If you can imagine fusing the ferocious technicality and sheer power of Nile with the talent and brilliance of J.R.R Tolkien then you pretty much have American four piece Khazaddum nailed. Yep that’s right, Middle Earth Death Metal is now a thing and boy is it awesome.
Released back in November 2015, the band’s debut EP is a speeding and heavy tribute to Tolkien’s masterpiece novels. Despite being only three tracks long, this EP packs a mighty punch on the technical death metal front, with mammoth riffs and crushing blast beats throughout. Nile are obviously a favourite of Khazzadum’s and have heavily influenced the EP, with Behemoth and Belphegor following in at a close second.
A fantastic quality to In Dwarven Halls is its ability to sound both perfected and well-rounded yet maintain that classic raw underground vibe too. Track one, The Grey thus Commands for example is both brutal and technical with prominent groove and powerful deep vocals as standard for death metal, however towards the end of the track the band sneak a crafty tempo change in, giving the song a strong death-doom, raw feel to it.
The second track, Durin’s Bane maintains the slow and heavy vibe with a much more brutal and chugging riff before quickly returning to a speed so frantic it borders on black metal at points. The catchy growls of “you shall not pass!” give the track a great anthemic feel to it much like Nile’s 4th Arra of Dagon. This song has got plenty of substance to it for all fans of death metal to sink their teeth into.
Final song Thorin Oakenshield is a real stand out number where you can almost feel the sheer amounts of energy that Khazaddum have poured into this. The band have seriously upped the ante on the speed front here, with some knockout riffs and an impressive solo thrown in. Thorin Oakenshield is a powerful and explosive number which will undoubtedly earn Khazaddum a spot on the “bands to watch out for in 2016” list.
In Dwarven Halls is a commanding and accomplished EP which showcases the talents of Khazaddum brilliantly. Every track is a gargantuan tech- death delight that will guarantee to conjure up pits Gandalf style. Finally, someone has had the sense to combine Lord of the Rings and Death metal and the result is wonderfully heavy and from start to finish. More please Khazaddum!
(8/10 Eilish Foxen)