It’s been a tic since I’ve heard a doomy sludgy style album that I enjoyed. After a while it becomes rote. It all sounds the same. Thankfully, Rot (Church Road Records) by the oh-so-brilliant Ohmms brings back that delicious, doomy, sludgy, bombastic sound. Can a doom album make one happy? Oh yes, Ohmms’ Rot can.
The album has those strong guitars and heavy drumming that makes sludge/doom so enticing. The vocals scream plaintively at you. Rot is visceral. ‘Let’s Scare Jessica to Death’ is like screaming (tilting) at windmills. It’s a slow trudge through the moors during rainy season: all low fog, mucky peat, thick sweaters and wellies. ‘Blood Feast’ brings back wicked nostalgia from the way-back machine. The song reminds me of going to punk shows in Trenton, NJ in basements, churches, halls, weird places that would rent out space to no-name and low-name punk and thrash bands. The songs that would make us dance and headbang and sweat sounded like ‘Blood Feast’. For those of a certain age, ‘Blood Feast’ is full of happy memories of youth. I anticipate people listening to Ohmms will create many happy sweaty memories.
The cool thing about the album is that for the later songs, it morphs into a Foo Fighters / Queens of the Stone Age vibe. The songs are still powerful but in a more alt-metal type of way. Ohmms makes this transition in a fluid way, the listener notices the change, but it’s not jarring. This is some amazing writing. ‘A Dark Song’ is one such song in this vein. The song is fun and dizzying. It’s like being on a carousel ride run by Captain Spaulding (Edior’s note – RIP Sid Haig). Halfway through ‘A Dark Song’, things slow down and the listener is swimming in molasses. ‘A Dark Song’ becomes swirling browns and oranges before falling into a fey forest in the dark realm. Another song in this vein, ‘Sisters’, has a great groove and an alternative metal sound. The tones are pleasing and the momentum of the song keeps the listener engaged.
From start to finish, Ohmms’ Rot is a strong album. It’s one I played on repeat all day long. I am sure fans of Ohmms and new listeners alike will find Rot just as enticing.
Buy the album here:
8 / 10