Khlyst Chaos Is My Name

With the untimely demise of Khanate and Sunn O))) hammering the same three chords into reckless abandon, James Plotkin, the more scatterbrained and eclectic half of the former group, has unleashed his new creation at just the right moment. Featuring the downright ghastly vocals of Thorr’s Hammer front-woman Runhild Gammelsæter and an even more disassembled, freehand approach than Khanate, much of the material on Chaos Is My Name was reportedly improvised in the studio, and it shows. Distant gong clashes and frenzied, scattered drum patterns intertwine with Gammelsæter’s unearthly vocal cords, with range from oppressive bellows to unbridled screeching. Minimal drones occasionally take centre stage, but are usually quickly offset by another exercise in abrasion and cacophony. There’s plenty of buried melody to be found, and the disc is overall deceptively mellow, once you’re desensitised to the vocal presence. Organised in eight unnamed chapters, much diversity is present, although at a brisk 32 minutes it can often all too quickly blow by. Khlyst are a group to be savoured, pondered, and frequently played until the true spectacle of such a collaboration is properly understood. One of Hydra Head’s most interesting offerings of the year, and a worthy successor to Plotkin’s already formidable contribution to the vast umbrella of experimental music. (Hydra Head)