Talk about the last gasp of air from a dead corpse, Clean Hands Go Foul is the final studio recordings from Khanate, and their third studio full-length (if one counts Capture & Release as an EP) that the band released. Honestly, it is a surprise to see this as the band broke up quite a while ago; but it is wholly a welcome one.
The four songs on this swan song clock in at around sixty minutes and provide one last glimpse of the sound of this powerful four piece. From Alan Dubins grating vocals, Wings From Spine is patent Khanate and the music supporting is slow motion destruction; the guitars are a bit different stylistically, but it adds to the mix to create an interesting dichotomy in the din that remains as unsettling as ever. When listening to In That Corner, it slowly becomes apparent that guitarist Stephen OMalley is less interested in completely obliterating listeners ears than with creating a new element or layer to the already complex oeuvre of the band as the guitars similarly add high end sound that does not so much squeal as they seem to lament the passing of something. James Plotkins bass and Tim Wyskidas drumming similarly add layers to, not just this song but others, the record that creates an air of mystery. Clean My Heart sounds closer to what the band normally offers with cascading drones and terrorizing vocals, but the drums are more subtle and the low end hums and oscillates rather than pounds ones chest into the ground.
The last track on Clean Hands Go Foul is the gargantuan Every God Damn Thing. This piece is more than a half hour long and might be up for consideration as something to scare little children with in the darkest stretches of the night. Whispering sounds and weird electronic noises are as unsettling as walking through a place with no light where the pitch black alone is frightening because you have no idea what is there with you in the blackness. The vocals only add to this sense as they seem to move all through the aural sphere of listening like the sound is quickly traveling or completely disembodied because no living thing could move that fast. This track is definitely something that you can get lost in while it plays out, and that escapism is really quite awesome.
Khanate does not fail to provide moments of aural terror on Clean Hands Go Foul nor does the album disappoint those that have come to enjoy (although therapy might be needed for those of us who say that we enjoy this) the bands sound. With such a last will and testament, Khanate proves to be just as uncompromising and sonically crushing right to the end of their existence. Describing it all in words is just so inadequate as Khanate is without a doubt something that must be experienced first hand to get any inkling of what is going on here on the album. Although this might not be their best album, Clean Hands Go Foul is still an excellent record that puts an exclamation point on Khanates run.
8.0 / 10
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