By Dr. Abner Mality

I didn't hear much buzz on Denver's Khemmis before I tore into "Absolution" so I was all the more pleased by this solid slab of heavy doom. These guys fall on the "traditional" side of the doom scale, but they infuse other influences into their sorrowful Candlemass-like tunes to create a hybrid kind of doom metal.

Six songs here and they are all fairly lengthy but thankfully none of those 15 minute snoozefests that drain the enjoyment from your mind. First thing to report about Khemmis is that they are indeed HEAVY...the guitar sound is thick and warm, similar to the sludgier kind of doom, but despite that, the song structures contain melody and an epic feel. The vocals are also very clean and smooth, somewhat like Robert Lowe in delivery (but not at that level yet) and that also raises the music above the usual hate-filled sludgefest. There are some real thunderous riffs here, like the monsters that kick off "Torn Asunder" or the killer "Antediluvian". The pace also occasionally picks up to a good gallop, while at other times, like "The Bereaved", it slows to an almost funeral crawl.

As is typical, nothing here is off the wall original, but I would definitely add the name of Khemmis to the growing "trad doom" scene that includes Crypt Sermon and Stone Magnum.