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not as good as the debut but... - 80%

Magnus, February 21st, 2005

...this is still a solid release though I will admit it attempts a somewhat different direction from their first album and doesn't match up entirely as a follow up album. The biggest difference between the two and the thing that will likely make or break this album for most people is Khanate adopting silence and empty space as a heavily used aspect of their sound here. The first album was painfully slow and a bit of a new sound for a doom band but it still kept things moving along and managed a fairly constant wall of sound throughout. That is not the case here as instead you'll find frequent sections of songs with very little in the way of music to fill space. The very first song begins with little more then sparse drumming and some vocals for several minutes for example. Khanate's subtle and unexpected transition from extreme doom band to something of an ambient act took me by surprise and at first I didn't like this album simply because there is almost nothing to grab onto musically. Being a fan of O'Malleys other "ambient" band Sunn O))) though probably helped in my digesting and eventually appreciating this album. This does beg the question though if the man really needs two bands playing similar material since Sunn O))) generally was the more ambient act and Khanate the more aggressive and noisier of the two. Either way after having spent some time with it I can say I'm satisfied with this album though it really wasn't where I was expecting them to go. Perhaps a third album will be different