OM at Kulturkirken Jakob (Oslo, Norway)
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
by Jorge Patacas
For those who are not familiar with their name, Om was founded in 2003 as a project of two former Sleep members, being the bassist and vocalist Al Cisneros the only original member left today.
Currently accompanied by the brilliant Emil Amos and Tyler Trotter on keyboards, the trio came to Oslo to play not one, but two shows (!). The chosen venue for the concert was the Kulturkirken Jakob church (!), the best choice for a Drone/Doom band like this. It is clearly unusual to attend a metal concert in a church and many readers will be surprised while reading this, so it’s necessary to explain how this is possible. As the story says, the church was built in 1880 and it was working until 1985 where they decided to close it because of lack of believers in the area. Fifteen years later, it was agreed that the place was going to be used for all kind of cultural events, from plays to metal concerts and it’s been like that since then.
After a sold-out first show, we attended the next day to witness an extremely different experience. Upon entering the church, a large structure with soft blue lights welcomed us and the desire to know what it would be like to see a show by a band like Om there grew as the minutes passed.
Finally, the musicians took the stage, and Cisneros began to play the first notes of “State of Non-Return” on his bass. Immediately the drummer would join, and then the keyboard player, creating an atmosphere so special that it’s hard to describe with words.
One had the feeling that the place had been built for the band, they really fit in there perfectly.
Long songs with psychedelic elements and sounds from Middle East, are some of the traits of this trio whose name comes from the Hindu syllable known as the natural vibration of the universe, used as a mantra.
The unmistakable bass of Cisneros has great prominence in the songs, and considering the acoustics of the place we were at, it was a sure thing that his hypnotic riffs, each drum beat from Amos and each passage on the keyboard by the multi-instrumentalist Trotter, were going to keep ringing in our heads for a long time.
The show went from more dynamic sections to more minimalist moments and vice versa, and the band took us on a meditative and spiritual journey towards other dimensions, being released once they decided to do so.
01- State of Non-Return
04- Cremation Ghat I
05- Cremation Ghat II
06- At Giza
08- Bhima’s Theme