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martedì 2 dicembre 2014

Eternal Khan – A Poisoned Psalm

#FOR FANS OF: Black Doom
It is an exciting moment in a reviewer's life when posed with the opportunity to review something previously unheard of. Rhode Island's Eternal Khan are a blackened doom metal band who do exactly what it says on the tin: fuse those two sub-genres together coherently; neither one overshadowing the other. Their debut full-length, "A Poisoned Psalm", carries the lumbering tempos and misanthropic lyrics of doom, and blends them with the harmonic-minor melodies and bleak atmosphere of black metal. Bands such as Woods of Ypres and Forgotten Tomb have already pioneered this genre, so this is nothing original - but Eternal Khan have at least managed to carve their own identity into an already niche market. The albums starts as it means to go on - with a noble, (but nevertheless desolate) oozing riff which gradually crescendos to a satisfying climax. This will become the norm for the remainder of "A Poisoned Psalm", but fear not - it never becomes dull. It simply creates a familiarity with the songs before you've even heard them! Despite the restrictions that such a particular sub-genre would usually hold - Eternal Khan manage to be as varied as they possibly can. In terms of tempo, tone and dynamic range, this is a surprisingly diverse record. For example, opener "Bells on the Black Hour" plods away with satisfying gravitas, whilst "Undermined And Abandoned" accelerates with some impressive blast beats and galloping grooves. But the real selling points are the riffs. Each one is memorable and never tries to hold its own, but compliments the vocals and drum rhythms so well; creating one pleasing and cohesive sound. The production is perfectly executed. N. Wood's nihilistic grunts are at the forefront of the mix, and the intention behind his hateful lyrics is handled with clarity and control. The guitars and bass sound beautifully muffled, whilst D. Murphy's kit clangs away in the background with an almost ambient vigour. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on. For the present, their blend of blackened doom metal is purely satisfying, and nothing special. But "A Poisoned Psalm" shows the early signs of a band who have the potential to expand their sound beyond such confines. Would recommend. (Larry Best)

(Self - 2014)
Score: 80