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I have to be honest and admit that Swedish band Khoma, who have two Cult of Luna members in their ranks (guitarists Johannes Persson and Fredrik Kihlberg) alongside vocalist Jan Jämte, fell off my radar following the release of their sophomore album on Roadrunner Records, 'The Second Wave'. Following a lengthy period of inactivity it seems they also fell of the global radar for a while until they resurfaced in 2010 with a third full-length offering, 'A Final Storm', an album that unfortunately passed me by. And the finality suggested by its title, together with the non-prolific nature of the band, one could be forgiven for believing Khoma had run its natural course and there'd be no new music from this most innovative of alt/prog-metal acts. Not so. Well, kind of not so. They've resurfaced once again for a new release, 'All Erodes', an album's worth of unreleased material composed between 2002 and 2012. Apparently they had a plethora of tracks for each of their three releases so some songs fell by the wayside but, courtesy of Pelagic Records, here they eventually are in all their captivatingly melancholic glory. The perfect way to reacquaint myself with the atmospheric soundscapes of this talented trio.

Considering the originally abandoned nature of the material (amongst, I'm presuming, some newly penned songs, or at least passages of songs, as press blurb refers to a compositional period from 2002 to 2012 and the last album was 2010), having fully digested 'All Erodes' after a few listens, I can confidently assert it wasn't ever a case of Khoma trimming off the chaff pre-release on each of the three occasions. Certainly not as the quality of the music here is as good as it ever was...well, 'The Second Wave' is my last reference point...but it's Khoma through and through with all their expected traits at the core of the band's essence present in abundance. Songs ooze emotional intensities throughout every bar of music and every vocal sung by Jämte, a man whose expressive voice is as absorbing as the instrumentations over which he sings. The appeal of Khoma is potentially wide-ranging, and I'm talking a mass listening audience, as those who follow the likes of Radiohead, Sigur Rós and Muse have as much to get excited about here as the open-minded metal fan. I'm guessing such a 'mainstream' audience will forever elude them, though, due to their metal associations; another unfortunate case of the limitations of genre labelling (Anathema have similarly been cursed by such for years). Having a track from 'The Second Wave' on 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' movie remake last year would've helped raise their profile so one can only hope that mainstream recognition awaits them at some point in the near future. For now, though, 'All Erodes' is a sublime outing in melancholic music that offers up a sonic diachrony of Khoma's progression to date. And while some might regard the inclusion of 'A Final Storm' track 'All Like Serpents' in its 8+ minutes remixed electronica form as padding out the playing time a little, it's a nice addition to proceedings and nice to hear different dimension to the band.
Pelagic Records
Review by Mark Holmes
2nd Nov 2012
1) In Ruins
2) Just Another Host
3) Dead Seas
4) Give It Meaning
5) Death Throes
6) Winter Came Upon Us
7) Armo
8) Eyes to the Sun
9) All Like Serpents (Remix)
"...a sublime outing in melancholic music that offers up a sonic diachrony of Khoma's progression to date."