Khemmis
Deceiver


4.0
excellent

Review

by PsychicChris USER (361 Reviews)
December 1st, 2021 | 19 replies


Release Date: 11/19/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite all the setbacks, Deceiver ultimately proves to be yet another notch on Khemmis’ impeccable track record.

Deceiver may be the first album that Khemmis has recorded as a trio following the departure of bassist Dan Beiers but there’s no stripping back their Doomed Heavy Metal style to be found here. Ben Hutcherson and Phil Pendergast’s dual dynamic continues to define them as the twin guitars put in the usual beefy rhythms and intertwining leads while the vocals serve up their established mix of dramatic yet workmanlike cleans and raspy growls. Drummer Zach Coleman also maintains a loose but hard-hitting method that moves from slow, abstract rhythms to blast beats with ease.

But with that in mind, the band sets this album apart from its predecessors by means of putting greater focus on the more melancholic aspects of their signature formula. The expanding classic metal influence that was hinted at on 2018’s Desolation has essentially been phased out, leaving behind a predominately doom foundation with more extreme tendencies filling in the blanks. The growled vocals stand on near equal footing with the cleans and the tempo shifts border on death or black metal. It’s a shame to see that heavy metal side of them go but there’s enough precedent for this shift to make sense, especially considering the current climate.

This approach also affects the songwriting, resulting in what is easily the most atmospheric Khemmis album to date. This is made immediately apparent with the clean guitars that kick things off on the opening “Avernal Gate” but gets even stronger development “Shroud of Lethe” and “The Astral Road;” the former is an especially notable curveball thanks to its borderline ballad layout while the latter is the latest in the line of climactic closers. Lead singles “House of Cadmus” and “Living Pyre” also stand out as more straightforward doom numbers, the latter featuring a particularly memorable refrain.

Despite all the setbacks, Deceiver ultimately proves to be yet another notch on Khemmis’ impeccable track record. I must admit it takes more time to properly digest than their usual fare, not having the same instant classic appeal for me as Desolation or 2016’s Hunted. However, the band still shines in their ability to pull from different metal spheres to form a unique whole and the extra pathos from the more downtrodden approach goes a long way. It has the makings of a grower and does a nice job of reinforcing their status as one of the strongest bands in modern metal.

Highlights:
“Living Pyre”
“Shroud of Lethe”
“The Astral Road”



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user ratings (80)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
WatchItExplode
December 1st 2021


9485 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The last album left me wanting more growls. Here I got them but they just aren't very impressive. I was also a bit disappointed in the samey drum work. Some of their best leads yet though solid album overall.

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2021


3236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad to see this get a review (and a good one), was considering writing one but didn't ultimately feel like I had a ton to say. This is a quality album with some nice high points, but doesn't blow me away (can't say this band ever has, but they're very consistent)

Beardog
December 1st 2021


4163 Comments


wew Khemiis!!! hyped to check, but i might find this a bit average

RogueNine
December 1st 2021


4914 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Plz come back Hunted-era Khemmis. :'(

DDDeftoneDDD
December 1st 2021


19637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Lol Rogue

Best khemmis here

I like them all tho

Digging: Dope Lemon - Rose Pink Cadillac

Azog
December 1st 2021


683 Comments


Finally a proper review.

The teaser tracks didn't wow me, so I prepared myself for bitter disappointment.

Ordered it regardless, because it's Khemmis. Glad I did, because now I love it.

A well deserved 4/5.

Azog
December 1st 2021


683 Comments


Still waiting for that Skepticism review, though. No pressure, guys. :-)

FitToSwing
December 2nd 2021


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really enjoyed this. Hunted is still their high water mark, but they’ve been incredibly consistent since then. Bummer to see this not getting the love or attention Desolation did.

aquiroga79
December 7th 2021


46 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

After Absolution and Hunted, which were great for me, Khemmis has now released two underwhelming albums in Desolation and Deceiver... Don't get me wrong; they are both good but something is missing; there are very few memorable moments for me.

Deceiver did not last a week in my rotation.

DDDeftoneDDD
December 7th 2021


19637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Lol rotation means little. Always jumping to the next one here. This has about the same quality has any other khemmis. Sometimes is just a matter of listener availability, but mainly of when you enter/ click with the band.

RogueNine
December 7th 2021


4914 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Something being in rotation more than others is a pretty good indicator...

Azog
December 7th 2021


683 Comments


It's still on rotation here, and I'm peculiar.

DDDeftoneDDD
December 7th 2021


19637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Orc in suit. All said. Respect.

Azog
December 8th 2021


683 Comments


Orc in armour on casual fridays. m/

Ebola
December 17th 2021


4250 Comments


I really do love this band, but this record mostly feels like Desolation B-sides. Nothing even close to bad, but very little that's memorable.

DDDeftoneDDD
December 17th 2021


19637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This is different and with more writing dynamics than desolation. Does desolation has growls at all, or my memory is failing?

PsychicChris
December 17th 2021


363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There are some growls in Desolation but not as many as there are on this one.

garas
Contributing Reviewer
January 4th 2022


6929 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I had to bump up my rating, this has grown on me a lot!

Pikazilla
January 4th 2022


20630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome band, agreed



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