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What dark splendor! “Om” is one of those incredibly thought provoking and atmospherically brilliant albums that can continually captivate the mind on every listen.
So how to describe the atmosphere? It is certainly dark, but very spiritual and often melancholy, though sometimes brutal. It is very diverse, but I believe the most appropriate description would be something along the lines of the world’s creation or universal flow. The variety of folk instruments further stabilize this rather incredible feeling present throughout most of the album. It is of course, brought out by the keyboards and guitarwork, and perfected by the oddly crisp and unique production job.
The riffs are numerous and amazing, being memorable and provoking tons of emotion, all with a completely unique guitar tone. Keyboards are frequently used, but incredibly tastefully, evoking no sense of cheesiness whatsoever. These are accompanied by some very technical drumming and great vocals that show elements of black and death metal and often transcend to a very mysterious and melancholy clean singing style.
The album is best listened in one go as it is best absorbed this way. It really needs to sink in and fully surround you for the full sixty-seven minutes to have its strongest and most overwhelming effect, which is needless to say, incredible.
One band this album really reminds me of is Blut aus Nord, one of my all time favorites. Think Ultima Thulee or Fathers of the Icy Age. Those albums are really good examples of the type of stuff Negura Bunget does on “Om”. Dark, though-provoking, melodic, and beautiful, but often terrifying and aggressive at the same time.
“Om” is definitely one of the best black metal albums ever, and is essential for both fans and non-fans alike. If you can’t get into much black metal, try giving this a go, as it was one of the first black metal albums that I could appreciate back when I was first getting into metal. Check it out!