Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Old Man Gloom
Seminar III: Zozobra


Released 2001 on Tortuga Recordings
Reviewed by kwd, 30/01/2006ce


"Deserts in our eyes
A sea of sands and midnight stars
Losing touch, I become the sky
There is our last kiss…
Now push on
Proceed to oblivion..."

Colossal heaviness, aural battery and euphoric, dawn-breaking beauty collide in this jaw-dropping epic from primal post-metal visionaries/experimentalists, Old Man Gloom. Whereas the simultaneously-released Seminar II is a brilliantly fragmented collection of snapshots and stills from the Gloom landscape, Seminar III: Zozobra is the one-take panoramic whole, a seamless 27-minute sweep through an ever-changing vista.

Easing slowly off the trail with deliberate, suspenseful chords, Zozobra isn’t exactly in a rush to get anywhere but, right from the off, expectation looms large. And sure enough, those Gloom guitars – heavy but open, metallic yet organic – soon join forces with the rest of the OMG Institute, morphing into a multi-layered post-metal symphony that absolutely SOARS off the canyon’s edge…

…until, that is, it nosedives into the thick of a raging shitstorm. Jarring, siren-like guitar lines and masochistic one-chord pounding are the disorder of the day for a turbulent ten minutes. It’s an assault alright, one that threatens to beat the listener down, but salvation arrives in an unexpected guise… namely, the biggest, most doggus bollockus of Big End climaxes.

Yep, after all that repression and battery, and for all their super-taut hardcore tendencies, OMG unleash their Inner Rock and let rip with a stupendous bout of wah-wah soloing that has PURE FUCKING EUPHORIA daubed all over it – one of those joyous, unrestrained rock-outs that’s so life affirming it’s ridiculous. Floored me the first time I heard it, has floored me every time since, and I make no apologies for the hyperbole. Phenomenal.


Reviews Index