OM Conference of the Birds

OM Conference of the Birds
In the Star Wars myth, the Force is an invisible energy that pulses through the universe and binds it together. Plug an amp into that current and the music of San Francisco’s Om emanates forth from all corners of the galaxy. After stoner metal pioneers Sleep’s demise and diaspora, bassist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Haikus were not interested in following the runaway secular metal of guitarist Matt Pike’s High on Fire. Instead, they tapped into doom’s primeval essence and channelled it into last year’s Variations on a Theme. The epic Conference of the Birds furthers the mantric aesthetic of Variations: two planet-sized tracks of bass’n’drum synchronicity with monk-like chants of inescapable ethereality. Surely invoking the Sphinx and the great pyramids, the sprawling "At Giza” creeps along like Pink Floyd’s early space paean "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” Cisneros duly cranks up the distortion at the 12-minute mark, blasting off and leaving Earth behind. The 17-minute "Flight of the Eagle” continues that vibe on a more level plane, but no less flowing and languorous. Recommended equally for Jedi metal-heads and those who dabble in the dark side, Om are truly a vibratory experience, as Conference of the Birds is the conduit for the harmonic convergence of all heavenly bodies.

Why are your influences in Om less concrete than they were in Sleep? Cisneros: With Om we have no template from which we are drawing, whereas with Sleep the influence was primarily Butlerian and Iommic. Sonically and lyrically, Om is just where we’re at. We play to exorcise the vibrations — to attain a release from their internal presence. The music and verses fill like water in a container and must be allowed a way out.

What exactly is "resonance metal”? I think that was a term a writer once used in trying to describe our music. In all levels of matter there exists layered waveforms from subtle to gross. They configure innumerably in combinations and it makes the apparent world. Even planets in rotation emit frequencies. Music, sound, anybody’s — all entities — are part of that. You’re part of that, we’re part of that. The resonance is only audible to the human ear when it falls within a small part of the spectrum — but it is everywhere in the multiverse. That is, in my opinion, why one can "feel” music even more than receiving it through the auditory organ — the heart perceives many more vibrations than even the ear. (Holy Mountain)