Metal, especially of the death and black varieties, have been ridiculed by many as nothing but no less than absolute evil. And sometimes, they’re correct! But for those of us that revel in the usual Cannibal Corpse or Darkthrone, we desire something new and different to bring us a special new kind of evil we haven’t seen before. Two years ago, Khanus showed us a display of potentially skin-melting death metal the likes of which I never knew I needed, and with their first full-length this Finnish act has officially dealt their first hand and it couldn’t be any more masterful!
There have always been special acts of death metal that come at the matter with a different approach, different attitude, and executes it all in a splendidly unique fashion that very little other bands, if any others are able to pull off. Howls of Ebb, Inconcessus Lux Lucis, The Wakedead Gathering, and Ecferus are some prime examples, but Khanus is the newest example of how to execute something truly special. They exploded onto the scene with their “Rites of Fire” EP with an unfortunately small amount of praise given the sheer quality of the piece. It was a tasteful flavor of shamanistic death metal with cosmic influences packed with riffs left and right topped with unquestionable quality, so I knew that Khanus was something I should keep tabs on. Not even three years later, my patience was rewarded with something that’s no less than fucking stunning in both execution and form: “Flammarion”.
Sure, Khanus could have just easily copy and pasted their work from “Rites of Fire” only to put a shiny new coat of paint on it in the form of different songs. I would’ve still gushed over it because I could eat that shit up all fucking day long, but these guys aren’t lazy like that and instead decided to take the absolute best route possible: improve their craft and enable it to become something so much more. “Flammarion” brings everything up to a new level with Khanus taking the shamanistic to unprecedented areas with a vicious attitude about every move the band makes from the incredible riffage to a grand complexity mixed with a satisfactory simplicity. It’s a massive increase in quality, as well, with everything about “Flammarion” bringing the intensity and magic at a tenfold increase from the band’s debut EP to allow Khanus to truly flex their muscles and show us just how much of an otherworldly force they are! It’s always satisfying to follow a band and see them grow into something truly wondrous, but Khanus takes that idea to a completely new level for me.
I always knew that Khanus was destined for greatness even if they don’t get the throngs of occult fans they deserve, but nothing could have prepared me for this marvelous slab of eight tracks that leave absolutely no survivors and decimates without hesitation. “Flammarion” is easily the greatest surprise that I’ve had the immense pleasure of coming across so far this year and there’s no question in my mind it’s already one of my favorites for 2018! Dark, foreboding, entrancing, and an absolute conquest upon all of light as well as humanity, Khanus leaves no hope for those of us who survive the chaos and we will revel in the ruins!
“Flammarion” releases on July 20th via I, Voidhanger Records!
LISTEN to an advanced track from “Flammarion” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Khanus on Facebook here.