cover artArtwork by Ted Nasmith

Oromet is a two piece Funeral Doom band from Sacramento, CA. Their self titled debut album has been released June 1, 2023 via Transylvanian Recordings.

Their affinity to J.R.R. Tolkien's literary world shows in their chosen band name and album title as well as in the cover artwork, a painting by Ted Nasmith called “Taniquetil” which was originally inspired by Tolkien's work.

Oromet (in the Tolkien world) is a mountain located in the Andustar region of Númenor near the shoreline in the utmost west of the region. It's as high and as close as Men could get to the Undying Lands without a ship,. Tar-Minastir (11th king of Númenor) built a high tower upon the hill to get even closer.

 

The album's overall playing time is about 44 minutes and comprises 3 songs. The opener "Familiar Spirits" is with 22 minutes by far the longest of the three, but the other two songs both surpass the 10 minute mark also. That's plenty of time to evolve thoroughly structured and detailed soundscapes . And that's what Oromet do.

 

Slow, steady build ups with layered sounds and melodies that intertwine and somehow emerge from each other create a pastoral feel of lushness overshadowed by melancholy and brooding darkness that's lush no less.

The orchestral sound of the guitars and synths enfold a heaviness that's encompassing and permeating, and yet, this heaviness isn't completely dense, there are bays in the walls of layered sounds where some light soaks in and it stays, latently , but once in a while it breaks forth in a majestic golden glow.

There are thundering riffs, soaring vocals, driving drums, but the intensity and impact of the songs derive from the complexity of the song structures, how sounds are layered and piled, the different ways the guitars are used, be it a single melody or the orchestral volume, and the drums, be they propulsive or hypnotic. The vocals both have major part in creating those moments of light (it is golden for me, probably for the cover art) and they also amplify the music's symphonic and organic character.The synths add an opaque, portentious gloom to the pastoral feel, or an aetherial ambience that carries you off to some unreal place like in the very long closing part of "Similar Spirits".

 

 

To put the longest song (and it is very much the longest song) at the beginning of an album is unusual, but this song has the capability to get you totally absorbed. When it ends you don't even have an idea of how much time has passed. The rather long (about 5 minutes) ambient ending part installs a serenity that lasts throughout the whole album (and beyond), and despite all the punishing heaviness and exciting dynamics this serenity brings a powerful elegance and majesty to all the sorrow and pain.

The two other songs are just as brilliant as the opener, as they change and boost the dynamics and intensity. Thunderous sound waves pile up and wash over you and hypnotizing drum rhythms are your straw to cling to, but you're lost in both, anyway.

The last song "Alpenglow" ends in a single guitar melody and natural noises that bring back the pastoral feel and it softly drops you on a meadow. You are home from your quest.

 

Oromet is brilliant in so many aspects. Be it the dynamics, the atmospheres, the overall composition and its execution. It's beautiful, majestic and with a huge emotional impact.