Desolation – Khemmis|As Cliché As A Cliché Can Be Clichéd|Album Review

Desolation - Khemmis | Official Album Artwork 2018

The world of metal is a versatile world. A world where you can seemingly bring anything to the party from drugs to hookers to bagpipes, the majority of metal heads will accept it as one of their own. However, since the days of Iron Maiden, metal music has a formula and so long as it is composed and done right, it will last for generations and in the hearts and minds of all fans for years to come.

No one really bothered to tell this to Khemmis I assume?

Now let’s get this out of the way, because I can see the hobgoblins of the metal community polishing their quivering broadswords in the pale moonlight, preparing to strike me down with all their might and bluster with furious keyboard typing.

Khemmis are… OK?

They’ve got the pieces in place to be something good: Their frontman has a fair vocal range, the overall composition of the guitars come right out of a power metal play-book and the drums range from brutal to spiritual at the drop of a hat, in order to cater to ever changing musical climates they are trying to offer.

It’s just that, it missed the mark. All I am getting with their new album, ‘Desolation‘ is a very paint by numbers record, that is about as satisfying as I imagine it would be sleeping with the current Prime Minister. Yeah, you may have done it and it’s something to tell your mates, but it’s probably not as smooth or as stable as her proposed Brexit plans. Also, her use of rubber poultry was also underwhelming as her policy manifesto.

Satire people, I got in spades! 

(The writer’s personal and political views are his own and not representative of In Key Magazine or any of it’s contributors. In fact, after reading above, we would strongly recommend a course of therapy – Concerned Editor)

So let’s get started with the the guts of desolate piece of numbing material. The album.. In fact, no! Let’s be fair, it’s a f***ing EP containing six songs. I don’t quite know if other genres of music are doing this or if this is just a rock music thing, but between Nine Inch Nails and Khemmis, I seem to be reviewing an awful amount of six track ‘albums’ and I need to ask why?

Do Rock musicians feel that we’re all too busy getting drunk and terrorising villagers in a field somewhere off the Dutch countryside, that we need short bursts of music to keep us awake like crack binges? Sure you could throw in a few six to nine minute epics in there and call it an album, but they’re hardly epics! If the music is just doing the rounds as it were and doesn’t deviate too much from the source genre, it ends up becoming boring elevator music for a company that are fed up with Jazz covers of Adele tunes playing in their elevator.

I was going to review this album track by track, like I usually do, but fuck it I’m bored now and there’s only so many times I can creatively call an album boring.

Honestly I’m bored typing this review that I keep deviating between typing this and watching a documentary about Switzerland.

Shoddy business practice, I know, but if a six track ‘album’ cannot retain my attention long enough, we’re in for a really bad time. Even NIN managed to grant that from me. If you listened to a metal album, you should know what to expect here. Some Prog/fiddly guitar work there, some belt out singing/Death Metal guttural chords here.

There really is no depth or anything thought provoking to any of this, there’s nothing to bop your head angrily, nor is there anything to contemplate your life to – like all good rock albums should do, it’s just bland. As old, crusty and stale as denim jackets with patches, you see in every metal festival.

By the time track five ‘Maw of Time’ rolled around, I switched off the album and stuck on ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ by Avenged Sevenfold instead. An eight minute epic that did exactly what I just mentioned, a solid frame of work that deviates just enough to keep every thing fresh. It goes off into so many peaks and valleys, visits genres like Heavy Rock, Goth Opera and trumpet Salsa dance-a-thons.

My point is, is that no album should make you want to think of another song, by another band, on a completely different album. It’s also a worrying sign that I had to keep checking back to Desolation to see if I was listening to the same song or another song as I really couldn’t tell the difference.  

‘Desolation’ was the musical equivalent to your spouse’s/parents porridge. It’s lumpy and you’re not too sure whether to gag at the texture, but you might appreciate their efforts if they left a little bit of jam or a few raisins in there. Either way, you’re thankful it’s over soon and painlessly. It’s a clichéd metal album that doesn’t excite nor entice you to listen to more.

All the more power to the fans that are in existence, as there are fans out there that are probably getting very angrily that “I just don’t get them”.

I would insult you back, but I’m that bored it has numbed my brain.

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