OHHMS - The Fool album review
Tarot-loving doom/sludge seers prove the real deal
Once a hotbed for UK hardcore, Kent has gotten gloomier and given birth to OHHMS, a doomy five-piece whose debut LP offers more than just Sabbath worship. Sure, Tony Iommi might give a thumbs-up to The Hierophant’s abhorrent riffing… but it’s 22 minutes long and starts like latter-day Swans. OHHMS feast from a range of influences; The Hanged Man briefly spurts tech-metal alongside that crushing fun you get with Orange Goblin as Paul Waller’s bellows seal the sludgy deal. The World’s cry of ‘It’s not a shot in the dark, not a flame, not a spark’ is the coolest thing since Red Fang; The Magician wrecks with Mastodon-shaped blows, Chainy Rabbit’s basswork bedazzling the brain amid the staccato opening and half-time segments that smack you where it feels good. The highlight comes with post-rocky ballad The Lovers. Having Paul parry Sienna-Janae Holihan’s honey-spattered guest vocals – topped off with soloing reminiscent of Rivers Cuomo being inconsolably upset – isn’t exactly stoner rock 101. Scary yet serene, The Fool’s progressive doom matches OHHMS’ preliminary EPs and then some.