10 February 2013, I went to the Media Club in Vancouver to see OM. A friend of mine who’d seen them before said it had been a mind-blowing experience. After seeing them myself I can only agree.
OM play a heavy, rhythmic style of eastern-influenced music. The vocals are smooth but the bass is so thick that you could call it metal. In fact the bass is so enveloping that it takes the place of the guitar. Al Cisernos (of the band Sleep) is the founding member, bass player, and lead vocalist of Om. Seeing him perform live, like some mystical hunchback, I am utterly convinced that he is some sort of wizard.
All three members of OM play off each other in a seemingly formless, entrancing jam. Their songs usually have a simple theme that they explore to completion. The instruments, including the vocals, converse with one another, blend into one another. At one point I felt as though the rhythm was in tune with my pulse. I might have been terrified if I hadn’t been so completely under their spell. I couldn’t tell which song was which and I couldn’t tell you how much time went by. It was a timeless moment that was over all too soon.
After the show I seemed to be the only one crying for more. To no avail however- there was no encore. Before leaving I shook the hand of Robert Lowe (no relation to the Robert Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus). He played some crazy atmospheric keyboards, sometimes a guitar appeared in his hands as if by magic. He was also responsible for backing vocals: high-pitched tribal wails that surprised me when I realized they were coming out of his mouth.
I found myself in the slow-moving line at the merch-booth to buy their latest album “Advaitic Songs.” I also bought a shirt. I would’ve shaken each of the band-members hands had they appeared before me: Al Cisernos is a wizard and Emil Amos plays extremely tight drums while weaving the illusion of clumsiness. Robert Lowe was the only man who returned to the stage before I left. I shook his hand and said the only thing that came to mind: “That was really inspiring. I’m speechless.” He replied with a very genuine “thank you.” I had once thought to ask OM questions, but after hearing them play, I had no questions left to ask.
Such is the power of OM.