Review KHEMMIS ‘Deceiver’

Doom metal outfit Khemmis unleashed their latest album ‘Desolation’ back in 2018 and the time is right to unveil their newest strike. ‘Deceiver’ is the title of their fourth full-length longplayer and features six songs.

‘Deceiver’ is a very emotion-laden longplayer that is perfectly reflected by each of the six songs. Khemmis isn’t known for short tunes and the new album is full of tunes beyond the five minutes line.

The record begins with a song called ‘Avernal Gate’. An acoustic intro prepares the scene for the first heavy pounding track on the album. The intro hands over to a first riff, that is might and surprisingly fast. If I mention ‘fast’, it is in the context of Khemmis, of course. The song itself is interesting since next to the slower and calmer parts there is a racing end with hoarse vocals, which is a style element Khemmis doesn’t use often. What also resonates is a dark and melancholic vibe, expressed by the opener and being the common mood throughout.

Thematically ‘Deceiver’ doesn’t laser in on the bright side of life. It is more about the stories one gets told about not being good enough, being broken and that all is predefined. It’s about starting to believe these things which is the potential beginning of a personal downwards spiral. The pain that can be caused by these thoughts and self-perception is the emotional base for ‘Deceiver’ and makes it to a dark and melancholic album. A heaviness is what drives each of the six songs and in a way the album has a catalytic factor.

‘House of Cadmus’ is a song I would highlight too, since it has some almost death metal-like vocal parts, reminding of the Swedish death metal. This is of course a well-placed distraction and Khemmis didn’t switch to death metal. Still, it is exciting to see how various genres sneak into the doom-laden songs of Khemmis.

Although Khemmis is often looked at as being a doom metal band, the trio has more in the musical toolkit. ‘Deceiver’ has a gloomy basic vibe and most of the time the band stays in a slower pace. Next to this basic structure it’s the nuances and little twists that unfold after a while and add extra value to these 42 minutes of very well-crafted metal. Good stuff, no doubt.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Avernal Gate
  2. House of Cadmus
  3. Living Pyre
  4. Shroud of Lethe
  5. Obsidian Crown
  6. The Astral Road

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: November 19th, 2021

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