Monday 29 January 2018

OLMEG - MALADIES (Album Review)

Release date: 10th February 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Maladies – Tracklisting

The Deception
Black Riders
Here Comes The Cloud
Still Missing
Top Dog
Bloody Sails
Outer Space


Tim Byrne - Drums
Jared Smith - Guitars/Vocals
Matt Dawkins - Lead Vocals/Bass


So we have OLMEG's new album and third overall. Maladies is a more vibrant and cosmic spaced out doom offering compared to their previous albums. The grunge aspect of their music remains very much the same. The vocals from lead singer Matt are very rough and ready throughout the album. Though they're performed superbly well on the entire album. The band does suffer from a musical identity crisis at times.

As the band can't fully decide if they want to be a Spaced Out Doom band or a more Grunge Sounding Psychedelic Stoner Rock band. It's only a minor complaint as OLMEG still offer perhaps their best album to date. With songs such as The Deception, Tsunami, Black Riders and the blistering ten minute plus epic - Here Come The Cloud - allowing the band to perform top-notch heavy doomy spaced out riffs. The album does have a distinctive nineties Grunge/Stoner Metal sound that is the main driving force of the album.

I do admire the band's choice of going with an alternative rock/metal feel on parts of the album. This means OLMEG are not relying on tired genre clichés and are quite inventive with both their musical delivery and lyrical output. The second half of the album features a few more epic songs ranging from seven minutes to ten minutes in length with Still Missing and Outer Space being perhaps the best two tracks on the album.

What I enjoyed most about this album is how progressive OLMEG have become since their last album. As the band experiment with progressive rock sounds on the album. Add layers of heavy doom based FUZZ and that’s when OLMEG start to create a more exciting sound and name for themselves. The song Still Missing is a prime example of this. Taking influence from early-era Truckfighters but when OLMEG switch to a heavier prog rock sound the atmosphere of the whole mood and feel of the album becomes simply unstoppable.

If you enjoyed the heavy fuzzy cosmic doom sounds from GEEZER's awesome album from 2016 then OLMEG offers a similar experience. The production is superbly handled with the band sounding incredibly fresh. The album feels that it was recorded at a Live Gig or recorded in one take. Apart from a few minor flaws, Maladies is a hugely entertaining wild ride of Psychedelic Doom/Cosmic/Stoner Rock that may even raise OLMEG's profile even further within their respective scene.

This is an album that won’t instantly grab you from the very first listen but give it a few more listens and you'll be singing from the same song-sheet as OLMEG.

Words by Steve Howe