Vera : It is quite rightly that the American doom/heavy metal band Khemmis has been signed by Nuclear Blast in order to wake up Europe as well, now that the third album ‘Desolation’ will be launched at the world in the second half of June. We already used any superlatives when reviewing their second album ’Hunted’,, but now the four piece hailing from Denver (Colorado) proves in six considerable lengthy compositions that they have grown even closer to perfection.
Even though one might surely hear doom elements in their music, they also have the fervency of classic heavy metal with loads of eminent twin guitar skills and leads. Think about Thin Lizzy’s legacy, or even Iron Maiden. For the third time, the band cooperated with producer Dave Otero at the Flatline Audio studio and this results in a winning team. Opener ‘Bloodletting’ sets right away the tone with its melodic guitar melodies, but a kind of murky dynamics and clean, solemn chants make it a superb experience. A wide range of soloing rushes by and the last seconds we get some ferocious screams from second guitarist Ben Hutcherson on top of it. The single (and video) ‘Isolation’ kicks of smooth rocking with up-tempo catchiness. The soaring vocals of Phil Pendergast often have an empyrean flavour and reminds us a bit of While Heaven Wept from time to time. Strong riffs and friendly leads reign in every song, while the mid-part of ‘Flesh To Nothing’ really descend into utter darkness with deep grunts. In ‘The Seer’ it even gets truly raucous, but the most fetching interaction between clean vocals and harsh ones can be heard in the captivating ‘Maw Of Time’. The band writes catchy choruses and this song includes one you will never forget. With sonorous, slow guitar notes they build up tension in the lengthy occluding track ‘From Ruin’. Melancholic clean vocals brim with emotions and the compelling guitars are truly magnificent! The riffs might be akin to Black Sabbath in this song, but the transition from solemn dignity to wild rocking is once again brilliant.
We conclude: this is pure brilliance in epic doom metal, but heavy metallic enough to leave everybody in awe! This outfit will appeal to fans of Thin Lizzy or Grand Magus, but they will also impress Roadburn attendees with their scorching intensity.