Release Date: Sep 29, 2009
Record label: Drag City
Genre(s): Rock, Experimental
For many, it is all too easy to take shots at God rock. Sacred music has not traditionally depended on the evaluative opinion of a secular audience, and the commercial religious music industries (especially Christian pop/rock) often unfavorably compare to non-religious music in attempts to become relevant to the largest audience possible. The competition for mainstream listeners reveals unintended effects: production values seem to lack character, fashions are a season too late, and earnest lyrics fail to connect with differing worldviews.
God is Good. As catechisms go, it’s fairly direct and to the point. It echoes the connotations of the name of its creators OM: simplicity, tranquillity, serenity and harmony. In fact I’d wager a bet that there’ll be few more ‘spiritual’ album and artist names than that of OM’s latest record to be found in the section entitled ‘metal’ or ‘doom’ or whatever moniker a record shop has decided to label that dimly lit, slightly smelly and stale corner devoted to the tastes of the pale, the bearded, the tattooed and the pierced.
Breaking up was the best thing Sleep ever did. Sure, they made Jerusalem, a stoner metal masterpiece that was basically an hour of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" riff. But the record was a logical limit-- how much more droning and Sabbath-esque could a band get? When the band split up in the late 1990s, it birthed two behemoths: Guitarist Matt Pike formed High on Fire, while bassist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Hakius formed Om.
Music and meditation are often in overlap, and countless cultures don't even differentiate between music and religious practice. And bands like Om work to achieve that gray area in more western forms like, say, a rock band. God is Good, the band's new album, is just such an effort..