Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Khemmis : "Desolation"

This guys take another step away from the Pallbearer style of doom that originally marked their first album. The first thing I notice that is different with this album is the vocals are lower and sung with a little more power. He can still get up there, up it's done more sparingly. The riffs are back to being more Pallbearer as they have an angular quality that is like puzzle pieces finding their place in one another. This song also gets heavier than certainly the previous album. The guitar heroics are in place, though coming from a more metallic place. Harsh vocals come in at the end of the first song. They are off to a more classic metal gallop on the second song with guitar harmonies following behind. It's more power metal like but it works. "Flesh to Nothing" is even more power-metal however this time it doesn't strike me as being heavier and three songs in it's evident this album is not going to be doom.

They get back to a chug with more weight on "the Seer". This riff has more sinew to it's groove. The vocals continue to soar here. It reminds me a little more of Solitude Aeturnus. The harsh fight for dominance on "Maw of  Time". The song is other wise still on the power metal, but with a darker kick. "From Ruin" is moodier and more melodic which is a needed shift in dynamics. It turns back around into the more traditional brand of metal they have already been forging with some authority for the bulk of the album. The guitar solos are pretty much what is to be expected for this kind of metal and some of the punches to this song are more Iron Maiden than what I remember being these guys stock and trade. So they have grown away from doom for sure, though their sound still bears some shades of it.

I'll round this one down to an 8.5. It is heavier . It does move them further from influences they have worn on their sleeves in the past, but the songs don't grab me as much as they used to. While the previous album did find them moving into this more power metal place, their feet are planted much more firmly on it for better or for worse depending on where you sit with power metal. Not to say this is as entrenched in that as say Hammerfall, I would prefer these guys to be more doom, but a band is going to grow in which ever direction they are going to grow in . The album is getting  this score from me at present as I don't foresee myself getting as much mileage out of it as I did the previous albums.  20 Buck Spin releases this album in America June 22nd and the rest of the world will get it from Nuclear Blast.

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