First things first, have to say I love that cover art by Sam Turner, which looks like an image straight out of a Conan the Barbarian tale, but thankfully the music contained on Hunted more than lives up to the brilliant artwork. Khemmis are a doom metal quartet hailing from Denver, Colorado, and Hunted is their second full-length album release. Though containing only five tracks, Hunted is no EP, as each tune takes the listener on epic journeys, starting with the monolithic opener "Above the Water", featuring the powerful, melodic vocals of Phil Pendergast soaring over huge guitar riffs and massive arrangements. This is by no means mere Black Sabbath worship here folks, as Khemmis toss Candlemass styled majesty with the twin guitar might of acts such as Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Thin Lizzy, and Judas Priest. Much of the material consists of mid paced doom laden dirges, though the ramaging "Three Gates" picks up the pace considerably, and even tosses in a few death growls to battle the high pitched vocal histrionics. "Beyond the Door" contains a wealth of prog-rock elements, and the near 14-minute title track is one of the must hear doom tracks of 2016, a lengthy epic chock full of killer riffs, tasty twin guitar harmonies, and a fantastic vocal performance from Pendergast.
There have been a number of strong doom releases this year, and Hunted easily stacks up well alongside any of them, so make sure you don't overlook this little gem, available now on 20 Buck Spin.
1) Above The Water
3) Three Gates
4) Beyond The Door