Khanate -- the quartet of Stephen O’Malley (guitar), James Plotkin (bass), Tim Wyskida (drums), and Alan Dubin (vocals) -- released their second album, Things Viral, in 2003 to considerable international acclaim. This still stands as an opus of systematically deconstructed metal and crawling avant-rock tropes. The slow pace of these recordings follows that of Khanate’s eponymous debut, with the band sterilizing much of the grime and distortion to highlight the space between. Things Viral deliberately vacates and erases the sustained tone that is often liberally employed as a doom/drone standard, leaving behind an emaciated structure of rhythmic heft, subharmonic progressions, and Dubin’s torturous vocalizations. Thanks to this reductive ethos, these demonic vocals puncture through like knives blindly stabbed into the dark. His poetics of psychopathic delusions and death-blink finality require such a harsh scrape from throat and larynx to achieve the dismal affect. This re-issue expands the original to include the track “Dead” (not on the Southern Lord CD) and a reprised version of “Commuted” (not on the Load 2xLP). The limited edition version also contains a bonus 12” of a WNYU radio session.
Expanded edition includes audio re-mastered by James Plotkin, additional tracks, and deluxe artwork by Stephen O' Malley.
Originally released October 21, 2003
released April 29, 2016
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