The second wave of contemporary sound.
If there could be any band setting a perfect example of how unique and ground breaking the face of the metal scene can be then surely hot new signings Khoma are 2006's answer to that band. With an ever changing rolling collective of musicians introducing new elements and colours to each track on the record, the result of their sound is a harsh, emotional and incredibly intense mixture of soaring melodies and purring guitars that creates a breathing space of heavy music where different styles diffuse and merge together into one totally new sound. The core of the band always remains the same: Jan Jamte (vocalist), Johannes Persson (guitars) and Fredrik Kihlberg (guitars/piano) but as the rest of the band work within different bands with varied backgrounds and influences (Cult Of Luna, The Perishers and The Deportees to name a few) the sound remains fresh, cultured and has an air of creative freedom with a lot of artistic license to boot.
Khoma work with the idea that creating heavy music doesn't always have to be about screaming, noise and sheer aggression but about true reflection of feeling and emotion in atmospheric sound: "sometimes whispering can be more powerful then screaming" Jan elaborates. To Khoma, music is a way of expressing diversity and freedom of speech, and to them they have no limitations or any restrictions limiting them to just anger, depression or happiness as song material matter. They believe that freedom and diversity should be expressed through their music and incorporate all that they are, all they believe in and what they stand for. Ultimately their music achieves this and so much more, proving just how diverse metal music really can be as an expressive art form.
The first track 'The Guillotine' has all the elements of atmospheric art metal and the heavy macabre overtures of doom metal combined into one melancholic and emotive sound that wraps you up in its sorrowful serenade. Starting off on a slow and remorseful cello introduction, the mood builds up upon gentle drum beats and haunting piano and distorted guitar melodies. The vocals join in purring overhead in perfect harmony with the cello blending into the mellow and multi layered sound like breath on cold air, building levels of immense tension. The song has all the air and grace of a Tool or an A Perfect Circle track, using the same atmospheric and emotive approach to their music and building up a heavy and intense wall of music that proves hardcore approaches to emotion and feeling are not always the most effective at putting their message across. 'Stop Making Speeches' is a heavier, slightly sharper and more aggressive take on their music, using knife sharp, cutting riffs that roar on in perfect rhythmic alignment with bass and drums in perfect syncopation. Overhead, the guitars still float on in a Tool-like fashion creating atmosphere and mood while the riffs so reminiscent of Killswitch Engage's most recent works purr on underneath and provide strong aggressive backup for an anthematic track. Vocals then make a strong entrance into the piece and give the track a sinister appeal as Jan's silky smooth vocals wrap you in their seductive, whispering melodies that are oddly romantic in their darkness like sweet nothings whispered in the ear. The sheer power of this track is accomplished by beautiful lyrics, skilled singing and strong but not completely dominant riffs, not by force of noise. It is a perfect example of the art of perfect balance and equality within music, as emotive and powerful as any of the stereotypical hardcore music produced now if not more so.
The whole album is a perfect creation of crossed over styles and influences, powerful melodies and expressive, creatively driven heavy music that packs such feeling and emotion that you will be blown away by it. A unique marriage of the sounds of Tool, Sigur Ros and Candlemass amongst others, Khoma show that sometimes delicacy and feeling is more powerful then the raging aggressive approach that most hardcore bands take nowadays. Khoma take heavy music to an entirely more creative and sensitive level then anyone has ever dared to before and are the perfect example of how the best bands are those created just to write and play music, not just those who play just to "make it".