KHANATE ("Things Viral") LP+12"/CD
Whenever a band reaches my heart and soul, it becomes difficult for me to write about it. In this case, it's the second album of KHANATE. I still praise their debut album, and so I will do with the second album "Things Viral". The debut was more a wracked, claustrophobic melange of painfully slow beats, loud massive droning guitar, rumbling bass and topped off with unfriendly and unhuman vocal work. KHANATE had created one of the most striking definitions of the phenomena that would come to be known as avant-garde doom. But this label is just a lazy attempt at pigeonholing, but what really set this band apart was simply the otherness of their sound, a strange grace that made the unrelenting lyrical bleakness and despair bearable. "Things Viral" is the next brooding collection of slow motion poetry from the darkside, and for me it's a classic. But instead of just doing a copy of the debut, KHANATE have created something that is different to its forerunner.
Anger has turned into desperation, and a few ray of lights are breaking through the sinister darkness, bringing a little bit of peace to the tortured soul. But then suffocating it with layers of obscure vocals and feedback, just to produce some kind of nervous paranoia. The extreme dynamics between bastardised monolithic early Swans-like riffs and surrealistic quiet parts are still leaving me stunned with my jaw on the floor. In some moments "Things Viral" works like a spoken-word performance, without being it. The album revisited the dark intensity of the self-titled debut, without quite the same effect. It's the silence after the storm. Only a few people are open enough for this listening experience, but once you dig KHANATE you'll love them like me. And to this small audience "Things Viral" is a huge recommendation! The album has been released on Southern Lord Records, and the double vinyl edition includes one bonus track.