Khemmis – Deceiver Review

There is one thing that I don’t quite understand in Metal music. That thing is what are the criteria record companies, PRs, and the press have to label a band. I confess that I don’t understand them at all. Of course, I’m aware that this labeling may be porous as Metal music is getting more and more complex and is adopting and incorporating all kinds of influences. I understand, however, that some bands are really more difficult to label due to the array of influences they show. Khemmis are one of them for sure. Regarding to labeling, “Deceiver” explains lot as it deceives the fan and the press as well. By the way, the press release I got says that “Deceiver” is a Doom Metal album which I disagree. Yeah, this is my twin cranky old man that eventually writes the reviews in my place. He shows up here from time to time.

Ok, let’s analyse the album. First of all vocals. Most of the time they’re tend to be near modern metal with some epic influences. Well, when vocalist Phil Pendergast uses his clean voice with that epic entonation the band sounds pretty doomy. However, that doesn’t happen all the time. There is a harsh voice that make its apearances once in a while in the songs to give them an Extreme Metal attitude or feeling. Second of all, “Deceiver” has many influences of other Metal subgenres which haze a bit the understanding of the album regarding to labeling. Take opener track “Avernal Gate,” for instance. Its intro has some barroque sonancy with a sweet strumming that lasts a little more than thirty seconds to then burst into a Traditional Metal energetic pounding. When vocals come everything change again as the modern metal voice goes on and the instrumentals follows a doomy path. However, the impression the fan gets isn’t of a Doom song. As I said before, vocals sound too Modern and take the Doom impression out. It’s a song with very moments I have to say. And that’s the fun of it. By the way, that’s the fun of “Deceiver” an album that has a Doom intent but, in fact, doesn’t sound Doom all the time.

Khemmis organized “Deceiver” in a way that it goes getting more and more Doom intent in each song from the opener track to the last. Last track “The Astral” though has the same movements other tracks have, it sounds more Doom than the others. Don’t notice the uptempo guitars after the intro. They are deceivers. Soon enough they change and go slow.

For the record, “Deceiver” is an album that will please not only Doom Metal fans. Fans of Traditional Heavy Metal may be also pleased.

Khemmis “Deceiver” will be released on November 19th via Nuclear Blast Records.

Track Listing:

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

Watch “Living Pyre” official video here: