After Colorado legalized marijuana, it was only a matter of time before we started hearing about new buzz bands from the Denver stoner scene. I’m not saying the two things are related… but let’s face it, Vancouver has by far the most sludge bands per capita of any city in Canada. Drugs ‘n sludge are pretty much the peanut butter ‘n jelly of the metal world.
However, this is the first I’m hearing of Khemmis, a Denver dual-guitar quartet whose debut just dropped on 20 Buck Spin. Absolution starts off on a slow, downtuned note, as expected, “Torn Asunder” rumbling along like Winter with some prog-metal guitar noodling overtop. Vocals are clean and cut through the mix like Pallbearer, with an affectation that almost sounds Irish. “Ash, Cinder, Smoke” takes a similar approach, sounding like Pallbearer with a heavier bottom end. And maybe it’s the vocals, but “Antediluvian” sounds like it could’ve been lifted from the latest Kings Destroy.
We do get the occasional growled sludge vocal and stoner-doom riff, but for the most part, the band has carved out its signature sound… which resembles that of a much more popular band from Arkansas (who themselves worship at the altar of Warning). That said, if you want a little extra crunch with your Pallbearer, I suppose this isn’t too shabby.