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Hydra Head Records


by Khanate

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This is music about power -- the exaltation, manifestation, the consolidation, and the earth-shattering use of sound entwined with power as means to the insular mythologies of Khanate. Call it doom. Call it sludge. Call it drone-metal. Call it anything you like, as long as the neologism focuses on the gravitational axis of power and sound. Khanate, of course, is the work of Stephen O’Malley (guitar), James Plotkin (bass), Tim Wyskida (drums), and Alan Dubin (vocals), with their eponymous debut emerging in 2001. Their collective history of slow corrosion and avant-metal practice lends to the supergroup conceit that was applied from afar. At that time, O’Malley had recently formed Sunn O))) and come to the conclusion of Burning Witch; Plotkin’s presence in the more adventurous camps of metal and dark electronica is highlighted by his work in OLD, Phantomsmasher, The Lotus Eaters (with O’Malley), etc; Tim Wyskida providing the convoluted rhythmic foundation to Blind Idiot God; and Alan Dubin’s distinctive tortured invocations had been nakedly displayed in OLD (with Plotkin). Together, they produced an immensely influential body of work that stands as an endurance test of crushing torpor, beginning with this self-titled album. “Skin Coat” remains a signature track for Khanate with its lumbering doom pace snapping with shards of feedback before the band unexpectedly changes directions towards a de-tuned slow-core dynamism more akin to Shellac or Codeine. Yet, this all scraped back towards the abject with Dubin’s uncomfortable lyrics of wearing a human shield. Two versions of “No Joy” land on the remastered re-press of the eponymous record, taking Iggy’s snarl about “No Fun” to one logical extreme of negation for the human condition under the duress of a slow choke. The limited edition version of the reissue is further fleshed out with a WFMU radio session conducted in 2002.

Expanded edition includes audio re-mastered by James Plotkin, the "No Joy" 12," and deluxe artwork by Stephen O'Malley.

Originally released October 30, 2001.


released April 29, 2016



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Khanate New York, New York

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