Khanus - Flammarion review

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Band: Khanus
Album: Flammarion
Release date: July 2018

01. The Serpent's Harvest [Darkthrone cover]
02. A Timeless Sacred Art
03. Titan Souls
04. Ageless
05. The Uncreated
06. Secular Spiritual Existence
07. Surrupu
08. Magick And Numbers

Within the realm of extreme metal, it's often black metal that we see take the greatest interest in themes of pre Christian religion and the exploration of more ancient legends and mythologies. But what about death metal?.

Hear ye, hear ye, for in 2018 the young Finns in Khanus appear poised to give their own answer to this question in the form of their Flammarion debut. Following their nicely done opening take on Darkthrone's "The Serpent's Harvest," the band proceeds to dive into a crunchy, riff heavy brand of death metal, featuring an impressive blend of clean and harsh vocals, a considerable sense of groove, and subtle shades of black metal influence as well that help to give the music a bit of a more repetitious and ensnaring edge than it would probably have were it purely death metal. With Flammarion I'm actually somewhat reminded of Bölzer's Hero album from 2016, at least on an aesthetic level with the similar usage of clean and harsh vocals and the Pagan soaked death metal angle. Unlike Hero, however, the music of Khanus has a much greater sense of bounce to it and appears to be focused most on Mesopotamian mythology as opposed to Central European.

Although Khanus do a very fine job with Flammarion and certainly accomplish the task of making their music stick more than anything, ultimately their formula feels a little incomplete, perhaps due to the fact that the medium they're using for the themes they're exploring may not be the most ideal. Personally I think the reason you see "Pagan black metal" being much more of a thing than "Pagan death metal" is owed to the fact that black metal's more ritualistic, meditative delivery makes it slightly more suitable for fully diving into ancient lore that very much carries the same type of aura. Death metal tends to be inclined to more detailed songwriting, and thus the presence of greater stimuli doesn't often serve as well towards the creation of meditative atmospheres that would better reinforce the Pagan themes. This is indeed the case for Khanus with parts of Flammarion, but thankfully it's something more noticeable in the first half than anywhere else. The album is definitely one of those cases of "gets better as it progresses," and the excellent "Magick And Numbers" is quite the worthy end note.

While their formula isn't entirely original and could use a bit of refinement, with Flammarion Khanus are doing far more good than bad, and deserve praise for their willingness to inject the shamanic, Pagan vibe into a branch of metal not normally associated with it. Their efforts here may leave a little to be desired on the part of this reviewer, but are still quite enjoyable for what they are, and certainly could have yielded worse results. These guys may end up being a younger band to watch with a close eye in the future, and if you're a fan of the "catchy but epic" style of extreme metal, Flammarion demands at least one full listen.

Go ye now to the Annunaki temple.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 13.09.2018 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 71 users
15.09.2018 - 06:16
I think they come right way
15.09.2018 - 13:10
I def think more death metal should take cues from this, instead of being either techy, brutal, old school or caverncore
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
15.09.2018 - 19:05
Written by RaduP on 15.09.2018 at 13:10

I def think more death metal should take cues from this, instead of being either techy, brutal, old school or caverncore

Yeah I can definitely agree with that. It would be cool though to see this sound explored with a slower, more ritualistic death metal approach (if that's even possible), as opposed to the crunchy, riff heavy groovies that you normally see the bands of this style employing. Not that it's bad, of course but I'm just kinda ready to see less stuff in the way of Absu, Nile, Melechesh, etc (as good as those three are) and more like.... droney, psychedelic death metal about ancient China or some shit like that
Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
16.09.2018 - 19:30
Written by Apothecary on 15.09.2018 at 19:05

psychedelic death metal about ancient China

Something I never knew I needed
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me

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