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Top Ten Genre Movie Discoveries during Lockdown, by UK sludge metallers OHHMS

Since forming in 2014, OHHMS have grown into a bonafide staple of the underground UK metal scene and beyond for their amalgam of progressive rock and doom. With their third album ‘Close’, the Kent based band bring in an autobiographical approach to their latest collection of songs – where previous efforts tilted their focus to the occult and animal rights – exploring themes of domestic abuse and the roots of trauma it sows. To celebrate, tease its upcoming June 26th release via Holy Roar Records, and help you get through quarantine, we have teamed up with the label and the band to give you OHHMS’ Top Ten Genre Movie Discoveries during Lockdown!

Taking influence from their home City’s progressive musical past, OHHMS explore the boundaries of what is possible when infusing that age old prog-rock sound with elements post metal, noise & a raging hardcore-punk spirit.

Whilst they’ve never shied away from nods to luminaries such as Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath, OHHMS in 2020 are a far more multifaceted animal – with jarring Big Black esque noise rock and 16 style sludge bludgeon creeping into their arsenal of sounds (Revenge and Destroyer, in particular). This barrage of sludge and noise finds itself situated between swathes of melodic melancholia and reflection, inviting the listener to contextualise the anger on display at a deeper level.

Close is less a case of trimming the fat so much as it is honing it into pure muscle, with towering rhythms that roar with credence on tracks such as Unplugged and spacious melodies littered throughout the entire album’s runtime.

With age can come reflection and harnessed wisdom which, for all the wall of sound on show, lies at the very heart of the album’s core – which in and of itself is the most astonishing accomplishment amongst the band’s fury.

𝑇𝑜𝑝 𝑇𝑒𝑛 𝐺𝑒𝑛𝑟𝑒 𝑀𝑜𝑣𝑖𝑒 𝐷𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑑𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝐿𝑜𝑐𝑘𝑑𝑜𝑤𝑛, 𝑏𝑦 𝑂𝐻𝐻𝑀𝑆

The lyrical concept behind our new album is one of escape and attempting to find little victories against overwhelming odds. For myself in my youth, the family household was full of violence and oppression fuelled by alcoholism and I would escape when I could into a world of underground rock music and horror films. I became obsessive without even realising it was happening to me and these two passions became a constant throughout my life.

I have had the chance to dive headfirst back into genre films whilst OHHMS have been forced to hold off from playing live due to the lockdown. I have discovered a stack of new gems and picked through some oldies but goldies that I had missed the first time round and from these many hours of late night viewing I’ve picked my favourite 10 horror discoveries for your readers. Picking through the chaff so you don’t have to.

PUMPKINHEAD (1988)

How I missed this growing up I will never know. Lars Henriksen takes the lead role as he battles jocks, rednecks, witches and Pumpkinhead itself. Where this movie excels is in it’s art direction. The monster is of a near perfect design as is the witches hovel. I watched the thing twice in one day, I was so impressed. I haven’t done that since I first saw ‘Under The Skin’.

SWEETHEART (2019)

Now, horror nuts tend to either be complete Blumhouse nuts or hate these films with a passion. Me? I love them of course. But in all honesty when it comes to horror I like any old shit, so me loving Blumhouse will come as no surprise. This one though is so satisfying. I do love a good monster movie and I do love a hard earned survival saga as well and this combines both with unusual and awe inspiring results.

ASSASINATION NATION (2018)

Recommended to me via one of those “Great films you probably missed” lists, this one could have backfired real bad. Somehow though, in spite of some messy direction from Sam Levinson the four lead actresses in this mad revenge splatter fest pull you through but you still feel you are in unsafe hands for the entire running time which is kind of cool. This one made me reconsider the amount of hours I spend on my phone each week for sure.

THE HUNT (2020)

This is total madness, reminiscent of Battle Royale in one moment and The Truman Show the very next. It all fits into a tight package of Trump allegories and political correctness gone to the furthest extreme with some great kills and brutal fight choreography.

PLATFORM (2019)

A new puzzle based movie from Belgium that the producer of our new album, Ian Sadler, and myself watched at the same time whilst WhatsApping each other with real time with thoughts and ideas of what it all really means. Unfortunately we picked so many holes in it that by the time the finale took place we had already written a much better film between the both of us. You too can do the same as its streaming for free on Netflix.

THE FINAL GIRLS (2015)

I never really got on board with horror flicks being meta, that ‘New Nightmare’ Freddie one and even ‘Scream’ never appealed to me that much. With this one though, I think I am coming around. You can see this as a parallel dimension time travelling head fuck or just a next level slasher. Either way you are onto a winner.

NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955)

Holy Hell was this a great surprise. I usually don’t go for anything before ‘57 as a rule as movies tend to be so far removed from what I recognize as real life at that point that I always get taken out of the moment. Not so, here. Robert Mitchum plays a man so devilish and cruel that if I had seen this as a child I may have never wanted to watch another film again.

ONE CUT OF THE DEAD (2017)

The feel good hit of the summer for me. I saw it for the first time last week after trying once before but not being able to get past the opening 15 minutes. Yet the reviews were through the roof, so I gave this another try. Little did I know it was just what I needed to see during a time in my life where every time I look on the net or on TV it is full of bad news. All I will say is that it’s not what you think it is and of all my choices here it reaps the most rewards if you stick with it.

THE INVISIBLE MAN (2020)

The opening 15 minutes of this is a masterclass in suspense. I expected something special from director Leigh Whannell after ‘Upgrade’ but nothing prepared me for this, it’s a total masterclass in filmcraft. If you took away the sci-fi and horror elements you would still be in for the ride of your life, a gaslighting, domestic abuse thriller the likes of which I haven’t seen before.

FREAKS (2018)

My total surprise of the year so far. The poster reveals nothing of what’s involved. This movie features more than a twist, it would be safer to say that there is a whole genre switcharoo in the third act here, a bit like the one in ‘From Dusk ‘Till Dawn’. Themes of being trapped and of isolation run throughout, it’s very now in its content but the oppressive father played by Emile Hersh is the crushing standout during the majority of its run time. Like all my other picks here it’s a must see.

Top Ten Genre Movie Discoveries during Lockdown, by UK sludge metallers OHHMS
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