2014
Note: back in stock/re-pressed, OMs third album from 2007, produced by STEVE ALBINI... "Bass and drums churning out super hypnotic heaviness and repetitive chant-like vocals creating a cyclical whorl of trance-rock divinity" [Aquarius Rec.]
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"The mighty return of the transcendental RIFF! The third Om record! By now the methods and purpose of their ultra heavy music of the spheres is clear. The music on this album, much like the first two, is stripped to its essence. Bass and drums churning out super hypnotic heaviness and repetitive chant-like vocals creating a cyclical whorl of trance-rock divinity.
With a lot of new releases from bands we love, change in sound and development of style is important, Om seem to operate with different principles than the average rock and roll outfit. The consistency of their sound lends itself to the eternal nature of the music, as if all three of their records are really just movements in some expansive, cosmic symphony. Within Om's canon, change is felt like the passing of time without the aid of a clock or calendar, existing in the infinite void. And what an ass kicking void it is! The riffs and rhythms on Pilgrimage are certainly just as good as those on either of their previous releases, which means amazingly heavy and heady slabs of stoned out ROCK!
The record starts off with the title track, which is an expansive slow burner. Mesmeric and spiritual, soft spoken vocals and a propulsive tom and tambourine beat. The riffs on this track, as well as the bulk of Om's material, have a certain eastern quality, like some strange Sabbath-raga meld, and they go on forever and ever, taking the listener on some sort of mystic celestial voyage. By track two, "Unitive Knowledge Of The Godhead", the fuzzed out bass distortion kicks in, and the sound gets HEAVY! This Sleep-like heavitude continues into the 11 plus minute "Bhima's Theme", by which point in the album the listener is more than likely completely transfixed, eyes a-glaze with the eternal riff burned into their brain. The last song on the album is "Pilgrimage (Reprise)", which makes for a very circular experience, like when listening to the album all the way through, time disintegrates and 32 minutes seems like a split second or a week or an eternity! Heavy, mannnn...
Possibly one of the most distinctive things about Pilgrimage is the recording itself. This album sounds fucking great! We mean, for a band that just consists of bass guitar and drums, you could not pick a better engineer than Mr. Steve Albini, whose forte has always been the rhythm section, and he completely nailed the sound! It's warm and cavernous, and completely swallows the listener whole.
So, if you are in tune with the amaranthine vibes of Om's two previous records, you will most certainly appreciate this one as a continuation on the path towards the essence of musical anima mundi! RIFF TO ETERNITY!" [Aquarius]