Khoma: All Erodes

Consisting of previously unreleased songs written between 2002 and 2012, many tracks which did not make the final cuts of previous albums, All Erodes from Swedish band Khoma is surprisingly strong. It is probably fair to say that with many other bands bringing together songs which did not make it the first time around would mean a decent enough album but one which still feels like a collection of tracks not making the grade. All Erodes certainly does not, the tracks within impressive and well worthy of proper exposure. The strength of the release knowing the background to the songs was admittedly unexpected and validating easily a statement from Khoma guitarist Johannes Persson, “We’ve recorded a lot of material for every record that we have had to leave out or didn’t have time to finalize… but we really like all these songs and wanted to do something with them… the idea is that ‘All Erodes’ – spanning songs from all three stages – will sum up and close this part of Khoma’s history”.

Formed in Umeå in 2003, the band did not take long to instigate strong attention and acclaim their way with a sound which blended the local hardcore scene to an emotive atmospheric pop breath.  Consisting of several members of Cult of Luna, The Perishers and The Deportees, their debut album Tsunami in 2004 sparked great interest and sold out quickly. Signing with Roadrunner Records the following year, 2006 saw second album The Second Wave repeat and expand on that response with the band being acclaimed at home and across Europe. Their sound was and is intense and emotionally enveloping, its persuasion making their live performances either in intimate surroundings or from a festival stage powerful and a pull for further great responses from media and fans.

The band then disappeared from view in all aspects; the band just concentrated on writing from late 2007 until their re-emergence in 2009. Signing with Selective Notes, the Anders Fridéns (In Flames) label, they released the mighty A Final Storm album, a release which earned nominations and awards as well as garnering their strongest acclaim yet. Released through Pelagic Records, All Erodes is like an epilogue to what came before, a drawing of all threads into a final statement before turning to the next ‘book’ in their musical journey as a band.

All Erodes spreads through the senses, thoughts, and emotions like a charged whisper borne from a mix of Deftones, Radiohead, and Muse. That is a little simplistic to the diverse breath and invention of the music but gives an idea of the creative flavour at impressive work. The heavy overwhelming ambiences within the songs are deliberate and deeply expressive, their open yet intimate touch and textures equally hypnotic and disturbing. The opening track In Ruins sets the tone, its melancholic piano and vocal start a cold but enchanting lure into the release. Vocalist Jan Jämte with his plaintive tones pulls thoughts into an emotive depth as much as the music, the combination with the guitars of Persson and keys of Fredrik Kihlberg weaving their sonic tapestry as well, simply mesmeric.

It is a powerful start matched and built upon by the muscular slabs of oppressive emotion in Just Another Host and Dead Seas. The first is from a Deftones sphere, the brooding tension and solid intensity a crawling expanse to evoke passion whilst the second is a cold whisper but again just alluring. Floating through its sonic salt makes for a stark and invasive union but as fully rewarding as it is openly erosive upon the senses.

As it plays out its thoughts and emotive soundscapes, the album does not feel like tracks meant for different releases over a decade. It is a seamless flow through to the end, each track seemingly borne from and in connection with its predecessor. The pinnacles of the release come with Give It Meaning and Winter Came Upon Us, both offering another aspect to the sound and ‘story’. The first is a bristling sturdy confrontation, the wonderful grizzled bass stroll and sharp guitar strokes offering slight intimidation beside the ever soothing yet pained vocals. It is a monster of a song in depth, expanse, and intensity easily matched by the corrosive yet melodically beautiful touch of the other. Both songs are majestic and pulsating and must have only missed out on the albums they were originally written for by a hairs breath.

Disregarding the closing track All Like Serpents, All Erodes is an excellent release, well worth an hour and more of any ones time. The final song is an electronic remix of a track from A Final Storm and a song which really has no place on the album other than as a filler. Though decent enough it is to be honest soulless against the original and the other tracks on this album. It does not deplete the strong and impressive presence of the album though, and at the end thoughts are only of a release which is a mighty way to end a chapter for Khoma and the key to new and greater landscapes of sound and emotion.

RingMaster 05/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Categories: Album, Music

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