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Khost - Governance [Cold Spring Records - 2017]

Birmingham industrial/doom act, Khost, are back with their third full length on Cold Spring, Governance. Once again teaming crushing doom with the bleak fury of industrial machinery, the duo continues to make their mark on the industrial underground. Hot on the heels of their Godlfesh-remixed, 2016 album, Khost show up fully prepared to pummel the listener into submission.

Low, lengthy drones fill the speakers on Khost's latest, Governance. Dragging forward squealing, warbling, reverbed tones with them, this sheet of thick sound is a great basis for the remainder of Khost's sound to take hold. Heavy, plodding drums punctuate the tonal plane, while the metallic hit of an industrial drum adds a fervent punctuality to the mix. Gruff, throaty vocals send pained messages forth, linking the listener with the band on a new level. While this is thick, rough, industrial doom at the core, there are other, unexpected elements that help to make Governance pop. Tucked into the background buzz, traditional, world sounds start to appear. Whether the Near-Eastern sounding bits on "Demenized," "Low Oxygen Silo," and "Redacted Repressed Recalcitrant" or the female chant that permeates "Subliminal Chloroform Violation," Khost is not content to rest on the laurels of their drones alone. The final two original Khost tracks, "Defraction" and "Stockholm Syndrome" (well, the beginning of it, at least) see a shift in the band's tone. Sparser, lighter, and a bit more restrained, this track and a half show the full scope of Khost's talent.

Governance is a very worthy follow up to 2015's Corrosive Shroud. Using similar elements, but in a refreshing way, Khost keep their brand of industrial doom fresh and interesting. Add to this their elements that break from tradition, and one has a very solid album worthy of many spins.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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