Here's a hot new instrumental CD that should prove to be of great interest to fusion, metal, and prog fans alike. OHM is comprised of Chris Poland (ex-Megadeth, Damn the Machine) on guitar, Robertino Pagliari (Steve Lukather, Frank Gambale) on bass, and drummer David Eagle (Oingo Boingo, Alphonso Johnson, Jan Akkerman, Gary Hoey.) The thirteen tracks that make up OHM's self-titled debut all feature complex yet melodic passages of jazz-tinged funky fusion mixed with metal aggression, which should appeal to fans of Allan Holdsworth, McGill/Manring/Stevens, Brand X, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Steve Vai, or Joe Satriani.
Tunes like the melodic "Love Song" features just enough jazz flavor to balance the obvious metal chops of guitarist Poland, who pulls out all the stops with some gorgeous and emotional lead lines, littered with the right amount of speed and flash. On "ID" or the rhythmic "Where's My Hat", the band opts for a highly complex and heavy fusion vibe, with all sorts of twists and turns, stops and starts. Bassist Pagliari has a weaving and vocal tone, most reminiscent to Percy Jones, Michael Manring, or the late Jaco Pastorius, and his yearning lead lines grab your heart on the emotional track "Came to Believe." He also lifts a song like "Iguana" into Weather Report-like territory with his slippery Pastorius influenced bass fills, while drummer Eagle's busy beats provide a solid backbeat to the fluid lead guitar melodies of Poland. The guitarist really shows what a versatile player he is on "Bastille Day" (no relation to the Rush song), as his thick legato style is accentuated with lightning quick arpeggio runs, whammy bar twangs, and an overall keen sense of melody.
Without a doubt this is one of the best releases on the Lion Music roster. The synergy between these three players is amazing to hear, and I am quite impressed to hear the maturation of Chris Poland as a dynamite fusion guitarist. Bravo!