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Khanate - Capture/Release [Hydrahead - 2005]

Khanate return with what is publicised as a mini album but with two tracks clocking in at forty-five minutes itís hardly a short sharp shock of a release. The album continues pretty much where Things Viral left off. Minimal, tortured and bizarre arrangements of deathly doom metal and subtle electronic manipulations. In fact the two tracks, which seem to follow the story of a serial killers capture, killing and "release" of a victim, seem even slower and more tortured than on the last album (if you can imagine that).

Capture, the shorter of the two tracks begins with Dubinís now infamous Gollum like screeches which from the start are a mix of full on deranged howls and electronically manipulated noises in the background. Dubin plays the part of the serial killer, at first stalking his victim with deathly menace. "Who says I canít have? Closer come closer" The grim subject matter is hammered home with stripped down and extremely dissonant guitar and bass from OíMalley and Plotkin. Plotkins electronics are used more than ever but in very understated and organic ways. Mainly focussing on delaying and warping Dubinís voice but also adding texture with droning background atmospheres.  Fans of the debut who found Thing Viral a bit too dissonant will probably find this material completely random. But then what do you expect from a band that now claim to play Dimensional extended surrealist riff-form.

Release is the second part of this pan-dimensional surrealist horror show where we join the killer after committing his terrible deed and he now laments his broken victim and has a rant about societyís falsehoods while heís at it. "Iíve got a bone to pick maybe itís yours someone said if you worked hard enough ran fast enough learned enough you would amount to something, trying is not enough"
Here the pace is slowed down even more and the effects and creepy intro add to the grim atmosphere.
The riffs bend and crash like a giant black slug slowly creeping into your consciousness. Between each crash the vocals jut out like shrapnel lacerating any sense of  reprieve. The track drops down to low hums and picking for about five minutes in the middle with only Dubinís whispers and OíMalleyís dripping tap picks for company. This is about as disturbing as metal gets, and takes more intelligence than ten corpse painted black metal clone act could muster.
The Cd reaches is inescapably dark ending amid a wash of bass throbs smashing drums (from the again flawless Wyskida) and Plotkinís filthy electronic grime.
No one does this better than Khanate, they are the evil twisted twin brother to Sunn 0))) and their overwhelming trance like void. Grab a glass of strong ale and slip into a world without light and unspeakable internalised horror.

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

Duncan Simpson
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