Haji's Kitchen
Twenty Twelve



by truekebabpower USER (12 Reviews)
August 8th, 2012 | 12 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

The guys at Haji’s Kitchen have been cooking it up for a while now, releasing their self-titled Lp in 1995 and Suckerpunch in 2001. Whether you’ve heard of them before, (which you probably haven’t) doesn’t really matter. The band has since been through numerous line-up changes and they’ve taken a completely new direction with their new material.

The sludgy and raw grunge elements have been replaced by modern, polished progressive alt metal. And the stuffy, slow rhythms have been replaced as well with greater atmosphere and accompanying sense of grandeur, especially in the newly included ambient passages. The “djent scene” seemed to have particularly made an impression on them, even so, that they contacted Daniel Tompkins, former TesseracT singer and made him a full-time guest vocalist (I too am confused). The djent stylings are most apparent on the epic eight minute instrumental Sidhartha. On here they resemble Animals as Leaders more than anyone, utilizing atmospheric Djent riffing with occasional Middle Eastern influences and some electronic samples, plus they also shamelessly rip off Animals as Leaders’s Tempting Time at the five minute mark(although it’s arguably the best song on the album).

Despite this I wouldn’t be too quick to classify Haji’s Kitchen as a djent band. The music isn’t defined by constant shredding we have grown accustomed to expect from djent outfits, but rather relies on groove with the perfectly audible bass guitar being given a large role to play. At their most minimalistic they even sound similar to a band like Chevelle. The band doesn’t try to be brutal and shock the listener by trying to exceed the speed of light and changing tempo every one or two seconds. Rather they are focused on making good songs, while still being able to show their proficiency at a slightly slower tempo, though honestly the lack of variation in tempo can become a problem.

Tompkins who appears on all tracks except the instrumental Sidhartha, is given plenty of space to shine, more so that he’d ever gotten in TesseracT, where he had a hard time keeping up to his fellow band mates and often failed when trying to reach for a harsher vocal performance . The big choruses have been seemingly tailored for him, and he proves himself a very capable vocalist. Screams saying ‘’Gay!!!’’ that ensued from the respectable metal community when TesseracT’s One was released won’t be necessary here, thank you.

Twenty twelve is comprised of only eight new original songs and note that at least two of these are remastered and one is nothing more than a forty-six second interlude, so it’s questionable if this can be regarded as a full Lp. It is doubtful whether djent fans will be satisfied with this album, and the same goes for fans of the band’s previous outings. But it is ultimately a very solid release from a band, who clearly know what they’re doing, even if it’s not what others would want them to.

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user ratings (10)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 8th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Nocturnus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk9u91o-aCg&feature=relmfu

Sidhartha: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZOmWbe3jKE&feature=relmfu

Warrior: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifuapfLTqrw&feature=relmfu

Staff Reviewer
August 8th 2012


Good review, pos.

One suggestion:

The “djent scene” has apparently particularly made an impression on them

delete either "apparently" or "particularly", both words in the same sentence are redundant.

Listened to "Nocturnus", pretty good stuff.

Digging: Red Spektor - Red Spektor

August 8th 2012


I remember these guys from a Dragonball movie

August 8th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

thanks for the heads up and pos Voivod

yes, I believe Day after Day was featured in the movie, kind of sad how it's somewhat their biggest achievement, not that it really matters. You should check out the remastered version, it is ten times better at least in my opinion.

August 8th 2012


damn this band got big all of a sudden!!!!!!!!!

Digging: Breadwinner - The Burner

August 9th 2012


sidharta is such a nice song, good review pos'd

August 9th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

I'm afraid this has become too mainstream for you KILL

sidhartha really makes me want to consider giving this a 4, but that deja vu moment at 5 minutes is unforgivable

August 26th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

it was day after day and Lost that were featured on the dbz movie. album's not to shabby and thanks for reviewing this.

band usually doesnt get any love here at sputnik.

August 26th 2012


they only have 1 gd album and it isnt this one

December 9th 2012


I remember these guys and Gravity Pool. I enjoyed some of their material when I younger.

September 20th 2013


Album Rating: 3.5

I remember giving this band tons of exposure through my website when they split up & promoting their songs everywhere on the net lol.

This was back when I used to watch DBZ in English and they did some music for Movie 8. :p

June 19th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

Lost and Day After Day were mid-90s songs done for the DBZ Broly movie. Both are great songs and were well remade on this

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