The Second Wave



by steveconygre USER (7 Reviews)
December 31st, 2006 | 16 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I think it’s on that Sunny Day Real Estate is what Emo kids make love to, well this should be what metal kids make love to

Khoma are (mainly):
Jan Jamte - Vocals
Johannes Persson - Guitar
Fredrik Kihlberg - Guitar/Vocals/Piano

This started out as a side project, OK I’ve got it out of the way. Yes, they can be vehicles for self indulgence, but then we also have Team Sleep, A Perfect Circle and Bright Eyes keen on bucking the musical trend. Besides, when a side project includes members of Cult Of Luna and The Perishers are you really going to write them off? Like Bright Eyes, Khoma consist of a ‘core’ set of three members, and then they work with other musicians on different songs to make it more of a collective. This approach allows the three founding members to control a general direction of the band and let the guests interpret the soundscapes to create variation.

Soundscapes is the ideal word to sum this album up. It’s a beautiful, melodic, soaring metal album that uses crunching guitars to layer foundations for mountainous choruses. It uses ambient effects to create sparseness when Jan’s haunting vocals need room to breathe and powerful drumming to drive the listener to where Khoma can make you feel comfortable before the band lurch towards a breakdown.

These dynamics should be familiar to anyone who’s listened to Cult of Luna, Deftones, Isis and maybe even Red Sparowes. The main difference is that there are no screamed vocals. This only enhances the bands musicianship because to create the same sense of variety in an album or even a song they have to work so much harder. In fact, whilst the music is varied in terms of time sigs, tempos, keys etc the song structures are the most traditional part of the whole album, which represents the real reason why this had to be a side project. Almost without fail the dynamic is a loud/quiet one, it’s probably the easiest way to see the way classic rock and metal has had an impact on these guys.

It also makes Khoma a very accessible band for people who are maybe just starting to listen to heavier music, or for people who feel screaming isn’t something they can get on with. Don’t read accessible as simple though, a good example is the end of “One of Must Hang” with its rolling drums, effects, guitars and strings all flowing at an amazing rate.

If the idea of classic rock song structures with modern production values, heavier guitars, layers of effects, strings, keys, technical yet considered musicianship and truly stunning vocals doesn’t appeal because you are used to the challenge of some modern (post) metal bands then this may not be enough for you.

What I’d recommend is listening to the best track on the album “Like Coming Home” and making your mind up from it. It’s a love song, and contains some beautiful expressions of how it feels like the lyric:

“If I can spare one thought when my days are counted, please let me remember when we first kissed”

That this line is matched by Jan’s voice reaching a beautiful height only serves to make its impact all the more effective. I can’t praise Jan enough really, his voice is amazing, it’s like a warm hot velvety chocolaty drink that soothes and excites in equal measure. When it hits the bridge of Like Coming Home his range becomes apparent as he hits higher and higher notes, whilst the guitars crescendo before breaking and ebbing away to leave the effects that were the undercurrent for the whole time.

Then the song is followed by a piano and light guitar ballad that calms thing down a little more. In fact, the song arrangement on here is maybe the truest test of their abilities because this is a collection of songs rather than the more conceptual feel of their other bands. In this way, when they put the bombastic rock songs with huge choruses next to one of the slower songs you know they were preparing an album in a way that was slightly alien to them, and so by making it work it’s quite impressive.

Khoma may not be the most experimental band in metal right now, but they deserve to be in your CD collection because these songs are honest, well written and passionate pieces of music made by extraordinary musicians.

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user ratings (76)

Comments:Add a Comment 
December 31st 2006


Excellent review,really really good.I got this album yesterday coincidentally and I was completely blown away on my first listen.The guitars have a great down-tuned Deftones sound and the vocals are just amazing,as are the lyrics.I love these guys already.
Beautiful cover aswell.This Message Edited On 12.31.06

December 31st 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the comment, much appreciated . If they ever come past your town see them live, it's a great experience

September 15th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album. :D

January 30th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

'Stop Making Speeches' is a great song it was the first song I heard by them.

July 22nd 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

This is one of my favorite albums ever.

August 3rd 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

This thing pounds my face in.

August 5th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yes, this album is soooooooooo good

I could sing the entire album all day long

August 5th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, it does need publicity. This is one of those albums that will be loved by almost everyone.

August 5th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

It has a lot to offer, but it's actually really easy to take it all in. Or so I feel from only 1 listen. Will be spinning this again very soon.

August 5th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

Good songs but I mean

August 5th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Looking at a 3.5 to a 4, so I probably have about the same opinion as you.

December 1st 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

this has worn off a ton for me... had it at a 4 on first couple listens, but i just cant get into it anymore.

December 1st 2008


i like this very much

February 4th 2010


Wow... this is a lot better than what I was expecting

September 9th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

Such a great album - much prefer Khoma to their "sister" band Cult of Luna. The vocals are amazing and there is just so much atmosphere.

November 9th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

This is one of these records where I really had to grow up to understand and appreciate it...I listened to it a couple of years back and thought "pretty decent stuff" but I came across it today and gave it a listen again, for the first time in at least 2 years and it just blew me away....really great, passionate music...I love it

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