Wednesday, 3 June 2015

OHHMS - Cold (EP Review)


Album Type: EP
Date Released: 29th June 2015
Label: Holy Roar Records

Cold - Track Listing:

1.The Anchor
2.Dawn Of The Swarm

Review:

OHHMS are back with their 2nd EP - Cold. Just only 8 months after their acclaimed debut EP - Bloom. OHHMS's style of music blends Post-Metal, Doom, Sludge, Stoner, Psych Rock and Noise to portray a band with a unique identity of their own. Bloom showed OHHMS were a loud, noisy and destructive unit which had me begging for more. Here, OHHMS experiment with their sound yet again as the band decide to add a huge amount of 70s Prog Rock atmospherics.

You still experience the familiar sounds from their celebrated debut EP but Bloom sees OHHMS bravely expand their sound with Paul's vocals offering a more dramatic feel. I would say Paul as Lead Vocalist is the one thing that has changed dramatically as his vocals go through a wide range of moods and emotions compared to Bloom. Cold offers two epic lengthy tracks - The Anchor which runs at 18:30 mins and Dawn Of The Storm which runs for 14:26 mins.

The Anchor is the loudest of the two tracks and the one which feels like a continuation from Bloom though with layers of 70s Prog Rock offering a more robust experience. Heavy Sludge/Stoner guitars are amped into the mix with ferocious drumming that sees OHHMS more angry than ever. The Anchor tells an intriguing story as OHHMS have written powerful and haunting lyrics to match the violent and out of control riffs. OHHMS deserve credit for structuring their songs into different parts as this EP has the feel and identity of a full length record instead of an EP that the band are classifying this release as.

The final track - Dawn Of The Swarm - sees OHHMS paying homage to their musical heroes from the heyday of 60s/70s Classic Hard Rock and Prog Rock mixed with the familiar Sludge/Stoner Rock vibes hidden amongst the groovy riffs. The tracks open with a dreamy guitar riff and shades of psych rock that brings back memories of The Who. OHHMS can't resist unleashing the thunder for all you heavy sludge rock fans. Vocalist Paul offers a different vocal experience that I've heard from him before. As Paul blends aggressive punk based vocals and even tender heartfelt vocals that has a distinctive Roger Daltrey aura around them. Strange, Yeah, I know but that's the vibe that I get from listening to the song.

When OHHMS become angry the riffs are LOUD, LEAN and HEAVY. Wait until they slow things right down and you see OHHMS in a different light. Some people may not like the change of sound that OHHMS have created here but when have OHHMS ever played by rules in their action packed short career so far. Conventional isn't a word in their vocabulary. Experimental, Loud, Heavy and Emotional are words that OHHMS do understand as the EP offers all of those experiences and more.

I know most people will prefer Bloom to Cold. That's fine as they're both outstanding records but I prefer Cold as it shows OHHMS are a band ready to take on the world and on this form, whose going to stop them. The production on the EP is once again superb. OHHMS are starting to get a well deserved reputation within the UK Sludge/Stoner Rock scene. I feel with Cold that OHHMS have the potential to grace some of the more prestigious International Sludge/Stoner Metal festivals and beyond. Cold is a brilliant record and stands out as a potential Album/EP of the year.

Thanks to OHHMS for the promo. Cold will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Holy Roar Records from June 29th 2015. There's a whole range of packages to order from Holy Roar Records and BandCamp.

Words by Steve Howe

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