Om - Stereo, Glasgow, Fri 28 Sep
The meditative metal group deliver faithful unsatisfactorily short Stereo set
Om’s new direction and rhythm section has polarised some older heads inclined towards the more Sleep-heavy vibes found on earlier releases. There’s an obvious difference in the live amalgamation of Om in the past few years with newish sticksman Emil Amos (Grails, Sleep) in tow, aided by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Robert Lowe (who performs solo as Lichens), who performed on their last two Drag City releases. Lowe adds a honed dimension tonight, providing high-end backing vocals and jazzier keyboard breaks while orbiting a tambourine high towards the ceiling.
Choice moments from recent Advaitic Songs let them hit their stride on Al Cisnero’s heavier bass moments, as heard on ‘State of Non-Return’ but it’s somewhat fleeting tonight. Given the stripped-back nature of the amplification onstage, it’s clearly a tactical manoeuvre away from their subbed-out sets of yesteryear. That said, their sound is pristine and about as close as you’ll get to the new record without employing an entourage of Middle-Eastern musicians. The main gripe has to be the shortened set; under an hour long. A premature end to a performance that should have been far more tantric.