Saturday, 25 July 2015

Khemmis - 'Absolution' (Album Review)


‘From the opening riff of the album you can pretty much tell ‘Absolution’ is great. Laying somewhere between Pallbearer and perhaps a downtempo Ghost, Khemmis' first full-length is one of the best albums you will hear this year, Period!!’

Album Type: Full-Length

Label: 20 Buck Spin

Date Released: 07/07/2015


Absolution’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Torn Asunder
2). Ash, Cinder, Smoke
3). Serpentine
4). Antediluvian
5). Burden Of Sin
6). The Bereaved

Review:

From the opening riff of the album you can pretty much tell ‘Absolution’ is great. Laying somewhere between Pallbearer and perhaps a downtempo Ghost, Khemmis' first full-length is one of the best albums you will hear this year, Period!! ‘Absolution’ will be one of the consensus best releases of the year, it IS that good. So far this year, depending on your preferred flavour of doom, I'd say this and Elder's ‘Lore’ are the best so far.

The second track ‘Ash, Cinder, Smoke’ is my favourite of the album, sounding Pallbearer-esque but with guitars that groove harder. The vocals here are exceptional with great lyrics and soaring clean melodies. Some great song writing as well, transitioning from open verses to subtly different feels from the initial little break between the first two verses to the bridge. Beginning with a menacing Wino style riff, the third track ‘Serpentine’ kicks some heavy 80's underground vibes as the opening verse slinks into view. Staying low and slow throughout most of its length, ‘Serpentine’ boasts a great solo with an exceptional, yet short, shred fest. When the tempo kicks into high gear for the bridge some duelling guitar leads move into a really nice rhythm guitar riff with a nice bass line moving beneath.

The fourth track ‘Antediluvian’ begins with a riff that sounds like a stuttering Karma to Burn riff. Moving through the riffs there's some really nice feel changes on the riffs where they almost feel to change tempo mid-riff and the drumming here is pretty exceptional as the drummer rolls everything nicely. The fifth track ‘Burden Of Sin’ begins with a heavy rocking chugging riff into a nice stompy note hold riff. The progression of the riffs in ‘Burden Of Sin’ is really nice as the fills at the end of Khemmis' riffs stay interesting and they keep a lot of movement on their riffs. 

The final track ‘The Bereaved’ begins with a riff that somehow manages to convey it is the last song of the album from the opening riff. Moving quickly into the most epic solo of the album with some impressive phrasing on the melodies beginning with a few soaring notes. This is my second favourite track on the album as the vocals here are very well done with a great melody and the not-quite-chorus between verses here is the best ones on the album.  The rocking middle section is epic with a very heavy rocking Sword-esque fast run.  Keeping it doomy with transitions back to slower tempos. Khemmis' transitions are absolutely seamless and almost not even noticeably even when doing huge tempo swings.   

The mix here is sublime with everything clearly audible and cutting through nicely. The guitars are crushing with nicely balanced leads, the drum kit is clearly audible and booming with a great low end on the kick and toms in particular, the bass is rumbling and room filling, while the vocals perfectly sit in the mix. A great listen, Khemmis are based in Colorado and they are currently playing shows there, definitely worth seeing as these songs should lend themselves nicely to a live environment.   
Words by: Chris Tedor

‘Absolution’ is available on CD and digitally here

  
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