EP Review: Parallellism by Ot-un-et-ir
Ot-un-et-ir is a New Mexico based band with a downtempo, sludgy sound so thick that you could cut it with a knife. Their first release, Parallelism, is album length at 58 minutes, but is considered a single piece. (For convenience sake, I will refer to it as an EP.) The music is extremely heavy-footed with the drums and bass, droning alongside each other with slow and sweet riffs. The rhythm is similar to that of a funeral march, exemplifying the motifs of gloom and doom. Bassist Jessica Mills is a master of hefty, brooding riffs, creating an atmosphere of dread. The sheer density of this EP is impressive.
The thunderous rumbling is comforting with its mantric repetition. Although few and far between, there are a handful of choppy transitions to break up the monotony. The drums are especially useful in this regard. And damn, drummer Tommy Archuleta can bang. Against the moan and drone of the bass, the percussion is pounding and crashing. This is typical of most of the Parallellism, with one glaring exception.
The final musical movement, which comes after a considerable amount of silence, differs greatly from the rest of the piece. The soft vocals and ambient melody are a far cry from the massive stoner metal riffs that preceded it. However, as a whole, the EP is consistently solemn and brooding.
And what about that crazy name? Ot-un-et-ir is actually a backwards spelling of the Italian term “Ritenuto,” meaning “slow down tempo gradually.” That would explain the slumberous rhythms and colossal presence. The lethargic allure of Parallelism is as captivating as the need to sleep, inviting and inescapable. You can buy the album from Ot-un-et-ir, or from the record label, Noctivagant. Three stars out of five.