They are back. The definitive supergroup from Boston, Old Man Gloom have returned and managed to keep their latest album, No, the best kept secret of all time in a time where news is leaked as fast as albums do. Available only on vinyl and cassette and only during their recent mini-tour (June 26th for CD and wide release), the loyalty of the typical OMG fan speaks volumes considering this album has yet to leak. Maybe it’s because OMG fans know what a “Gift” it is to have any new Old Man Gloom material considering its members’ respective day jobs (Cave In, Converge, Doomriders, label head, etc…).

But enough brown nosing, the real question is: Is No worth the eight year wait? Holy high hell yes. It’s more stripped down than previous efforts (With nine tracks total and no filler) but within those nine tracks is a behemoth of crushing guitars, pummeling drums, and screams to the Gods.

“Dissonant as fuck” is how my wife describes Old Man Gloom and she’s not necessarily wrong especially as Aaron Turner’s throaty howl leads off “Common Species” and “Regain/Rejoin”. Nate Newton brings some “melody” on “To Carry The Flame” and breaks up the barrage of noise ever so slightly. Caleb Scofield takes a turn at the mic for “The Forking Path” and completes the OMG trifecta of vocalists for No. Remember that teaser that popped up just before the album was announced? That blast of sounds there is in this one. “Rats” is this tribal colossus propelled by Santos Montano’s aggressive monolithic drumming. Speaking of the skin basher, “Crescent” brings to mind Seminar II’s “Desert In Your Eyes” which featured Montano on lead vox while “Shuddering Earth” brings No and the dissonance to a close.

No two songs are alike on No and that’s the beauty of Old Man Gloom. While it’s great to have a new Old Man Gloom record in 2012, it’s even better to have a great Old Man Gloom record in 2012.

No is available now (If you managed to snag a copy while the band toured, that is). For the waiting masses, you’ll have to wait until June 26th through Hydra Head Records.

Grade: A+


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