by Dave Segal
on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Bassist/vocalist for heavy music’s most methodical and verbose purveyors of polysyllabic lyrics, OM, Al Cisneros has just released a solo 7” on his own Sinai label (via Holy Mountain Records, the former home of OM). If you’ve immersed yourself in OM’s latest mystical, mantric, metal-free works, God Is Good and the Afro-Arabic-leaning Advaitic Songs, “Dismas” won’t come as too much of a surprise.
While the label copy implies that “it could be a tribute to Alice Coltrane's World Galaxy album in the form of a reggae 45”—a truly exciting prospect—“Dismas” strikes me as more of a languorously tense strain of the sort of lysergic dub coming from WordSound artists like Scarab, Equations of Eternity, and Qaballah Steppers in the ’90s. Whatever the case, Cisneros has created a real gem here. Various holy men intone god chatter (“The lord is the supreme reality/Om shanti shanti shanti,” etc.) over a sumptuous spread of resonant, sinuous bass peregrinations, vibraphone, cello (?), congas, and tablas. Everything is ergonomically optimal, precisely arrayed, and spiritually centered. The B-side, “Version,” is slightly slower and more spacious.