Oromet – Oromet Review

I used to half-joke that I liked funeral doom because it was music for stretching out, closing your eyes, and trying your darnedest to believe you were laying in your coffin. I say half-joke because essentially how I grew to appreciate the style was getting comfortable, throwing on some headphones, and closing the lid on the outside world. I learned to appreciate the musically of sustain, the breathless moments between notes as these mammoth songs unfurled vast, expansive worlds of beautiful, tragic sorrow like intricate paintings on the underside of the coffin.

Release date: June 1st, 2023. Label: Transylvanian Recordings
Sacramento’s Oromet walk a balance beam between atmospherics and songwriting on their self-titled debut. What begins as a singular strummed melody on the epic opener of “Familiar Spirits” gradually builds over a telltale heartbeat of percussion into labored strums before transforming into an orchestra of guitars. The intimidating twenty-two minute length of the album opener boasts subtle, choral synths that breathe wind beneath the weighted wings of the triple-lead guitar. No part quite overstays its welcome, as the melodies feel like they continually evolve as the song progresses. The thundering toms create massive columns of sound as the guitar works its patient, forlorn magic across the sonicscape.

Everything quiets in the middle of the tune, setting the mood of ominous still waters before the music explodes like a wash of light–its exactly the moment I wanted when I first looked at the cover. Dan Aguilar (guitar) stretches the low vocals of death out in even heaves of desperation, with Patrick Hills (drums/bass/synth) delivering impactful, tortured cries atop them as the song crescendos. There’s quite a bit going on, but it’s extremely well composed–these massive chunks of sound fitting together like gargantuan slabs of marble as Oromet continue to construct their mammoth out of the “familiar spirits” of Mournful Congregation, Slow, Colosseum, and Skepticism. Opening with the longest song on the album is an extremely bold move, but it absolutely captures the attention, as well as the imagination. While the ambient ending to “Familiar Spirits” does stretch out just a bit long, at this point I’m so fully immersed I barely notice, lost, hypnotized in the the synths radiating spectres of light and hope like they’re tucked away, just out of reach.

If the waters were once still, they grow on “Diluvium.” Using these rounded off bass and synth tones for an aquatic feel, Oromet invoke the cold, indifferent power of Nile (the god). The deep, reverberated snare crashes like waves on rocks, or perhaps thunderclaps ominously signifying the upcoming deluge. The guitar leads shine across the sea of rhythm, layering and steadily intertwining. And then the vocals erupt, ripping open the skies! The drums get a feature towards the song’s conclusion, carving a relentless groove across the toms only for the song to peak with a nasty little Phrygian riff. Coupled with the tribal drum patterns, it’d be a little remiss not to give a nod to Nile (the band)–hey, wait a second! Also, why am I banging my head this hard to funeral doom?!

With what Oromet have delivered thus far, a closing track with a title like “Alpenglow” better deliver some high peaks. The synths howl like harsh winds, sending an icy chill over the plodding, building riff as it climbs steadily, surely, desperately up the face of the mountain. The leads call out, that beautiful, radiant hope. A tormented, longing cry reaches for the light as the solo ushers in peak after peak. Just as it feels the summit is reached, there’s another. And another. Just when it feels the light is becomes blinding, a stillness is evoked. Soft guitars speak of a stillness, the synths shooting by like blazing comets in a night sky. A sense of peace as the coffin is lowered in the ground to the sound of frogs and crickets.

Oromet is a wonderful piece of funeral doom. The composition, musicianship, songwriting, concepts, and execution excel with flying colors. While there is a familiarity with greats in the genre, Oromet are painting their own work on the inside of the coffin lid. The only things it leaves me wanting are: 1) a proper, well-mastered vinyl treatment, and 2) to see where Oromet can take epic, melodic funeral doom from here. In the meantime, the duo are making me glad to feel dead again.

Posted by Ryan Tysinger

I listen to music, then I write about it. On Twitter @d00mfr0gg (Outro: The Winds Of Mayhem)

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