Crank this to 7.8 of 11
Genre: Sludge, Doom, Metal
Sounds Like: Freedom Hawk, Mastodon, Red Fang
The Colorado based band, Khemmis, delivers some very fine moments during their debut album Absolution. The album features a very balanced attack of doom and stoner rock with a tilt towards anthemic stoner themes. The lead vocals are angelic and inspiring really striking a strong chord with us. The melodic vocals reflect back to 90s progressive metal scene where clarity and adrenaline are at the forefront. Unfortunately a consistent thorn pricks at us throughout the album. Like an annoying neck pain that just does not go away or allow you to settle. The death metal vocals absolutely fall flat and kill the momentum and triumphant feel. We understand the Nu Metal rage and popularity of vocal contrasts. These two vocal styles, however, are night and day. Majestic beauty contrasted with goofy cookie monster growls just does not work for us. Take the first track as a for instance. We are traveling skyward with the majestic journey and then all comes absolutely crashing down at the 3:45 mark. We have flagged for you below the songs yielding this unfortunate result:
1. Torn Asunder (5:32)**
2. Ash, Cinder, Smoke (6:55)**
3. Serpentine (8:11)
4. Antediluvian (5:59)**
5. Burden of Sin (5:32)**
6. The Bereaved (9:02)
**- WARNING... sudden goofy cookie monster vocals will disrupt the flow of this song.
Yes…"Serpentine" and "The Bereaved" are the only two tracks that dodge this painful contrast. While the songs may contain hints of the aggressive vocals, the music still flows and the track’s beauty is maintained. Terrific dueling guitar-work shine on both these tracks and the band does a nice job with powerful highs and lows throughout.
Phil- Vocals, Guitars
Ben- Vocals, Guitars
Absolution very well could have scored as an Editor’s Pick were it not for the fact that the support vocals erck us so. Definitely download tracks three and six for your collection. Perhaps Khemmis will see the light and give the supporting vocals a backseat. We look forward to this element of surprise in their next release.
Standout Tracks: Serpentine, The Bereaved
Follow Khemmis: Bandcamp