Khemmis are a band that continue to grow in new and exciting ways, both as individual musicians and as songwriters.
This is apparent as soon as Desolation, the bands third full length since forming in 2012, kicks off. With six tracks and a forty-one minute run time, Desolation is in line with the bands previous full lengths, but that is where most of comparisons end, as this album is head and shoulders above their already impressive, albeit small, catalogue of music. The production here shines and presents an album that is more comparative to their live sound, as opposed to their two previous full lengths, which isn’t a bad thing considering how incredible they are to see.
“Bloodletting” starts with massive drums and some of the most melodic dual guitar riffs to grace the stoner/doom genre since their 2016 masterpiece, Hunted, was released to an avalanche of praise from both fans of the band and critics alike. The albums second track, “Isolation”, which was also the first single released ahead of the full album, begins with thick galloping riffs and pounding drums that force the listener into headbanging along wherever they may be. Also, if there was a better song released in 2018 to flex your air guitar chops along with, I haven’t heard it, and I don’t want to.
This brings us to the albums third track(and personal favorite), “Flesh To Nothing”. Everything listeners have come to know and love from the band are on display here in absolutely top form. The riffs come in never ending waves, the bass is thicker than Alabama mud, the drums pound your ears into dust, and vocally they dance between absolutely soaring cleans and demonic lows that are sure to please even the most seasoned of metal heads. The solo in the second half of the song is a wonderful example of the bands ability to merge heavy with melodic, and is packed with emotion and soul before fading out with some light acoustic plucking.
The albums fourth song, “The Seer”, further proves that this is a band at the top of their game as they seamlessly merge traditional doom elements with wonderfully melodic guitar work. This song is a sonic landslide that buries the listener in the best way imaginable. Track five, “Maw Of Time”, is the heaviest song on the album and features some of the most scathing vocals the band has ever committed to tape. The latter half of the song is more along the lines traditional doom in tempo, but is never short on aggression, both vocally and musically.
The sixth and final song on the album, “From Ruin”, is also the longest track on the album, and is a perfect end to a near perfect album. All the elements from the previous five tracks converge here into a nearly ten minute masterclass on genre blending and overall musicianship and song writing. Khemmis is a band that gets better with every release, and if Desolation is any indication of the direction they’re going, the future of melodic stoner/doom is in very capable hands.
Release Date: June 22nd, 2018
Label: Nuclear Blast/20 Buck Spin
For Fans Of: Pallbearer, Elder, Sumerlands, Riffs, Slaying dragons,