Seriously, what kind of mind produces music like this? This is unbelivably slow, and so far beyond the typical "Doom" metal genre that they fall in, I don't know what to call it. It's also the BEST horror movie soundreack ever. Alan Dubin's vocals range from a chilling whisper, to a horrific scream. Check out the last track, Too Close Enough To Touch. If you don't feel like hiding in a corner and contemplating sucide, you are not human.
For fans of Boris, Earth, and The Melvins, this may or may not be for you. The influences are there, but Khanate have definetly taken these influences and made them their own. Listening alone at night is reccomended.
Buy this album right now, and then until about an hour before dawn, and put it on. At first, you'll think that the only thing that's happening is Stephen O'Malley and James Plotkin bumbling around in the studio, but in fact they are subtly plugging you in and preparing you for the sludgy abyss of sound that will come.
Then you will become aware of Tim Wyskida, apparently beating a bass drum the size of Mt. Everest, from several thousand miles away. It sounds disturbingly like huge footsteps, and they're coming your way.
Then the voices will start, and you will begin to question your own sanity. Can it really be the same Alan Dubin who spat blood at us in the first Khanate album? Whatever it is, it doesn't sound human, and it sounds like it's coming from some catacomb deep beneath your feet.
Then the first chords are laid down... the guitar and bass seeming eerily clean and quiet compared to the previous sounds of Khanate, and yet bursting with harmonics and sub-harmonics that are so far beneath the human hearing range that you will feel them before you hear them. O'Malley and Plotkin strum out a dirge for the funeral of civilization, and you almost begin to think that you're there, marching in the procession, with the mourners, behind the casket. It's a long march through abandoned streets, drawing more masked and hooded participants as it goes along. Eventually it leads underground, deeper and deeper until it reaches the furthest and darkest tomb, and then the preacher gets up out of the crowd, throws back his hood, and reveals himself to be Alan Dubin. And boy, does he have some things to say...
I love Dubin's voice so much that I even dug up some albums of his and Plotkin's previous group, OLD (definitely worth checking out, if you can find them). I cannot say enough about this man's (?) vocal abilities. He doesn't sing, he *emanates.* He takes raw thought and emotion and drives it into your mind like a red-hot katana. One of the things that struck me about his performance on this album was that Dubin's words were actually quite clear and understandable (quite different from, for eg, the "pseudo-Latin ramblings" on Under Rotting Sky). At first it will seem like none of the words have any relation to one another, but listen to the first two tracks a few times and you will get it. I myself have fallen completely in love with these lyrics, but maybe I'm just messed up.
Once you've gotten to this point, there is simply no turning back. Khanate has sucked you into an infinite quagmire of nihilistic mental destruction. All you can do now is sit very still and stare dumbly at nothing while experiencing a series of terrifying (yet oddly delightful) hallucinations, occasionally emitting an odd random scream or two. Once it's all over, you will truly begin to comprehend the mind-numbing magnitude of huge, scary, and unseen things that abound in this and other universes. Khanate will have turned you into a believer.
My personal advice is, listen to this album, but never listen to it while actually reading Lovecraft... I will never be the same again.
Anyway, these guys are well known for creating some of the slowest, heaviest, hair-raising anti-rock you've ever heard. I hesitate to say "ugly" (though many would say so), actually finding an obscure beauty in Khanate's music.
This one is slower and more meditative than Khanate's s/t debut. Actually, "slower" is not really an appropriate term, since "slower" indicates identifiable tempos. Identifiable tempos are largely absent here. Alan Dubin's vox play a larger role this time--more considered and well enunciated, bringing forth a greater dramatic and emotional weight. For this type of vocal style (the bloodcurdling shriek) it's quite remarkable. The guitars are quite subdued in comparison much of the time, replacing the stabbing feedback of the first album with a lot of, well, silence (and the creaking of guitar strings that evoke the image of men hanging from ropes in dry places). I was caught off guard at first by this album's mellowness and even thought "booooring." But like many great and difficult albums, it grew on me. I like it a lot.