Published Jun 20, 2018To say that Khemmis are under pressure might be an understatement. After 2016's Hunted cracked Album of the Year lists in Decibel and Rolling Stone, the Denver band have since signed to Nuclear Blast and had to redouble their efforts on album three. Desolation picks up where Hunted left off, with just enough epic riffs and belted vocals to remind you how great this stuff was the first time around.
The biggest difference between this album and what came before is how Khemmis are now leaning on their old-school influences. A sense of doom (the emotion, not the genre) hangs over everything. Fans of Wolfmother and Pallbearer might see this as the second coming of Sabbath, if they liked more At the Gates. But those who are looking for a bit more fuzz won't find it. Melodies, not distortion, drive this album.
The rollicking drive of "Isolation" ends up being the best song on offer, narrowly beating out the Iron Maiden-meets-Mastodon closer "From Ruin" and blood-churning bends and snarls of "Maw of Time." It's fresh, and Khemmis do it better then most.
In the end, if you're the kind of person who still mourns the death of '80s jean jacket metal, this is for you. (Nuclear Blast)