Morag Tong – Last Knell of Om (Review)

Morag TongMorag Tong are a UK doom band, and this is their debut album.

Here we have 48 minutes of material from exploratory doomsters Morag Tong.

Last Knell of Om is an expansive and compelling listen, riven with huge slow guitars and imbued with a keen spacial awareness. It’s a slow-burning release that incorporates elements of drone, ambient, and psychedelic doom into its makeup, along with a hint of some stoner sensibilities.

The band mix a wall of heaviness approach with lighter, more relaxed parts, (and some experimental elements), that make for an album that takes a very enjoyable route into murky doom waters. Although ostensibly similar to many others of its kind, Last Knell of Om is actually less riff/groove focused than most and instead concentrates of building up far-ranging soundscapes with minimal effort and an aura of exploration.

Of course, there are both riffs and groove on this album, but the band’s emphasis is on atmosphere and mood more than anything else, which they build and craft very effectively. The music strikes a good balance between sheets of heavy guitars and a relaxed, laid back delivery that you can easily imagine being performed in some dimly-lit underground club to great effect.

The vocalist shows a good range, with clean vocals, powerful singing, and other modes of delivery all used well across the playing time.

The album has a strong production that makes the heavier parts sound heavier, and the softer parts softer. It’s warm and inclusive, and helps the songs to breathe and spread out.

Last Knell of Om is a very easy album to drift away on the tides of doom to. Fans of bands like Sleep, Electric Wizard, Om, Neurosis, and Earth should check out Morag Tong as a priority.

Highly recommended.

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