Thursday 1 November 2018

OHHMS - Exist (Album Review)

Release date: November 9th 2018. Label: Holy Roar Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Exist – Tracklisting

4.Lay Down Your Fire Arms


OHHMS new album Exist sees a change in personal for the band and a slightly different musical direction. Exist is a more political and angry sounding album compared to their acclaimed debut album The Fool. As this album focuses on the plights of Animal Rights.

OHHMS still deal in creating progressive Post-Doom sounds that takes elements of many different musical genres. Though the band never lose sight in what has made them one of the UK’s standout Doom Metal Bands over the last decade or so. This album despite the hard subject matter is a more groovier affair and that’s saying something. As previous OHHMS releases have had an abundance of different riffs that are highly melodic as well.

A few folks were put off from one of the songs, The Lovers, from the fool. As it was a side we hadn’t seen from OHHMS before. I wasn’t one of those people. I loved that song and still do. Folks complained it was to mellow. You don’t need to worry here as the 4 songs held on the album are loud and heavy with a deep social and political meaning.

Opening song – Subjects – tells the story about animal suffering. Though set against a Post-Doom/Sludge Rock backdrop. The 22 minute song is split into individual chapters and plays out like a mini rock opera. Inspired by the 70s Prog Rock scene but firmly remaining a Dom/Sludge/Post-Metal song that only elevates you closer to OHHMS world.

Second song – Shambles – carries on the haunting and hard-hitting social message of the opening track. The song opens with a soothing ambient riff before drifting into familiar OHHMS Post-Doom/Sludge territory. Paul’s vocals are perhaps the best part of the song. As he brings the song fully to life. The song really comes to life when the band change the whole flow of the song by playing a more hopeful Post-Rock sound and then back to their familiar Doom/Sludge hybrid sound.

Third song – Calves – is a more sombre offering as the music is quite sad and bleak. The slow psychedelic riffs only lowers the mood and Paul’s vocals remain the voice of reason with personal and heartfelt lyrics. The music does return to the heavier sounds the other songs have. This is one of the best songs that OHHMS have written to date. As the song holds everything you love about the band. Epic progressive sounds and highly passionate vocals to match.

Lay Down Fire Arms is the final song and perhaps the most straight forward Sludge metal song on the album. As the band play a heavier hardcore punk sound that’s quite relentless. Maybe some shades of early 90s/00s Alt-Metal appear but this is still OHHMS show and the dual vocals drive the hard-hitting message home.

Exist is brilliantly produced and shows OHHMS evolution as not only a band but one of the scene’s most forward thinking bands currently out there.

OHHMS are now 4 record into their career but Exist is their most daring and creative album to date. Though I rate Exist the same as The Fool and this proves why OHHMS are one of my favourite bands today. The political and social messages of Exist maybe too jarring for some. Hopefully people will stay the course and experience one of the best albums of the year.

Exist is a true original.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Exist is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via HolyRoar Records from November 9th 2018.