Capture and Release EP
10

  • Khanate
  • Hydrahead
  • 2005-08-23

Khanate have got to be the most vicious, horrific and torturing band to have existed. And all in the best possible way. In the dark underworld of doom metal, Khanate are seated on the throne of extremity, setting an incredibly high standard for experimental music — what could be more crushingly heavy than this? The instruments are strung oppresively low and the tempos painfully slow, Khanate have always been one intense experience and this new studio release stands up proudly right next to its predecessors.

…“Capture” is more of a relentless onslaught than Khanate seem to have offered before.

On the second album, Things Viral, the band developed their “hellish brooding doom with tortured vokills” (as they described themselves for the self-titled first album) into often twice as long and more dynamic pieces, even slower and even more brooding — the first album sounded much more like ‘songs’ compared to the second. Capture and Release is not necessarily so much of a progression from here as a variation, or an almagamation of the different factors which make Khanate so impressive. The songs have the length and depth of the second album but work in different ways. With Alan Dubin’s trademark screeching begins “Capture”, the first of the two tracks (the second cunningly named “Release”) which collectively amount to over forty-three minutes of music, an immense and unnconventional two-track EP. “Capture” is more of a relentless onslaught than Khanate seem to have offered before. Where Things Viral pieces seemed to give a time to get used to the silence before crashing in again, thus having more effect, Capture and Release is eighteen minutes of continuous, slow, harrowing doom which though almost as minimal seems to keep on gnawing away at the listener more. There is no time to become accustomed to anything within it, making for a deep-seatedly unsettling listen.

…the piece then builds and regroups slowly, all the time gaining power and intensity which rises up to intolerable levels before crashing back in and grinding away at the listeners ears for many more minutes.

Stephen O’Malley’s dischordant deep-end riffs and semi-droning, and James Plotkin’s deep bass follow complex patterns and changes — rhythms which find no comparison in conventional beat form, it is immense crashing cymbal work and building rolls which form the majority of Tim Wyksidia’s drumming on the first track. After the unrelentling form of “Capture” comes the aptly named “Release”, which sits nicely next to the material of Things Viral, moving more between sections and dynamics. It starts slowly and quietly, creeping through ambient noise before erupting into cacophany and heaviness from which it pounds away in Khanate’s trademark form. After taking the noise as far as it needs to the song pares right back down to where Dubin’s vokills whisperingly slither around you, hauntingly. The piece then builds and regroups slowly, all the time gaining power and intensity which rises up to intolerable levels before crashing back in and grinding away at the listeners ears for many more minutes. One factor which stands out on this album more than others is in the way that Tim Wyksidia manages to blast away on O’Malley and Plotkin’s chords at incredible speeds, punctuating the silence which Khanate play around and use to awesome effect.

Capture and Release is yet another challenging record from possibly the world’s most extreme band. I honestly struggle to imagine anything that can be more satisfyingly heavier than this, unless of course I am thinking about the next Khanate record or indeed seeing this material performed live, slower and louder.

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