KHEMMIS - “Deceiver”

By Solomon G

You Like Several Different Subgenres? Boy have I a band for you!

Unsure of what I was listening to, I felt compelled to look at the promo stuff for the band. Label says they’re doom, but I hear something kinda like prog-doom, with blackened death-doom passages. Album grabbed my attention right off the bat, and by second listening, I knew I was getting onto something special.

Top of the album goes straight into Guitarville, never to return. The vocals took me a while to appreciate, but only because I couldn’t keep up with the tone. Lots of guitar histrionics. Mostly major key stuff with heavy minor key accents, and vice versa; triumphant rather than morose.

Spoiler alert: the first track contains one epic controlled-feedback cross-fade - it’s the mind-blowing sound of red hot tubes, giant capacitors, and amps cranked to 11 - then fade into oblivion…

Further explorations of the album reveal more quiet/loud intros, but much more sinister. I hate to say it, but I think the snare, while good and strong like the rest of the kit, sounds like a trigger, and I’ll just leave that here. The sound is quite engaging - bet they’re great live. Here you will find them dabble in blackened death metal for maybe 32 bars, and then out to another subgenre. They seem to be big fans of controlled feedback and gothic vampire sounding stuff, which is awesome.

Just about when I think everything sounds almost too serious/sincere, like CREED or something [or could be Xtian metal - had to check the lyrics: nothing overt]…

Oh, no - screamo! Scream-doom?

Almost like a doom vibe with emo vox - maybe they’re not trying to sound like that; I mean, this could be what passes as epic doom these days. Emo vox here and there give this a scent of dreamy-doom, lulz - then straight into blackened death-doom as a palette-cleanser, or even screamo, and back out, like a bildungsroman sandwich.

These dudes are the epitome of kitchen-sink metal subgenre whack-a-mole - and I mean that in the most complimentary way. Late in the album: I’ll be damned if the intro doesn’t sound like decent “Screaming For Vengeance” era PRIEST, and you know these three aren’t afraid to mix in some deathcore, a viciously snappy bridge slides into cool doom-deathcore. Oh, and teeny tiny classic rock allusions here and there. So hails to viking heroes, as some astounding guitar histrionics, solo and duo, ring forever in Valhalla…