Khemmis – Deceiver


It feels a bit of when a supposed doom orchestra starts their new album in a high thrashy/death tempo for a bit.  Do not worry though, it soon passes. The led heavy drums and sorrow filled guitars combined with Phil Pendergast´s voice that is so clean and so full of melancholy and angst.

There are a lot of gliding over to other or influencing from other genres in the massive tree of metal. Opening track Avernal Gate as mentioned above, can make you think you are listening to a classic Gothenburg melodic death band. The more diverse mix between the clean singing and growl/shrieking is also more present here then on previous albums.

You get the more traditional doom in Living Pyre where the clean lyrics almost goes towards a massing choir of old monks one could picture.

There is classic, sludgy doom in the standout track Shroud of Lethe. A slow, pounding, and depressive song. But the chorus here releases a beautiful yet sad and bleak melody. Just what the doom doctor ordered.

The album stretches 41, almost 42 minutes over 6 tracks. A bit of long songs? No, not really I think. We are supposed to be listening to a doom album. 6-12 minutes are the standard frame for a song in my book. I do not feel that there is too much transportation for no reason with the songs. There is purpose.

What I take away from this album is that the band is evolving. The jury is still out on if this is the right way. For me, Khemmis has with all albums been about the melodies and weight.

In a way an Americanized Candlemass in some ways. I have to say that I would and will continue to listen to Khemmis just to hear Pendergast sing. That voice is special. Not just clean, but it has character and passion, and it is engaging.

Band: Khemmis
Title: Deceiver
Label: Nuclear Blast
Date of release: 2021-11-19
Rate: 7/10
Stand Out Track: Shroud of Lethe
Country of Origin: USA
Playing Time: 41:46



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