Kublai Khan
Nomad


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kenneth Timper USER (13 Reviews)
October 1st, 2017 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kublai Khan’s latest offering doesn’t do much to push the envelope, but memorable riffs, raw vocals, and thick production make it a fun ride.

On their Rise Records debut, Kublai Khan capitalizes on all of their strengths. Matt Honeycutt’s indignant growls are accompanied by chunky riffs and memorable grooves. The bland production that hampered their previous releases has been exchanged for a richer, deeper sound. There is little experimentation here, but the grit and authenticity captured on their first two records have been revitalized with stellar production and tight performances.

Possibly the most notable difference between Nomad and its predecessors is the sound. The menacing vocals are at the front without compromising the rest of the instrumentation. The guitar and bass no longer bleed together in sterilized harmony but flourish alongside one another. The production on Nomad highlights individual performances instead of fusing them together in a cacophonous mess.

Matt Honeycutt’s vocals have always been a highlight for the band. On Nomad, he is absolutely frothing at the mouth. Using only a few words, he makes his presence known on "Antpile." “The Hammer” and “True Fear” feature some of his most vicious performances yet. Matt snarls his way through Nomad, grabbing the listener by the throat and refusing to let go until the creepy murmurs of “River Walker” close the album.

The tortured voice on Nomad is joined by an abundance of catchy grooves. The opening riff in “The Hammer” is heart-stopping. Eric English’s bass gets some much-needed attention at the beginning of “Salt Water.” “8 Years” transitions seamlessly into the pummeling “Belligerent” without becoming a victim to monotony. The breakdowns on songs like “B.C.” and “No Kin” are perfectly placed to keep up the momentum without becoming stagnant.

Kublai Khan’s greatest strengths also serve as Nomad’s sole weakness: there is little experimentation to be found here. While vocals are a high point on the album, the lyrics explore a myriad of familiar themes that have been recycled across the genre. “B.C.” is a dime-a-dozen assault on religion, while “True Fear” comes across as a half-baked response to police brutality. “River Walker” begins with an ominous, doomy riff and creepily murmured vocals, but fails to deliver on its promise before fading out – becoming an anti-climactic way to end the album.

Kublai Khan doesn’t do much to experiment with their sound on Nomad, but they don’t have to. The band capitalizes on the unbridled rage and authenticity that was captured on their previous efforts. Nomad is coursing with pummeling riffs, impassioned vocals, and tight performances that, backed by incredibly lush production, make it an album worth checking out.



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user ratings (49)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Aicaicem (3.5)
With their third album, Kublai Khan puts out their best work so far....


Comments:Add a Comment 
ktjammin
October 1st 2017


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tl;dr - it's an ass beater.



Commens and criticism appreciated!

Digging: Cult Leader - A Patient Man

accompliceofmydeath
October 2nd 2017


4689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sounds a lot like Bury Your Dead with some American Me thrown in there. Basically just mosh music. I think I'd like them more live than I do on record.

Digging: The Vandals - Hitler Bad, Vandals Good

ktjammin
October 2nd 2017


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^ I'd say that's pretty accurate. I had a ton of fun listening to it. They're touring with Left Behind right now, would make for a fun show.

accompliceofmydeath
October 2nd 2017


4689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Absolutely. A bunch of my buddies just drove down to Iowa to go see that show.

ktjammin
October 2nd 2017


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's coming near me on the 3rd, unfortunately I have to miss out because I spent money on Converge tickets and I'll be driving to VA to see Cattle Decapitation and Full of Hell.

ktjammin
October 2nd 2017


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Music this year has taken a toll on my $$$

outliers
October 2nd 2017


301 Comments


their last album was pretty boring, this much better?

ktjammin
October 2nd 2017


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this is a lot better than their last one. New Strength sounded too sterile. Listen to B.C. off this first, if you like that I think you'll really dig the rest of the album.

accompliceofmydeath
October 2nd 2017


4689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Converge and Full of Hell are great. You definitely made the right choice.



I feel ya on the money. I've been traveling way too much for shows.

outliers
October 2nd 2017


301 Comments


B.C. feels like it was straight off of BS&H, damn.

this is the first time ive heard these guys signed with Rise. where the whiny cleans at?

ktjammin
October 2nd 2017


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I've seen Full of Hell 3 times and they always bring it. Converge is coming near me so I'll see them for the first time, finally.



Non-existent fortunately. Rise have yet to ruin Kublai Khan and The Acacia Strain, but let's not jinx that.

accompliceofmydeath
October 2nd 2017


4689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rise has actually signed a few good punk and metal bands the last couple years. Do they still churn out the standard metalcore garbage, too?

ktjammin
October 2nd 2017


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I think I noticed that when they put out a split with Eyehategod on it lol. I'm not sure, but I assume they do - gotta get their bread and butter somehow.

accompliceofmydeath
October 3rd 2017


4689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ha, no doubt. I know the guy that runs it is an old hardcore/punk dude. Seems weird he would ever get into the scene metal type stuff.

ktjammin
October 3rd 2017


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, to be fair it had its moments. Bands like Underoath, Number 12 Looks Like You, Oceana, and The Chariot were associated with that scene and I think they're great. Otherwise, yeah, I'd rather not look back to that era haha

accompliceofmydeath
October 4th 2017


4689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh yeah. That early white belt, girl pants metalcore was sick. I'm thinking more of band like Like Moths to Flames, We Came As Romans, etc.

ktjammin
October 4th 2017


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh gross. It's weird to think they fall under the scene label too

accompliceofmydeath
October 4th 2017


4689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Those kinds of bands just seem so far removed from hardcore and metal. It's a strange scene.

Jips
October 17th 2017


1146 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This rules. Good dudes

RobGRobG
November 20th 2017


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Highly effective for moving heavy weights, I like it.



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