Do we really need to say anything else? Obviously it should go without saying that we’re immensely proud to be welcoming legendary droners Om to headline The Old Empire stage, and Desertfest at large, in 2019. Al Cisneros, Emil Amos, and Tyler Trotter will be bringing their earthy stoner spirituals to crack open our third eyes and lead us all to enlightenment.

If Sleep are the cosmic stoner dudes going on trippy adventures through the galaxy in bong-powered spacesuits, Om have always seemed like the wise old mystics seeking out deeper truths in the Holy land. Since forming in the aftermath of the Jerusalem/Dopesmoker release debacle and the disbandment of Sleep, Om have ploughed a singular path through the metal minefield. Incorporating elements of stoner rock, drone, and – increasingly - Eastern religious music and chant, Om have created a series of meditative albums that began with 2005’s Variations on a Theme and culminated most recently with 2012’s exquisite Advaitic Songs. Their musical journey has seen them grow with each record, from their humble origins as a two-piece, to their most recent recordings which have featured a more fully-fleshed-out band and a richer musical palette which includes tabla, cello, and piano. Om are a band that are able to both captivate and crush, with sweeping, graceful arrangements and a hypnotic low end that vibrates your atoms. It’s been a while since they released a record so fingers crossed 2019 will bless us with Om album number six.

Of course, Om frontman Al Cisneros is no stranger to Desertfest having played twice before with Sleep in 2015 and 2017, but this will mark the first time that Om have graced the festival and we couldn’t be happier. They will be headlining The Old Empire stage at the Electric Ballroom on Friday 3rd May.

Words: Tom McKibbin