9 June 2013

Khoma - The Second Wave

Some bands just don't have luck in some markets.  Khoma are a band who defines this for the UK market.  Hailing from Sweden, they got a little bit of fame around the time that this album was released in 2006, as Johannes Persson of Cult of Luna is a member of this band as well. So their record label Roadrunner tried to push them very hard, well I say very hard - advertised them everywhere but only released about 100 copies of the album in the UK. Needless to say they did not really go over, at the time, bands like Lamb of God, Lacuna Coil were making the big waves in the UK, Slipknot were still popular and the shoegazing epic crowd were hypnotised by the wondrous 'Mr Beast' by Mogwai.  So this was pushed to the side and left on the shelf - so is it any good, is it awful or is it a strange combination of the two?

Musically this band is going for the more epic side of the metal world, yet I can hear musical leaning towards bands like the aforementioned Mogwai, Slowdriver and other members of the shoegazing elite.  From the opening moments of "The Guillotine" (which was used on 2011 version of 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") you have a sense that this album is not for those happy summer days with the family and friends. This is a beautiful record, but in a given sense of beauty - it is not kind.  It is harsh and unforgiving - it will not let you rest and relax. The music is not as challenging as a Jazz or Frank Zappa album, but it is not over easy on the ears in someways, but it is also very hypnotic as well - tracks like "Death Throes" and "Stop Making Speeches" as delicate and stinging; they are puzzles which are more rewarding with each listen.

Becuase this is a bit dark it is not a world beater - songs like "Last Call" are not going to be playing in the background when one of those reality TV shows (Made In Chelsea and other such shite) have a potent love moment (although I would pay good money to see that) - but it does not have to be. It just has to be epic, a lot heavier than other bands in this genre, and as beautiful as a broken mirror. Also, there is a whiff of the same by the time you get to "One of Us Must Hang", the feeling like you have been around this section of the song before.  I could not listen to this every single day, I would have many issues if I did that (I can hear the younger me in my head telling me off for growing up), yet I do find myself putting on songs from this more often than I really care to mention.  I do have to hear the rest of this band's work - this is the second album of four - and I am happy to report that they are still around and making music. Sometimes the darker side of memory lane is a nice place to visit, if only it was not some familiar to the other songs at times.

7 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check

You can purchase the album from here

You can visit the band's website here - it is in Swedish

You can listen to the album here on Spotify

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