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Khanate - Khanate - 85%

md25, April 5th, 2007

To me, doom metal is about creating as bleak an atmosphere as possible and I'd say that this throughly unpleasant disc is as dismal a sound as has ever been recorded.

That's not to say it's bad, though. Far from it. Doom is all about atmosphere and this album is the sound of intense, prolonged, painful misery. The production is as clear as glass so you can just tell the artists have put every effort into making this album the experience it is.

The overall sound is of slow, thundering, hideously detuned and almost free-timed guitar riffs, assisted by some excellent bass playing, with just enough percussion to keep the whole thing lurching forward. Not forgetting Dubin's tortured vocals - he sounds as if every axon is firing in agony and the electronic mangling further dehumanises him, as if a rusting machine were replaying his torture for entertainment.

Four of the five tracks are long, drawn-out works, with the album's mid-track "Torching Koroviev" seperating the more listenable (!) opening tracks from the perverted closers.

1) Pieces Of Quiet
Lyrics are about sawing someone to pieces as they won't shut up. Opens with an exercise in feedback before shuddering into a riff as heavy and slow as an elephant. Dubin's vocals are particularly vicious here, makes you wonder just what on Earth he does to sound like that.

2) Skin Coat
Themed around wearing someone's skin as a protective shield, this is probably the most accessible track on the album, as it's almost mid-paced at one point. The riffs are even catchy.

3) Torching Koroviev
I don't know how best to describe this. A few minutes of feedback and what sounds like someone masturbating. Distinctly unpleasant.

4) Under Rotting Sky
Almost twenty minutes long, this dismal movement has as a highlight a meandering, repeating riff that lasts forever and sounds like the end of the world. You can just picture the scene of a wasted city, with the last witness topping himself at the sight.

5) No Joy
The most hopeless track I've ever heard, and contains my favourite section: Dubin's screams of "no joy... noooo joooooooooooy" echo away to nothing just as a desolate, hopeless, futile-sounding guitar sounds collapses into the dying sections of this album.

Overall this is about as miserable a doom album as possible, and excellent because of it.