Now, I have to confess I have been a fan of the doom Metal genre since Candlemass first crawled out from under a rock clutching the bastard spawn of Black Sabbath in their arms.
I have listened as the genre has developed, and claimed it's little offspring, ambient doom, funeral doom and rainbow fairy doom (ok, maybe that last one is made up a tiny bit) so, when I heard Karachi based Khorne's two track demo earlier this year, I made a date to check out the EP.
To start with, downloading from MediaFire gets you not just the songs, but also a proper cover and sleeve artwork, giving this a more professional look from the start. But, you don't get albums to look at the covers (well, most of us don't) so, what is the music like?
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Well, this is band that takes their inspiration more from the 80s exponents of the genre. From the opening chords of 'Resurrection' with the guitars turned full on crunch, musically this is full of those slow, pounding, minor key riffs that so define the genre. 'Pandemonium' follows in the same vein, Farhan's growling vocals (imagine a deeper version of Daniel Lloyd Deavy or Quorthon in style) suiting the mood perfectly.
'Memoirs Of Chaos' is next up and this switches between picked guitars and soft vocals and the heavy crunching sound. Just check out the heavier riff on this one! The band's own title track 'Khorne' follows and it's back to the heavy, chaotic sound. This rolls seamlessly into the final track 'Karachi Lives. The bass line carries on undistorted over a montage of news reports following one of the many bombings that occur in the city. From the fantasy lyrical and musical chaos you are dragged sharply into reality, as Farhan says: "...based on the current situation of the city....
"All the killings and everything show a picture that maybe this city will not survive long enough. So the track shows the agony of the people and in the end, the heartbeat doesn't stop... Showing that no matter how badly anyone may strike this city this city will not die. I've been brought up here; all I have seen in recent years is violence and bloodshed.
"But this city is so beautiful that i can't hate it, so Karachi is a tribute to it."
A very powerful sentiment for what is a very powerful track, which does not fail to move you.
This is not an EP without negatives – the production is a little raw, particularly too much distortion on the opening of 'Khorne' and the sequenced drums can be a put off. They have a decent live drummer, but recording him in a studio setting was not possible for this.
That apart, this remains a very good debut album (listeners of Jon Wisbey's show on BCFM will testify to that) and worthy of the 4 beers this is getting.
Khorne can be found at https://www.facebook.com/KhorneDoom?fref=ts and the album is obtainable at http://www.mediafire.com.
Recorded and produced by Shock Studios, Karachi (except 'Resurrection', recorded and produced by Corpse @ Lahore)
Farhan Rathore – vocals
Danny Al Buksh Soomro – guitars, bass and drum programming
Faiq Ahmed – guitars and drum programming
Songs Composed by D Soomro and F Ahmed