Om, Lichens - God is good, but is Om?While my colleague DemonDust visited the first gig of Om’s European tour in 013, Tilburg some weeks ago, Brent_ and I found ourselves back in Tivoli De Helling, Utrecht during the penultimate day of their trek.
First we got to know Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe alias Lichens, who did a solo performance to warm up the audience. Evil, meditation, repetition and biological were words that came to mind during his show. Evil because of his angry face when he did his vocals parts and meditation and repetition ‘cause of his endless looping of vocals, guitars and other samples, that created an ambient sound reminding me of nature. You see the biological link here. During his show, Lichens build up a climax in which drones became more present by adding more bass to his loops. The volume was quite okay and thus we could not hear people talking through his music, although most of the visitors seemed to be quiet already. All in all a decent performance that I my eyes lasted a little bit too long, but that’s a matter of taste I guess. (Mindsaver)
After seeing Om at the Roadburn festival last year, I was really excited to see them again. This two-man formation consisting of Al Cisneros and Emil Amos formed in 2003 but recently went through a line-up change when Chris Hakius left the band. This resulted in Emil Amos from the band Grails taking over his place who can be heard on the recently released God Is Good album. The band kicked of with ‘Meditation is the Practice of Death’ and I must admit I’m not that much of a fan of the new album and the sound was way too soft, in contradiction to the show I’ve seen from them at Roadburn. A bit of a weird start of the set, but drummer Emil Amos asked the audience if everything was sounding alright and some people shouted ‘Everything louder!’ which resulted in a nice volume boost just when the band was about to kick in the track ‘Rays of the Sun / To The Shrinebuilder’. Just like on the album as a guest musician, Lichens also joined the band on most of the tracks playing tambourine (in an absolute crazy way) and adding some vocal and guitar at some points. I don’t really like the vocals Lichens added to the set and neither do I on God Is Good, so the tracks ‘Cremation Ghat I + II’ annoyed me pretty much. A mixed feeling about the first part of the set, but the second part when they started playing a few more older songs such as ‘At Giza’ and ‘Bhima’s Theme’ reminded me of the Om I’ve seen at the Roadburn festival and the Om I do enjoy. Maybe it was the fact that I don’t really enjoy the new album, the addition of Lichens, the recent line-up change of drummers, the low volume or the fact that I was in full on party mood for the Blackout party after that, but Om left me with mixed feelings. Enjoyable, but nothing more and nothing less this time. (Brent_)