Album review: Khemmis – Deceiver

Rising U.S. doomsters Khemmis dispense serious riffs on brilliant fourth album, Deceiver.

Album review: Khemmis – Deceiver
Angela Davey

Khemmis are a band that have often been overlooked since their formation in 2012. Now on their fourth album, Deceiver, their second for metal powerhouse Nuclear Blast, it looks as though the Denver doom rockers may finally get the recognition they deserve.

Since the release of 2018’s Desolation, they’ve parted ways with bassist Daniel Beiers, meaning that all the weight of the percussion on their latest opus now rests firmly on the shoulders of drummer Zach Coleman. Despite culling their ranks to a trio, Khemmis sound heavier than ever, with guitarists Ben Hutcherson and Phil Pendergast pushing their shared vocal and musical duties to new extremes. It’s apparent that their focus is razor sharp, and every band member is displaying immense growth both musically and creatively since the last album. Their expressiveness isn’t limited to just vocal delivery; the tonality of the guitars, which now span a much wider spectrum, sound tighter than they ever have.

While they retain all of the catchy melodic qualities of previous releases, Deceiver has more frequent bursts of extreme metal, with screamed vocals and tempos that regularly breakaway from a standard doom metal chug. On the surface it may seem complex, however Khemmis aren’t presenting much new – they’ve just fine tuned their abilities and are now playing to their strengths, having stripped away all of the unnecessary theatrics.

The overall result sounds absolutely enormous and is an impressive example of the progression of an ever evolving genre. If Khemmis are a band you’ve previously passed over because of perceived similarities, then Deceiver will definitely be the record that not only grabs your attention but keeps a firm hold of it for multiple spins.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Pallbearer, Spirit Adrift, Candlemass

Deceiver is released on November 19 via Nuclear Blast

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