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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Khanate - s/t [Southern Lord - 2001]

Buy this CD now!
A slow, grinding stream of hot lava scorches your ears while listening to the debut album of Khanate. Now this is DOOOOM! 'No Joy' as the last song is called: no pretty grooves or other 'stoner'-snugness.

Guitarist Stephen O'Malley, who built quite a name for himself in this particular field with Sun 0))), Burning Witch and Thorr's Hammer to name a few, joined forces with James Plotkin, Alan Dubin and Tim Wyskida to make doom in its bleakest form. Plotkin and Dubin played in OLD until 5 years back and rejoined in Shadowcast, but didn't release anything yet in that form. The song I heard by that band was already in the doomy direction but O'Malley's guitarplaying adds a more traditional sound to it. Guitarist Plotkin plays bass and did some digital processing to add to the dark atmosphere. Dubin's voice fits this music very well. His somewhat abstract lyrics and his performance are very impressive.

Partly because of Plotkin's processing and the extreme slowness of the material, some pieces border on abstract soundscapes. Other parts are more in the vein of doom/sludge like Grief and Burning Witch. 'Under Rotting Skies' is the 18 minute tour-de-force of the album: it slowly builds to a massive, brooding doomsong where not a single ray of light is tolerated. Another hightlight is 'No Joy', although there is hardly any distortion on the guitars and subsequently no wall of sound, the atmosphere is not a bit more friendly.

The use of electronics adds a new flavour to the traditional sound most bands in the genre have. This is one of the most impressive doomreleases I heard in years.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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