Khemmis is a doom metal band from Colorado that a lot of you probably have not heard of but should of. They have just released their third Studio album entitled “Desolation”. Their second album “Hunted” released in 2016 was listed by Rolling Stone as the 11th best metal album of 2016. Not to be out done, Decibel Magazine named it their #1 album of 2016! Quite an achievement to make both those lists to say the least. With “Desolation” we have a 6 song, 42-minute album. With those stats you can tell they like long songs around 7 minutes on average. Khemmis is Ben Hutcherson – Guitar/Vocals, Phil Pendergast – Guitar/Vocals, Daniel Beiers – Bass and Zach Coleman – Drums.
The album starts off with Bloodletting which has a very raw sound and an amazing guitar opening. The guitar notes just explode from the start. The doom metal vocals are perfect. The twin guitar attack creates a melodic, but dark sound. It can also come across quite raw. The vocals are classic doom style and well done. I have not listened to music in this style for quite a while, but this sounds great. Even though it is doom metal, the vocals have a nice vocal range to them. The drum work and bass guitar really help lay down that doom feel to the music. The first guitar solo is melodic but fits with the song. The second solo is a lot more energized and with the dual guitar is perfection. We get some solid growling vocals to end the song. This song is a very strong opener for the album.
Next up is Isolation the shortest song on the album at just under 5 minutes. This song once again starts off with an onslaught of guitar. It has a great galloping feel to it as it tears along. The vocals even feel like they have more pace in this song. A great chorus with some cool guitar riffs thrown in make for another great song. Now I am wondering why I have never listen to this band before. Another great guitar solo that starts off melodic, but then takes off at a more blistering pace. The guitar work on this album is simply awesome! Two songs in and you know this is a really great album.
Another song I want to talk about is Maw of Time. Once again, we start out with in your face guitar to open the song and that doom atmosphere accented perfectly with bass and drum. We kick in more growling vocals with the clean vocals in this song. The growling vocals on this album are downright evil sounding. It really gives the song a very dark feeling. More shredding guitar solos really tear into this song. After that, we go back to the normal doom vocals, before the growling vocals start mixing in. The song has a different feel to it overall. Parts of this song sound so evil sounding it is impressive. Add some more great guitar although a little more melodic this time. This song has a massive feel to it.
The last track is the epic From Ruin at almost nine and a half minutes! The guitar starts off mellow this time, with some good sounding doom notes. This album does a great job with the doom atmosphere you would expect on an album like this. The vocals start slow and are creeping along with that doom feel. Now we have a very slow guitar with just vocals. It sounds eerie and dark and the vocals are haunting. From their we enter a quick guitar solo and back to the doom vocals. This song has so much going on in it. The vocals do start to pick up as the song moves along as does the guitar. The pace has now quickened substantially. We are about half way through the song at this point as we get a long melodic, but edgy guitar solo. The song continues on and finishes strong. It is as epic as a song can get.
I left off Flesh To Nothing and The Seer for you to enjoy on your own for the first time. Both are great songs I can tell you. This album was a complete surprise to me. I like doom metal but have not listen to any in quite a while. This album really blew me away! From production, to vocals and the incredible guitar work there is nothing here not to like. You do not hear a lot of music like this anymore and it is a shame. When done well it is great to listen to and this album is done very well indeed. I am sure Khemmis will find themselves on more top 10 metal album lists at the end of this year with this release.
Purchase “Desolation” HERE.
Follow Khemmis on Facebook HERE.