When I last left you, I mentioned that Trials’ final album had too little bass for my taste. That’s par for the course for thrash, and solving that problem is the genre of doom/stoner metal and, more specifically, Khemmis’ album, Absolution. These guys have given us just the perfect amount of fuzzed out low-end guitar and bass. I feel like this is what Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth wanted to sound like.
Another difference between this and Trials is that the ratio of sung to growled vocals is pretty much inverted, with us getting more like 70-80% sung lines here. Which is appropriate because this guy’s (I can’t find his name) voice is much fuller than Mark Sugar’s.
Anyway, enough of Trials for now. Today is Khemmis’ day. They’re bringing it here with six tracks that range in length from five-and-a-half to nine minutes.The drums rumble down the mountains and bowl you over without any slowing down on their way from Valhalla to the underworld. The horseman of the apocalypse occasionally raise up an anthemic war cry on vocals and guitar, urging the pounding hooves of their bass horses forward, forward. Powerful, unrelenting, full. And yet all in a very appealing, beautiful way. This isn’t punishing at all. Instead, empowerment is what’s brought by the timbre, pace, and line of the riffs.
On what seems to be their debut album(!), Khemmis can plod a little bit, which is basically the stoner/doom genre’s analogous problem to thrash’s lack of bottom end. And in fact, for a doom band the band is remarkably restrained, cutting almost all of the fat and staying focused on a propellant forward thrust.
Listen on headphones. Listen loud. Close your eyes and imagine you’re listening to Kyuss…it’s not hard. I can’t wait to hear more from these guys.
- Torn Asunder – This is like Minimalist in its very slight changes every time or through on a repeating riff, and at times they mix things up accent-wise in a very cool way, too
- Ash, Cinder, Smoke – almost seven minutes long
- Serpentine – gets a bit ploddy in parts
- Antediluvian – They pronounce it “anti”
- Burden Of Sin –
- The Bereaved –