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Khanate - Clean Hands Go Foul CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.19 | 7 ratings

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3 stars 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.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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