Ohm - Ohm - 2003


Ohm is a jazzrock/fusion trio consisting of former Megadeth and Damn the machine guitarist Chris Poland, bassist Robertino Pagliari (playing 6 string fretless bass) and drummer David Eagle.

This titleless album is the first tangible product of this lineup, but the three of them have worked together before. A live recording of one of their performances in 2001 can be found on the rerelease of the 1990 solo album of Chris Poland “Return to Metalopolis 2002” and from 1977 to 1982 Poland and Pagliari were members of the fusion band The New Yorkers. So although guitarist Poland has his roots in the jazzrock/fusion scene, he is best known for his contribution to metal-band Megadeth in the eighties.


Metal influences can still be heard in the guitarplay of Poland on this production, but the melodic, yet powerfull and intense, but now and then also sensitive music he plays on this album certainly appeals more to me. Because of an injury (when on high school) to the index finger of his left hand, he can not use the common chord techniques. Despite this Poland creates interesting chords, sounds and melodies that, as you might expect from a trio lineup, is very much responsible for the overall sound of Ohm. Nevertheless the role of Pagliari on his fretless bass and David Eagle on drums is not to be sneezed at.

Right from the start of the album you’ll hear that Ohm is a very talented trio, not only because of the craftsmanship with which they play their instruments, but also because of the strength of their compositions. The first three pieces, “Peanut Buddah”(3:34), “Wheres my hat” (3:12) and “ID”(3:31) are real fusion compositions, with a more dark and threatening atmosphere, but a good acquaintance with the “singing” bass of Pagliari, the complex and yet precise drumming of Eagle and of course the powerfull guitar play of Poland. His guitar play and sound in this tracks (with at times heavy distortion) reminds me of Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck.

The conformation that compositions and not musicians rule can be found when you listen to the beautiful smooth, easy and very melodic piece “Love song” (4:27), where Jan Akkerman comes to mind. Another tasteful piece like this, but even more eruptive is “Sister Cheryl” (4:36). In tracks 5 and 6, “Come to believe” (3:08) and “Between us” (3:59) the guitars sounds like one of Jan Hammer’s keyboards and the style of the compositions is reminiscent to Steve Morse. A pity that these tracks, especially track 5, are a bit short. Track 7 “Iguana” (3:15) features Latin influences with interesting percussion and a main role for the bass guitar and when you hear a guitar play Latin music it’s obvious you think of Carlos Santana.

“Brandenberg Gate” (5:37) is again a more dark and threatening piece, which is not surprising, considering it has the Second World War as subject. Even some remarkable authentic statements of Churchill come by in this track. “Bastille day” (4:07) is a more smooth jazzy piece with a nice bass solo. An easy in unison intro by guitar and bass, but later on more heavy riffs, feature “Mountain” (4:20), whereas “Search of the suicidal king” (5:49) tends more to rock, with catching themes in combination with some introductory ambient sounds.

When listening to this album for the first time it’s perhaps not a bad idea to play this last but one and the last track, with the suitable title “Ohmage”, first.


For lovers of high skilled jazzrock/fusion, this album is a must. No way ever do things end up in a showcase of the technical skills of the musicians, something I find happens regularly with this kind of music. It’s the combination of musical, instrumental and compositional craftsmanship that makes this album more than average.

author - date - rating - label

Wim Verweij - July 2003 -   - Lion Music