Aum - Om AhJust in case there was any ambiguity following the above band name and album title, yes, Aum are kvlt as fvck. Social media is unworthy of their presence. The supplied photo does that stupid intentional enigma thing. I cannot locate any information about the band besides their French nationality. Their exploration of Buddhism through the medium of blackened death metal seems confused. I’m unsure if the resolute secrecy is evidence of self-importance or lack of care but I want to assure you, dear reader, that I had formed my views of this album before turning up nothing in my searches. All it did was consolidate my opinion that no one should give a shit about it, particularly if the band doesn’t appear to either.

But there’s still time for the obligatory scramble for positives! The arrangement of growls, shrieks and throat singing in the middle of opener “Moksha” is actually quite compelling. The unnecessarily rapid demise of this passage proves a sincere let-down as such a combination is subsequently ignored for an unknown reason, preferring typical growls for the remaining majority. Similarly, “Vipashyana” closes the record with something somewhat engaging which is otherwise unused. It slows the furious tempo down to a The Rack-like fusion of doom and death (it’s significantly less good but you get the reference), featuring a couple of riffs which have a decent groove. Lastly, Om Ah… is actually very dynamic and is generally produced well. The bass rumbles adequately and the mix is well-balanced.

So what are the issues? Everything that’s not already been noted. Tracks are borderline indistinguishable aside from the bookends, despite the foolhardy levels of time and effort I put into the record. Not only would the riffs be interchangeable, the songs would too. It attacks in an indistinct blur of blast beats, aggressive guitars and lame vocals. I didn’t think it were possible to growl or use harsh vocals without passion or at least conviction but it’s somehow managed here. Once your attention fades about 3 minutes in there’s really nothing with which you will re-engage. It’s utterly devoid of personality or anything even mildly entertaining (notwithstanding the above exceptions). Someone who hates everyone, everything, and who likes underground bands simply because they’re underground would probably describe this as “cool.”

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Worse still is the missed opportunity presented by the aspects representing the band’s interest in Buddhism. A visual metaphor for the relationship between the metal and the Buddhist parts is black versus white: there is no gray. There is metal and there is not metal. Save for the aforementioned passage layering throat singing with harsh vocals there is exactly zero overlap between the two parts. This falls short of something which could have actually been vaguely interesting. Moreover, the Buddhist passages are merely used in introductions and conclusions, bridging tracks. This is both a lazy transitional technique and reduces Aum‘s interest in this spirituality to a function. Perhaps they have genuine curiosity or belief but that’s certainly not how it appears on this album.

Om Ah… is as one-note as it is forgettable. There’s a thick veil of dreariness draped over everything; the greatest passion invoked in me was frustration at all the underground pretense. While the potential for integration of unusual instrumentation and throat singing into extreme metal is moderately appealing the execution here is uninspired. Perhaps it’s better that the musician(s) in question don’t have their names attached to this after all.


Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 11 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
Websites: Too kvlt for the interwebz
Releases worldwide: September 9th, 2016

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  • Oh, ah, um, wha?

    • André Snyde Lopes
    • ricin_beans

      This album was named after a line of dialogue from a Jeff Goldblum movie

    • GrimStilt

      We have tetragrammacide who come up with convoluted chemical name for a band and make bad music.
      And now we have this band, which differs in only that it changes the naming convention.
      Both are bonehead bands. Label pun intended

      • [not a Dr]

        I thought that a tetragrammacide was the act of killing the 4-lettered name of god (the tetragrammaton). I imagined they would use liquid paper, wood filla and some ceramic repair paste.

  • Reese Burns

    Shame about this one, waste of a nice album cover.

    • Oscar Albretsen

      Agreed, but I must say, I wish more bands weren’t against having their album covers in color. Beautiful artwork only looks more beautiful in full color.

  • GardensTale

    You know it has to be kvlt and underground and shit when the artist name is three letters long and you STILL can’t fucking read the logo. Actually looks more like Bum to me. Possibly not a coincidence.

    • You can’t go wrong with a symmetrical logo forming a skull (with what looks like some medieval helmet), yet you can go wrong with not intervening Buddhism properly, or so it seems.

  • So basically you are saying this is bound to go down as a modern day classic. Got it!

    • El_Cuervo

      Buy it. Waste your money. I dare you.

      • I challenge you to NOT buy this:

        https://anabstractillusion.bandcamp.com/

        • Anarchist

          That sounds super sick.

          Your post was implying it to be good, right? I’m not losing what little metal cred I have left?

          • Dave is going to formally review, but yes, it’s DAMN good.

            Sorry for thread crapping El C!

          • Anarchist

            Ahh ok. Because the first time I read your comment I thought you were comparing it to the album featured in the review here, so I figured I’d listen to it just because, and then it completely blew me away.

            It’s been a while since I’ve heard a grandiose metal album that just blew me away with 12+ minute long tracks. I think Time II was the last one? Thanks for sharing though; I’m super glad I didn’t miss this.

        • Kronos

          What is with you Metal Fi guys and this lame, lame album?

          • Sometimes to be truly brutalz, one must enjoy music that isn’t so.

          • Kronos

            My math rock fetish understands.

        • brutal_sushi

          Wow. This is fucking tasty as all hell!

        • Grymm

          *clicks link*

          DAAAAAAAAMN, SON!!!

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      Is the band name less than 700 letters? – Tick.
      Can you hear the riffs? – Kinda.
      Is it better than Tetragrammacide? – Arguably.
      Would you listen to it again? – Errr…
      Click here to win an iPhone 9s! – Sure. Wait a second,
      saywhatforalbumoftheyear – What?

      4.7/5.0 “Aum are kvlt as fvck.”

  • André Snyde Lopes

    That embedded track is not too bad but it makes me want to take a nap.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Riding a unicorn into the sun. “Fuck Science.” Uh, what the FUCK!????

    • The Unicorn (Blueberry Balls)

      I approve of this message.

      • And congratulations on finding yourself, mr. Unicorn. When did you come out of the closet? I didn’t notice till now.
        It suits you, and it fits the site. Well done.

        • The Unicorn (Blueberry Balls)

          The closet???? You got it all wrong Gorger!

          Well played.

          • I didn’t attempt to imply that you’ve “changed lane”, only a change of genus.
            I just didn’t find any other way of expressing that you’ve finally gone all the way admitted your affinity with Unicorns, having undergone a complete transformation of species.
            You are no longer he or she, you are it. You have become The Unicorn.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Judging from the album title their guitars or amps have hum problems.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    So, Nile-on-Bhuddism this is not…

    • SegaGenitals

      Wasn’t that Gorguts’ Colored Sands?

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Was it?

  • Diego Molero

    This is “cool”, ’cause you know, I hate everyone and everything.

  • Adjudant

    This is—–utter rubbish

  • The Unicorn (Blueberry Balls)

    Holy fuck, this is unbearable- but not worse to my ears than the new Opeth track!

    • Oscar Albretsen

      I’m not a big fan of the new Opeth track yet, either, but I’ve only heard it like twice. Took me like 6 listens before I “got” their last album, but, it’s Opeth, so I have faith.

  • I might not hate everyone and everything, just most people and most stuff. One of the things I hate is metal that is hailed simply because it’s kvlt, despite being utterly exempt of all quality.
    Still…. 1 point? Really?

    I could’ve thrown names of practically hundreds of albums released this very summer your way, that was much more inferior. If only I had cared an ounce of remembering their names. In fact, I struggle with remembering the stuff I do like.

    I’ve heard this albums close to ten times today. Yes, it’s a bit humdrum, not at all doing anything new or anything better than what has already been done, but it’s not crappy.

    Yes, riffs & songs are a bit interchangeable, but not more than what we’re used to within the realms of infernal occult-sounding blackened death, and does that even matter when you turn out the lights, lite up a few candles and crank it up in the late hours? (Lest you were searching for progressive extreme metal, that is.)

    “Worse still is the missed opportunity presented by the aspects representing the band’s interest in Buddhism.”
    What… that’s your main argument for labeling this album as “Embarrassing”?
    The band fails to mix these astral oriental elements seamlessly into the music. Or into the music at all. They work as meager interludes, breathers between each song. Taken for what they are, you can love them or hate them, but they constitute much less than 10 % of the duration, and should as such not weigh that much on the final score.
    Besides… Buddhism? Fuck that anyway. Did I mention I hate all organized religion?

    I wouldn’t have argued on 2.5 (Mixed) or even 2.0 (Disappointing), but rating it even lower than 1.5 (bad) makes me raise my voice and wave my fists… I object your honor!

    • Stefan-Bogdan Grigoras

      I’ll take your post as the real review, so thanks a lot!

    • somnambulist

      Buddhism isn’t an organized religion. It’s not even a religion in the dictionary definition of the word. It emphasises thinking for oneself, and asks for respect rather than sheer compliance and blind faith. No god(s) either.

      Agree with you in regards to the album though. I enjoy this a lot.

  • Scourge

    I’ve got a shorter review:

    Aum Om Ah Hum Ho Hum.

  • infestuus

    Fuck this review, great album, old skull death metal , Dead Congregation/Grave Miasma worship. If you don’t know shut your mouth.

    • Brenn

      Cruciamentum, Drowned aso..too. I love all these bands.
      I think AUM kicks ass! :)

  • This is very dull, which is sad, because the band might have the best of all the skull-logos out there.

  • I dig this. Don’t understand all the hate.

  • Flush00Gordon

    Great album. Don’t listen to this clown.

  • I seriously don’t see why this album is getting this much hate here. It kind of sounds like a ritualistic Finnish death metal album. It’s quite impressive to say the least. Definitely something that I’d buy!