Khemmis
Desolation


4.5
superb

Review

by PsychicChris USER (290 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2018 | 158 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Desolation isn’t as accessible as I expected it to be, but it is great to see Khemmis continuing to incorporate traditional metal influences this tastefully

I’m normally not one to wonder if a given release will “live up to the hype,” but that stance is challenged when it comes of Khemmis’ third full-length Desolation. I still think 2016’s Hunted is a literally perfect album and I feel no shame putting it on the quality benchmark as classics like Powerslave or Ride the Lightning. The band is already a growing influence in modern doom and the deal with Nuclear Blast sets them on an even broader platform than before. It’s also interesting to see how Khemmis has evolved stylistically as their trajectory seems to be moving toward a specific vision.

I expected Khemmis to push their classic metal influences out to the forefront on their third album, and Desolation sure doesn’t disappoint in that regard. The vocals quickly demonstrate this development, not only sitting higher in the mix but playing a more active role in delivering melodies than before. There are also frequent lead guitar and harmony parts on display this time around, and songs like “Isolation” feature active gallops without going into full-on Maiden worship.

But at its core, Desolation preserves the Colorado group’s patented workman-like approach to epic doom. The riffing style retains the chunky tone of its predecessors and the method of song structure suggests that the vocal lines remain indebted to the guitar work rather than the other way around. The band’s extreme metal roots also remain intact as tracks like the opening “Bloodletting” and “Maw of Time” throw in black metal exchanges.

If there’s anything to nitpick on Desolation, the song flow isn’t as seamless as it could be. The actual songwriting is on point and there’s a similarly narrative atmosphere as on Hunted, but the transitions aren’t as stirring or climactic in comparison. That said, “Bloodletting” sets the stage pretty well, “From Ruin” is the band’s third brilliantly epic closer in a row, and nothing in between truly qualifies as filler. It may just be a matter of it needing a few more listens to properly sink in.

Desolation isn’t as accessible as I expected it to be, but it is great to see Khemmis continuing to incorporate traditional metal influences this tastefully. The way the vocals have stepped up is particularly impressive and the more active guitar parts also help this album feel like more than a Hunted repeat. I’m not sure if this’ll hit the perfect level of its predecessor in my eyes, but I can imagine it coming close with even more listens. Either way, Khemmis remains a top recommendation for literally anyone with the slightest interest in anything metal.

Highlights:
“Isolation”
“Flesh to Nothing”
“Maw of Time”
“From Ruin”

Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com



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user ratings (191)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ashtiel
June 22nd 2018


419 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

never jammed these guys before but im liking this a lot.

Digging: Black Mountain - Destroyer

ChaoticVortex
June 22nd 2018


780 Comments


never jammed these guys before (2)

But that's gonna change, because they seem thight as leather.

BlindHouse
June 22nd 2018


154 Comments


I loved their last one. Nice review, it's easy to read and flows seamlessly. Looking forward to spinning this.

Meridiu5
June 22nd 2018


2201 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Solid review. Gunna jam this all day today

Digging: Mengalloch - The Mentle

Beardog
June 22nd 2018


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This seems like a band Sputnik would love, their last records were pretty dope

bgillesp
June 22nd 2018


6926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos. Album rules

cloakanddagger
June 22nd 2018


325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

These guys and Pallbearer are on a fucking roll at the moment.

Azog
June 22nd 2018


159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent stuff

ExhaleTheLight
June 22nd 2018


994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Jammed this all day at work today. Couldn't get enough. Vocals improved immensely as did the dual guitar work

Nazzadan
June 22nd 2018


2215 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos'd

Snap 4.5, these guys get better with every release. Can't wait for this to come in on wax and I can force people to listen to it.

rockandmetaljunkie
June 23rd 2018


7877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Had no idea that they are putting out a new record. Needless to say i will jam this.

Forest159
June 23rd 2018


63 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This band just does not disappoint. Hunted was phenomenal, and I'm glad they expanded on their traditional metal influences in a big way. I'd probably have been disappointed with a Hunted 2.0.

Ebola
June 23rd 2018


3577 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Need to check this ASAP. Band fucks so hard

Digging: Allfather - And All Will Be Desolation

InFlamesWeThrash666
June 23rd 2018


8894 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is pretty cool so far

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BigPleb
June 23rd 2018


58204 Comments


Isolation was a banger of a single.

ZippaThaRippa
June 23rd 2018


10501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Owns bones

Beardog
June 23rd 2018


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The production is just so good, most of the records in this genre clip like hell, but this one sounds superclean while still having that fuzzy, huge sound

Tranqyl
June 23rd 2018


313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

From Ruin actually crushes. Great way to close out the album.

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ExhaleTheLight
June 23rd 2018


994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They're 3 for 3 for awesome album closers

Ebola
June 23rd 2018


3577 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Holy FUCK this destroys. First impression says this is one of the best records I’ve heard in years.



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