KHANATE
Doom Metal • United States

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KHANATE is an American experimental/ post doom metal act formed in 2000 in New York City, New York. Guitarist Stephen O'Malley and bassist James Plotkin met at an ISIS concert in New York City. Drummer Tim Wyskida and lead vocalist Alan Dubin were added to the lineup later. KHANATE released their self-titled debut full-length studio album in October 2001. KHANATE´s second full-length album "Things Viral" followed in 2003 and their third full-length studio album "Clean Hands Go Foul" was released in January 2009. In addition to the full-length studio albums KHANATE has released a string of EPs and live albums. The "Let Loose the Lambs Tour DVD" was released in 2004 and the "Dead & Live Aktions" DVD was released in September 2005.

( Biography written by UMUR)
Thanks to UMUR for the addition and Wilytank for the updates

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Things ViralThings Viral
Southern Lord 2003
Audio CD$7.98
$20.66 (used)
Clean Hands Go FoulClean Hands Go Foul
Hydrahead Records 2009
Audio CD$9.47
$7.81 (used)
Capture & ReleaseCapture & Release
Hydrahead Records 2005
Audio CD$14.51
$3.30 (used)
KhanateKhanate
Southern Lord 2001
Audio CD$49.99
$22.66 (used)
CLEAN HANDS GO FOUL(paper-sleeve)CLEAN HANDS GO FOUL(paper-sleeve)
DIW Records (JAPAN)
Audio CD$25.41
No Joy Remix/Dead [Vinyl]No Joy Remix/Dead [Vinyl]
Single
Carrot Top Records 2008
Vinyl$43.24
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KHANATE Discography

KHANATE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Khanate
Doom Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Things Viral
Doom Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Clean Hands Go Foul
Doom Metal 2009

KHANATE EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
No Joy (remix) / Dead
Doom Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Capture & Release
Doom Metal 2005

KHANATE live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live WFMU 91.1
Doom Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
KHNT vs. Stockholm
Doom Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Aktion Sampler 2004
Doom Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
It's Cold When Birds Fall From the Sky
Doom Metal 2005

KHANATE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

KHANATE boxset & compilations

KHANATE singles (0)

KHANATE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Let Loose the Lambs Tour DVD
Doom Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dead & Live Aktions
Doom Metal 2005

KHANATE Reviews

KHANATE Khanate

Album · 2001 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Wilytank
(Originally posted by me to Encyclopaedia Metallum: the Metal Archives; http://www.metal-archives.com/)

After my foray into funeral doom metal reviewing, I thought "hey, what about writing up some drone doom metal reviews?" I actually have been into drone doom longer than funeral doom, but I've found that it's harder to write a review for this genre due to it being more abstract than most other music in the metal genre. But it's still got a special place in my heart as an collection of dark art, much like funeral doom metal but taking a different approach. Here today we have Khanate's self-titled debut album. It's not the first album in the genre I've listened to nor is it one of my absolute favorites of it, but it's one of the biggest standouts and it's a little easier to review than bigger monoliths like Sunn O))) or Boris. So, let's give this a try.

The only immediately familiar name to me on the lineup here is Stephen O'Malley who plays in Sunn O))). His guitar work here is basically more of the same here with lots of droning, screeching, feedback, etc. Bass player James Plotkin plays the same way. Tim Wyskida is an interesting addition though since drums in drone doom music is quite uncommon, but the drums do give a heightened sense of musical movement. Vocalist Alan Dubin is the real star here though with his disturbed voice, and it's him that really is the key element that makes Khanate sound unique. Whenever he opens his mouth, I feel like I'm listening to a deranged murderer who's lost his connection to reality.

When quickly glancing over the lyrics, they may seem quite simple; but when partnered with the music and Dubin's voice, these lyrics are just as disturbing as the rest of the music. Again, Dubin's delivery helps here, but so do the instruments. Every song here feels like a different way a murder is carried out with "Pieces of Quiet" feeling like a hacksaw murder especially at the 9:26 mark where the metal strings really feel like the gnawing gnawing teeth of a hacksaw; then there's "Skin Coat", a song about skinning people and making the skins into a coat; "Under Rotting Sky", which seems to be about suffocation by toxic gas; and "No Joy" with really no easily determined method of murder, but with a title like that the death must have been particularly violent and painful with the killer having some sort of sick satisfaction based on Dubin saying "please don't breathe" repeatedly.

This album is conveniently divided into two sections with the first two songs showing more signs of movement and are much more accessible while the final two songs are darker and scarier. "Torching Koroviev" operates as the bridge between the two groups. In group one, we've got more signs of traditional song structure with "Pieces of Quiet"'s beginning passage in an easy to comprehend 4/4 meter structure, but that rhythm eventually gets distorted as the song goes on. Dubin's vocal tone changes a lot through the song starting with shrieking and eventually switching to a creepy spoken word ("Silence while I strip bones...dark and quiet we go now...") with echoing shrieking to be heard in the background. "Skin Coat" is a really sludgy song with obvious Melvins influence. There is still creepy shit to be heard though with some distorted electronics which might include Dubin's voice thrown in. Things get really fucked in the second half of the song with Dubin whispering "I wear a human shield" and the guitar tone becoming more calm.

On the second half of the album, we start with "Under Rotting Sky" which takes up a more traditional drone doom approach. Musically, it's probably the least interesting track here, but the minimalism here does provide some sense of desolation backed up with the muffled drum soloing in the beginning and Dubin's echoing voice throughout. "No Joy" is the darkest of the dark here and is thus the perfect way to end the album. It starts with Dubin's sick whispering voice to really freak the listener the fuck out. The guitar tone in this song is also a lot calmer as well but they turn out to be a lot darker this way to drive away the hope of regaining sanity. The instruments do go away at one point only leaving Alan Dubin's echoing voice wailing "NO JOY!" At certain points, the the guitar (or bass?) gets the volume turned down and an eerie echoing effect put on it while Dubin whispers disturbing things.

Khanate's 'Khanate' turns out to be a pretty solid album. I'm a little put off by the guitar/bass tone being reminiscent of Sunn O))), but "No Joy" saves the album from that tone really going to my head. It's not my favorite or preferred choice for the genre, but it's definitely worth listening to if you're into the very exclusive drone doom fan club especially in the dead of night in a dark room or forest.

(85/100)

KHANATE Things Viral

Album · 2003 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Doomster
Welly, welly, well. Here we have Khanate's second album, "Things Viral", released in 2003 by the great Southern Lord Records.

I am a huge fan of Khanate's first album, their self-titled. I thought it was a masterpiece of drone/doom metal misery, still do. And naturally, I was excited to hear the next album from the New York boys (my hometown!), the subject of my review, "Things Viral". Compared to the positive feedback of the debut, "Things Viral" was generally panned by critics, mainly for not being as "dark" or "heavy" as the debut.

...And quite frankly, I can understand why. This album is...different. Very different from the debut. Khanate have always been a rather unconventional band, but whereas the debut had at least some hint of melody throughout (in the form of "Pieces Of Quiet" and "Skincoat", in case you are wondering), "Things Viral" has completely erased all traces of standard song structure. While the debut was more of a venture through an abandoned mental asylum filled with the lost souls of the mentally insane, "Things Viral" is more of a journey into the deepest, darkest sewers of a ruined city, or perhaps into the pits of a pitch black cave deep underground.

This album is also slow. You are probably scoffing at this comment as Khanate have always been slow, but seriously...this album is so painfully slow that it makes the debut look like speed metal. These songs have no real structure, but that is not a bad thing. Songs usually revolve around deeply unsettling noise made by the instruments, and when actual music in the conventional sense of the word does appear, it has no real rythm or structure, and then disappears again into literally silence. While the guitars on "Khanate" were crunchy and bone-crushingly downtuned, guitarist Stephen O' Malley takes a very ominous, 'airy' approach to the guitars on this album. The guitars tease the listener, so to speak - while you are expecting this mammoth explosion of sound at one minute, it doesn't happen, and when it does happen, it happens when you least expect it.

As far as drumming goes, it has improved considerately from the debut. Wyskida isn't the biggest influence on me as a drummer, but he is definetely competent. On "Things Viral", his drumming focuses even less on keeping a steady beat. In fact, here, there really isn't that much drumming at all. When he does play, however, he focuses mainly on being heavy and nothing else - the drumming around the 6:42 minute mark of "Commuted" is enough to shatter any skulls within a 200 mile radius.

Dubin's vocals are still as stunning as they were before. However, his vocals on this album are slightly different - thinner and even more sick than in the debut album. His voice conjures up hate, envy, depression, and every other negative emotion you can think of and lets out his pain on the microphone as if it would be the last thing he would ever see in his miserable life. Take, for example, the closing song "Too Close Enough To Touch". Not only is that one of the most unsettling songs I have ever listened to, Dubin's voice emanates everything that was heard in the first three tracks and lets his voice go in a barrage of absolutely repulsive pain, as if it was his final agonized cry for his life to end. It's truly spine-chilling.

Dubin's lyrics are also very, very interesting. They are used alot more than in the debut, and have improved considerately. These lyrics, I think, are interesting because they are very vague, ambiguous and mysterious. Is he screaming about murder, misery...both? It can be a mix of the two at times - "Commuted" seems to be about a mental asylum (or perhaps stabbing someone to death), and "Fields" sounds like it is about drowning someone. Whatever the cause, these incredibly simple lyrics have enough power to keep them from falling flat, no matter how twisted they get.

So, how does this compare to the debut album? Well, in terms of heaviness and "metalness", there is little to nothing here of the sort. If you want more of a straightforward, bone-crunching drone doom album, I'd advise you check out the aforomentioned debut, or Stephen O' Malley's other works with Sunn O))). If you are looking for airy, sickening, slow as all hell power ambient, though, this one's for you.

KHANATE Capture & Release

EP · 2005 · Doom Metal
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Doomster
"It's cold when birds fall from the sky..."

Khanate were a drone doom metal band from my home state, New York. They released 3 full length albums, the self titled, "Things Viral", and "Clean Hands Go Foul". "Capture and Release", the subject of my review, is their second and last EP that they released, and the 8th out of 11th of their releases overall.

"Capture and Release", along with all of Khanate's albums, is a very terrifying listening experience. This should be no surprise, however, because doom idol Stephen O' Malley of drone legend Sunn O))) plays guitars on this album. Sunn O))) are a band known to crank out some remarkably unnerving tracks, but with Khanate he tunes the horror amps up to 11. Yes, this is disturbing, fucked up shit, and I love it.

Musically, this EP is an utter, complete mess. Both of the lengthy songs on here are mainly comprised of one drone riff that sounds like it is coming from a catacomb deep beneath your feet. The drumming does little to nothing, only playing when really necessary, or just to crawl under your skin and tease you. The bass is heavy as a loaded truck, using mainly sweeping ambient bursts of feedback and crushing tone to get it's point across. The vocals are a high pitched, absolutely disturbed shriek, fitting the grotesque and obscure nature of the lyrics. Everything about this release just screams "nightmare". Hell, the band even throws in some ambient pieces of silence into the mix. Chances are if you like the faster or more mainstream side of metal (either that or if you're a sane person, unlike me) you will not like this record.

This might bring you to a question, however. If this EP is such a musical mess, how can it possibly be good? How can such an awful sounding, all over the place record possibly be of any merit? The reason it is good, in my opinion, is because of the horrifying atmosphere it portrays. Khanate were not trying to be an easy listening experience, rather - they try (and succeed) to push you out of your comfort zone. There is no real music here - just noise. Nothing but nightmare inducing, stomach twisting noise. However, it is not noisy in the vein of bands like Enmity or grindcore bands - it is noisy in the fact that the sweeping ambients and droning that sounds like the musical equivalent of a depressed snail. Khanate attempted to sound like disorganized noise, and they did so.

My favorite aspect of this band and EP are the lyrics. While reading or listening to them, you literally FEEL like you are the killer described in these lyrics, commiting his horrible crimes and passing them off as if it is of no merit. They're not deep, or philisophical or anything, just powerful in the fact of how much negative emotion it conveys.

The first song, "Capture" gives you a good idea of what Khanate's music is all about - Alan Dubin's tortured shriek kicks off the song immediately and disorganized, broken "riffs" are thrown at you. Everything about it sounds like it is dripping from the ceiling of a killer's dimly pitch black basement, with only the screams and cries of the poor tortured souls there to keep you comfort. It teases you, creeps you out, spits on you and then basically throws you out in the cold once it's done. There is absolutely no mercy here.

The following, and last of the two tracks, is "Release", one of my favorite Khanate songs. It begins with three and a half minutes of ambient soundscapes, before everything explodes into a frenzy of jagged noise. The lyrics are some of the best, most disturbing ever penned by Dubin:

"Fail -Trying is not enough/I'll hold you way too long/It's cold when I touch you/A release/And everything you are is on the ground/Broken open and spilling/Leaves soak they drink/You are blood/That's all."

There is little to nothing going on through this 25 minute song, but at the same time, there is feeling, so much jaggedness, so much psychopathic power. This is the song especially where you really feel like you are the killer, standing above his helpless victim, bringing them closer to their end with each slash. When the song ends with an ambient "note", you feel as though you are finished, walking away from the victim's horribly mutilated corpse. It makes you question your own sanity, and makes you think "What the fuck is wrong with me?!" There is no band besides this one in which can make me think something like that.

While this isn't Khanate's best release (it is rare for an EP to top a full-length, after all) it is still a disturbing work of drone metal mastery. This is fucked up music made by and for fucked up people. If you like your metal more on the mainstream side and/or fast, then you probably won't like this. Among the handful of people who do like it, though, I am a devoted fan.

KHANATE Khanate

Album · 2001 · Doom Metal
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Doomster
(Originally written for the great ProgArchives.)

Khanate are a drone doom metal band from New York City, my home state. It involves members from Sunn O))), OLD, Atomsmasher, etc. Wether favorable or not, listeners of this band have often hailed this as the most disturbing slab of music ever created. I was heavily skeptical of this rumor, thinking it was just going to be another stupid goregrind band who relied mainly on shock appeal. When I finally decided to listen to one of their tracks ("No Joy") on YouTube, Khanate took my skepticism and tossed that salad out of the window.

The rumors were correct. This music is "depraved" in every sense of the word. The Swans and Neurosis have got nothing on this album. I'm not even exaggerating here - it really is one of the most disturbing things in music I have ever seen (yes, it's so disturbing you can see it...or something).

The music of Khanate relies heavily on the guitar and bass. The guitars alternate from booming drone riffs that are literally so loud and heavy it can rattle the listener's skull, to ear- splitting guitar feedback which can sometimes last for minutes on end. The bass, besides the vocals and lyrics, is definetely the most disturbing thing here. It sounds absolutely frikkin' enormous. The bass riffs are deep, gritty, and as one reviewer over at the metal archives said, it sounds like a gigantic oak creaking open.

I mentioned that the vocals sounded even more terrifying than the bass. They are loud, mentally inhumane sounding shrieks which could quite literally smash all windows in a room if played loud enough. The lyrics on here are almost so pessimistic it makes you never wish to see the light of another day. Vocalist Alan Dubin howls oh-so-pleasent lines like "METAL TEETH RED...RED TEETH GNAW...LEG...AND...SAW" ("Pieces of Quiet") or "NOW...I'M UNDER ROTTING SKY" ("Under Rotting Sky").

The drumming is also stellar. Lots of people say it is mediocre and does nothing more than helping the music keep stable, but I like it for what it is. It is incredibly heavy and crushing, and quite scary, too - the drummer sometimes teases you with almost painfully simple beats when suddenly all the music stops, when suddenly the music fades back in raw heaviness.

"Pieces of Quiet" is not a welcoming opener, crushing the listeners ears with painful guitar feedback and white noise. A minute later, the riffing and vocals lumber in, and any chance of you having an easy listening are completely stomped into the dirt. "NO MORE WHIIIIIIIIINE!"

"Skincoat" doesn't let up. It's essentially a monolithic beast that relies heavily on feedback, with Alan screaming a love song (/sarcasm) to his most ear-piercing. Surprisingly, the song picks up the pace a bit, but then slows down again, with utterly creepy whispers and a tribal drumming outro.

"Torching Koroviev" is a short filler track with some suggestive sounds. Not really creepy, but unpleasent.

The band launches themselves back into audial abyss with the 18 minute gargantuan, "Under Rotting Sky". The first 5 minutes of this song plod around with an agonizingly slow riff and teasing drums in the background. Finally, at the 5:42 mark, the vocals come in, and the madness begins, with the vocals becoming even more desperate and evil than before. "No...stars...out..."

Whatever happiness you have left by the end of "Under Rotting Sky" is stripped away with the closing track, "No Joy". This song merely consists of one massive (I know I keep using words similar to that, but they fit so well!) bass riff echoing itself from the 3:53 mark which grows more and more disturbing the more it is layered upon, with Alan Dubin's vocals pouring out negative emotion. The riff continues on forever and ever, and finally it fades out, ending the album, and leaving the listener with chills down his/her spine and a rumbling stomach, as well as an incredibly depraved feeling of misery.

This album is a pure masterpiece. It may sound like I dislike it, repeatedly calling it "miserable" and "depraved" - but that is the entire point of it - to sound so utterly sick and disturbing that even Freddy Krueger or Koromo Amae would shake back in forth in a dark corner, weeping for their mommies. If you are into sick, non-easy listening and creepy music, then this is for you. This is the only album to make me feel really bad and there for deserves nothing less than a solid four stars. Listen...if you dare!

KHANATE Clean Hands Go Foul

Album · 2009 · Doom Metal
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UMUR
Clean Hands Go Foul is the 3rd full-length studio album by US avant garde/ post/ doom metal act Khanate. The album was released in January 2009 by Hydra Head Records. Clean Hands Go Foul is available in both a CD and a vinyl version. The vinyl version features a shorter version of the track called Every God Damn Thing, which on the CD version is 32:52 minutes long. The full album is 59:57 minutes long and they probably had to cut some minutes off Every God Damn Thing to preserve good audio quality on the vinyl version. The album is also available in a picture vinyl version and a couple of different CD versions ( limited digipack version...etc.).

The hour long album contains only 4 tracks of crushingly heavy and slow post/ doom metal. The avant garde element doesn´t equal "bing bong ding dong" noises or other avant garde oddities, but the songs are very unconventional and doesn´t really qualify as being labelled neither post metal nor doom. The pace in the songs is generally very, VERY slow and the instruments are played in uneven rythm patterns. It´s the kind of music that builds an almost unbearable tension and you end up waiting for a release that never comes. Or more correctly the release comes very seldom. There are sections where the band speed up the pace and go absolutely bananas and I´d call those sections some kind of release. The stripped down instrumentation of drums, bass and guitar gives the music a very authentic feel and the "live" kinda production also helps create that feeling. It´s the kind of experimental "metal" album where you´ll have to look for a long time to find a regular power chord. As far as I´ve been able to hear, I haven´t heard a single one on the album. Instead you´re treated with atmospheric guitar picking ( and occassional noisy dissonance), slow distorted bass and über slow drumming.

The vocals on the album needs a very special mention too. They are extremely aggressive to say the least and even when the rest of the music is more subtle the caustic vocals are very dominant in the mix, screaming, yelling and spitting out venom and bile. At times the music seems to be a combination of structured parts and improvised parts. I´m not sure this is true but the music has a kind of free floating form that could suggest just that. Even though the music might seem like a chaos at times there are actually memorable hooks in both music and vocal lines, that helps preserve your sanity in the midst of bleak tension and relentless subdued aggression.

Clean Hands Go Foul is an extremely demanding album, that requires your full attention all the way through. This is the kind of music that will make some people run away screaming and that includes fans of more "regular" extreme metal too. If you´re open to slow metal with unconventional/ adventurous experimentation, Clean Hands Go Foul will certainly apply to that tag. Personally I really enjoy the first three tracks on the album while the 32:52 minutes long Every God Damn Thing is too minimalistic, slow building and long. My attention simply wanders. A 3.5 star rating is still deserved for this bold release.

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