Nuclear Blast Records
Release: June 22, 2018
Khemmis is a doomed heavy metal band from Denver, Colorado. Anticipation was high for the release of ‘Hunted’ in 2016, the sophomore album and follow up to acclaimed debut ‘Absolution.’ Rather than the all too common sophomore slump, Khemmis raised the stakes and blew everyone away with their rapidly progressing songwriting and production quality, culminating in ‘Hunted’ being named Album Of The Year for 2016 by Decibel Magazine.
From the stadium-sized opening notes of ‘Bloodletting,’ it is immediately evident that Khemmis are again putting distance between themselves and their earlier influences to inform a sound that is singularly their own. ‘Isolation’, recently aired live on the Decibel Tour, is the album’s lead single and most immediate track, with the classic metal melodies the band have become revered for shining throughout.
Flesh To Nothing
Maw Of Time
On epic closer ’From Ruin’ and throughout the entirety of the album, the lead vocals and melodies of Phil Pendergast are the clearest, most powerful and best arranged to date. Working for the third time with Dave Otero at Flatline Audio in Denver, the band and producer now have the familiarity to arrive at the perfect symbiosis of songwriting, arrangement, and production value.
‘’Desolation’’ by Khemmis is without a doubt one of Nuclear Blast Records best releases of 2018. They present to you a very nice blend of doom, heavy and melodic metal. I think we all could use a bit more doom, especially since death, power and symphonic metal usually make us forget about this lovely dark nineties genre. Khemmis is giving doom a sort of comeback with this mix, they keep it approachable. The alternation between clean vocals and growls is very balanced, although a little more growls wouldn't have hurt anyone.
You almost always hear me complain about album lengths, usually they are a bit long for me. However, ‘’Desolation’’ was just a bit too short. I like the less is more approach, but it feels like something is missing. Also I am not sure if the cover art sends the right message, the colour brown to me always comes across as boring, and ‘’Desolation’’ is far from boring.