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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Album Review: Khariot - Disymposium

Over their short lifespan, Khariot have set themselves the seemingly impossible task of welding deathly grind to prog metal. That’s one genre characterised by fleetingly abrasive bursts of anger, the other an assortment of rambling tracks that morph before your eyes over an aching passage of time. The result is, naturally, an infinitely complex warzone that has to be heard to really be believed.

The result is like this manic welding job between bands; one offering the unstoppable force, the other the immovable object. There is an impressively-crafted proficiency married to this chameleonic imagination - it makes them sound like Psycroptic covering Protest The Hero songs. They also offer this blackened death undercurrent that you could liken to 1349 giving their take on a Cephalic Carnage set. Pretty nuts, huh? All this mind-blowing mayhem and yet the music has a clearly defined path. Whether it runs along it as smoothly as it could do is debatable.

'The Hermit' offers you rambling scales, damaging chugs and rolling double-kick. You also get interwoven pig grunts and scowling top-end which team up for the scathing lines "Damn you, cursed sun! I am the tainted one! First of the last-born son", all around a section of proggish guitar that picks its way through the carnage of all that has gone before. There's a slog of unexpected piano and bow-effect synth that beckons you through from 'Dimension Shift' to the fascinating instrumental layering of 'Cacophony Of The Insane'. There is definitely some method in this madness.

Yet, there are times when the tracks become like overworked dough - like the structures have been fiddled with until their constituent parts have started to flake away to leave this incohesive mess. 'Cerebral Continuum' suffers badly from an ambitious sequence of drums and overtly jazzy stringwork. Likewise, 'Spectral Monarchy' which drives its weighty tank over most of its content. 'Crimson Sanctorium' isn't far behind but, at least, offers a section of recognisable rhythm within to settle the stomach. When they do segment the music, you are able to grab onto the coat-tails of the more insane material. I'm talking about the kind of slow-build that '...Of Frail Entanglements' offers, with its solid lump of progressive power lurking menacingly within. When you are steered through like this, to their audaciously manic attack, the music absolutely demands your attention.

Sadly, more than anything though it is the lack of fun that comes from this conglomerate of styles. It's the kind of album that comes with a frown and the bonus option of a splitting migraine; it's a work of artistic integrity that must be appreciated within its own space. Heads will nod appreciatively, oh yes, but will they be attached to thrashing bodies? I certainly have my doubts. 'Disymposium' isn’t a thing of beauty, by no means, but it is something to pin up and marvel at every now and again.

Also online @ MTUK = http://www.metalteamuk.net/june11reviews/cdreviews-khariot.htm

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