Special Features: Black vinyl. Download code.
- On the Mountain at Dawn
- Kapila's Theme
Release Date: February 22, 2005
Label: Holy Mountain
Since the release of their 1992 magnum opus Sleeps Holy Mountain, critics and fans have prattled over the effect that the late, great Sleep have had on modern stoner/doom metal. Just as the dust was getting kicked up from the Jerusalem/Dopesmoker debacle a few years ago, guitarist Matt Pike had already formed his new band, High On Fire, which has gone on to much success in the realm of the heavy. For Om, however, Sleep bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Haikus reconvene for phase two of their colourful music careers. The aptly-named duo deriving their monosyllabic moniker from the Sanskrit word for the universes spoken essence continue to make their mark on the genre with the Billy Anderson-produced Variations on a Theme: three epic tracks, two of which push the 12-minute mark, and one album-side monster of 21 minutes. Opener "On the Mountain at Dawn pummels relentlessly with a wicked, mid-paced rhythm; Haikus keeps a studied, metronomic pace with snare and kick drum, while Cisneros calculated, mantric chant-styled vocals and fuzzy Rickenbacker bass enhance the output exponentially. "Kapilas Theme cuts said tempo in half, as monumental beats and tones slither over verdant alien jungles teeming with exotic wildlife. "Annapurna sees Haikus aping Creams Ginger Baker with tight cymbal-bell strikes and arresting tom-tom work, as Cisneros Cyclopean bass resonates into infinity. Similar to the Sanskrit term, Oms ancient mantra transcends mere stoner rock, taking Sleeps long-form template into new frontiers of musical enlightenment. - Chris Ayers (Exclaim.ca March 1, 2006)