Thursday 25 June 2020

OHHMS - Close (Album Review)

Release date: June 26th 2020. Label: Holy Roar Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Close – Tracklisting
2.((Flaming Youth))
4.((Strange Ways))


Close is the new record from UK Sludge/Post-Metal/Doom Metallers – OHHMS – and this release is a sequel of sorts to their acclaimed EP’s – Bloom and Cold – both released in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Close does feel slightly different to OHHMS two previous full length albums – The Fool and Exist. The band never seem to take any time off as they just released their last album back in November 2018.

I don’t know whether this record is an EP, Album or Mini- Album but whatever this is, OHHMS are on dynamic form playing some of their most deeply emotional sounds yet. The socially conscience aware lyrics have always played a big part of OHHMS identity and it’s good to see the band touch on topical sensitive issues with this record whilst creating a powerful style of Sludge/Doom Metal with their earlier sounds of Ambient Rock, Psych Rock and Prog Rock driving that message home.

The 7 songs on Close are what you expect from the band. They have a cool a truly original sound of their own which they’ve been perfecting since their acclaimed debut releases. The Post-Rock/Post-Metal flows at an eerie and emotional level that allows OHHMS to maintain the perfect balance of quietly played Cinematic Post-Rock and the more aggressive Sludge/Post-Metal riffs that is perhaps the most exciting parts of the record.

OHHMS maybe in a more reflective mood on this record especially on songs such as: Alive!, ((Flaming Youth)), Revenge and Unplugged. It’s good to see OHHMS writing shorter songs this time round. There is only one song (Revenge) that is of substantial length running past the 9 minute mark and that is perhaps the standout song on the record with OHHMS paying homage to their earlier sound whilst breaking new creative ground for themselves as well.

The instrumental work is more fast-paced and perhaps the most aggressive I’ve heard yet from OHHMS. The vocals from Paul are outstanding yet again and the powerful lyrics allow Close to be a more challenging and diverse record that you wouldn’t expect.

I will admit that I still prefer BLOOM and The Fool as my favourite albums from OHHMS. However, this is still a wonderfully challenging and deeply emotional record that only OHHMS could deliver.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Justine at Holy Roar Records for the promo. Close will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Holy Roar Records Records from June 26th 2020