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Khoma - The Second Wave
Hypes, I hate ‘m. It seems that the music business nowadays is mainly focusing on getting that one band everybody will be talking about.. Downloading occurs more often than before, giving bands the chance to promote their music. Consider Arctic Monkeys; they were seen as a stadium act even before their first release was out. Now that’s not how it should be, is it? So my question is whether this occurrence of hyping really helps new bands?
Khoma, a ‘new’ band from Sweden (first record ‘Tsunami’ was previously released and sold out immediately) was formed out of several other acts like Cult of Luna and The Perishers in 2002. Maybe you’ve already heard of them, which is not unlikely because their music is pretty much linked (and yes, hyped) to Tool or Radiohead by the press, or maybe not. However, the fact is that it’s always hard for musicians to prove themselves when a lot of people are talking about your work. 

Like Hinduism describes ‘moksha’ in terms of ‘not being ‘x’’ with ‘x’ being a part of the afterlife, Khoma is nó Tool, nó Radiohead or any other melancholic main act. It’s also no Meshuggah when it comes to technical difficulties, neither like Pearl Jam when it comes to songwriting, nor Deftones when it comes to deep emotional disturbance. 
Well, what is Khoma then? I’d say it’s somehow a mix of components of some of the bands described above. Whereas the opening ‘The Guillotine’ is a really slow song, guided by the drum rhythm and dark bass line, ‘Medea’ has a fuller, more rocking sound, ‘Asleep’ is beautiful pure sadness with simple broken piano chords and ‘Stop Making Speeches’ could easily become a killer live song, with its pounding guitar riffs. Speaking in terms of technicality, it’s not a real big deal but the emotion this act is able to come up with, is almost beyond boundaries, although the weaker ‘1909.08.04’ and ‘If All Else Fails’ fail to make the album a real classic.

When listening several times to this album, the point where this band really distinguishes itself from others is the singer. He sounds younger, clearer, and tinier than any one else and it is amazing to see how the vocal lines emerge from the ‘weird’ music; totally different from already settled melancholic artists. And although this is presented in a predominantly slow, lasting package that demands some effort to pay attention to, one could only be silent and listen to it, feeling confused about what to think.

Considering the whole album, it’s a total mix of different sounds, structures and emotions one cannot be enthusiastic about while hearing it the first time. Therefore, it is way too slow and mellow for real metal fans, but when familiar with the sound, I bet a lot of people are gonna love it. Now, here’s what you should do:
Since you’re reading this article, I’d consider you as open minded towards new music. It must have taken you some time to find this text, whether it’s being measured in seconds or minutes, you’ve found it. Congratulations but unfortunately, this is not far enough. Haven’t you ever felt the urge to climb the highest rock on a dark island with forests all around you, watching the sea and thinking about….well, the things you sometimes think about when necessary, without getting disturbed, without paying attention to the dimension of time, just experiencing? There’s no need for that anymore; no need to search for unique places. Just put on ‘The Second Wave’, while holding a warm, damping cup of tea in your hands on the couch. And while doing so, do me a favor. Listen to ‘Hyenas’; the guitar solo says all.
Khoma - The Second Wave
86/1001Details Roadrunner Records
Released on Monday Apr 3rd, 2006

Writer @CarpeSiem on Monday Mar 20th, 2006

Tags: #Khoma
Tracklisting 1. The Guillotine
2. Stop Making Speeches
3. If All Else Fails
4. Medea
5. Hyenas
6. Through Walls
7. Like Coming Home
8. Asleep
9. Last Call
10. 1909.08.04
11. One of Us Must Hang
Line up Members:
Jan Jamte: vocals
Johannes Persson: guitar
Fredrik Kihlberg: guitar, vocals, piano

Ola Klufht: guitar, vocals, piano
Jonas Eriksson: bass
Thomas Hedlund: drums