By now, some of you may have heard about Khemmis and their debut Absolution and how it is pretty much awesome. It is, those touting how good of a record this is are not wrong. What you have heard is true, all of it.
This album is worthy of the acclaim it has received from Decibel, coming in at No. 9 on their Top 40 Metal Albums of 2015 List. The album has a doomy bounce to it and they have even described themselves as a “doom metal Iron Maiden.” Absolution has catchy riffs that become infectious, such as on “Torn Asunder” and “Ash, Cinder, Smoke,” and with only six tracks that clock in at 42 minutes there is enough variation to not bore anyone. Phil’s vocals are some of the cleanest you’ll hear though Khemmis can still fit into the No Clean Singing category with Ben’s harsh sludge vocal back up and sidebars.
Dan and Zach round out the band on bass and drums. Dan’s heavy bass lines help us crush through the songs as does Zach’s drumming which is very complimentary of their style, I think his best drumming being on the final track, “The Bereaved.”
Now this isn’t a 100 percent doom effort from start to finish, “Serpentine” cranks up the sludge song construction and there’s plenty of that fuzzy stoner distortion in Phil and Ben’s guitars to be found throughout. It’s hard to really put a finger on these guys, it’s kind of like a trifecta of metal goodness: there’s something for everyone. You have your doom, your stoner riffs and sludge elements all in one.
I missed them earlier this year when they played TRVE Brewing’s Third Annual Bacchanal at the Marquis Theater in Denver. Their next show is Denver Black Sky III Dec. 5 at the Gothic Theater, hosted by Black Sky Brewing. I do not want to miss that show (and the host of other bad ass bands playing), and this album is a big reason why.
Best track: “Torn Asunder”
Khemmis’ debut, Absolution, is available now from 20 Buck Spin