Ahkmed - Distance
From Aural Innovations October 2009 update
The Australian band, Ahkmed, are back with their first full length record ever. They have been around since 1998 and have only released EPs in the past (4 of them). The band is basically all instrumental and into the groove thing that Monkey 3 and My Sleeping Karma do, so if you are fans of those bands you need
to hear what these guys do as well. The older stuff, which was re-released on RAIG records as Chicxulub, contained the EPs from 2003 and 2005 and is much more raw, and more psychedelic. The band have now become more melodic and influenced by the post rock scene, sadly. The music is still heavy, tuned down and that same sort of building to a crescendo style. The CD begins with Strega, which has a dark vibe to it and some almost like tribal war like drums to start and they take things slowly before the wall of sound guitar kicks in. The whispered spoken words give the piece a horror like element but half way through, the track becomes very melodic and spacey and then it builds up again but stays pretty spaced out till the end. That is maybe the best song on the CD. The 10½ minute Saltwater is next and has many parts and moods to it as the track grows and stretches and takes you on yet another journey. Lemanja is also quite psychedelic with the effected guitar and spoken voices buried in the sound. Cool. Soma is a short 2 minute prelude piece of effected guitar that slowly grows out of control as the drums build up and it blasts into a field of green, filled with flowers and people who have just come out from under ground after a massive storm. Caldera starts very slowly with some effected guitar before the what I would say almost cliché post rock guitar strumming riff with delay takes over the track but don’t worry as it all the bands track, it develops and you get real vocals (with long delays). The last two tracks, Temple and Distance take up the next 20 minutes of your time as your journey through time, space, deserts, and scary places comes to and end. Let’s hope that this very cool Australian band makes it to Europe soon. Great CD.
Check out the band web site at: http://www.myspace.com/ahkmedband
Check out the Elektrohasch label web site at: http://www.elektrohasch.de
Reviewed by Scott Heller