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KHEMMIS - Desolation

Release date June 15/18 (Nuclear Blast)

Lots of buzz about this youthful unit, its previous two discs capturing the attention of doom fanatics around the globe (2015's Absolution and 2016's Hunted). Filled with blubbering bass and high quality down-tuned riffage, the albums displayed direct lineage from the mighty Black Sabbath. If you're going to be inspired by a band, it might as well be the originators of all that is heavy (metal).

This time out, the Denver-based unit have added a traditional/NWOBHM tinge to the doomed atmosphere. Harmonized dual guitar references can be found, along with some upbeat, galloping riffage that may grate some of the more traditional doom aficionados out there. Third track 'Flesh To Nothing' includes a mournful, gothic chorus and black metal breakdown that could have come from the Woods Of Ypres' catalog, which may also confuse original fans.

What remains consistent though are the elongated tracks (6 tracks over 42 minutes), clean vocals and preponderance of memorable sub-woofer damaging riffs ... the band's bread and butter. Oh yeah, the run of great album covers also continues, really setting the mood for this type of malevolence. It'll look way cool on tour t-shirts for sure.

Truth be told, Desolation has proven to be more of a grower, not immediately hitting me like the previous Hunted. Give 'er a number of spins though and this one will work its way into your sub-conscious. Solid.


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