(Holy Roar Records)
Kent’s OHHMS have built up a decent head of steam since their inception just three years ago. And while their commanding live performances have turned heads, it’s been the sheer quality of their lengthy, surging sonic explorations that have put the band in the spotlight.
And with The Fool, they have cemented their presence in the outer rims of metal, a place where bold, crushing riffs are wrapped up in raw emotion, where sharp beams of light pierce the clouds to light up the primordial ooze. It’s as far away from pub sludge as you can get, with tracks like The World and especially The Hanged Man marking this quintet as leaders not followers. Yes, OHHMS can batter your insides into mush with a simple chord progression, but it’s the subtle atmospherics, the glimpses of blue sky in the clouds, that set them apart.
The Magician is as close as this record gets to straight-up stoner doom – and it’s a hell of a song – but contrast that to The Lovers, which floats by on a gentle, caressing breeze, and deftly combines male and female vocals, or The Hierophant, a 20-minute plus track which evolves from a hazy, psychedelic space voyage, and you’ll start to understand that this is an album fashioned from pure ambition and an unfettered imagination.
Put simply, OHHMS are one of the UK’s most exciting extreme bands, an act who are doing their best to defy categorization – and you’d be a fool to ignore them.