Now-defunct Khanate was a supergroup of sorts that brought together members of Old Lady Drivers, Manbyrd and Sunn O))). While their run was short, the band managed to record a whole number of albums, EPs and compilation tracks.
Most of their tracks were 10-minute+, painfully slow dirges, punctured by shrieks coming from former OLD / Old Lady Drivers vocalist Alan Dubin (Khanate also featured another former Old Lady Driver – guitarist James Plotkin). Much of their material came out on Southern Lord label, as well as Hydra Head Records.
The band debuted with self-titled album in 2001, which was described by All Music Guide as “an impressive debut that should appeal to fans of this type of bitter, black-hearted doom metal as much as it should repulse pretty much the rest of the listening public.”
Its follow-up – 2003 “Things Viral” – came out in 2003 on Southern Lord. AMG commented – “While grindcore, death metal, black metal, and thrash metal are all known for their insanely fast tempos, Things Viral is the exact opposite — Khanate’s Black Sabbath-influenced riffs crawl along at an amazingly slow tempo. But then, Sabbath’s albums were never as consistently slow as Things Viral — and Sabbath never had a lead vocalist who sounded like AC/DC’s Bon Scott. Alan Dubin, Khanate’s lead singer, does have a very Scott-like voice — although what he does with it isn’t very AC/DC-ish. AC/DC has always been a party band; Things Viral, however, is far from party music. This is doom metal at its most depressing, and no rays of sunlight enter the world of despair that Dubin describes in a most painful, tortured way.”
Finally, 2005 saw the band producing “Capture & Release” – an album that contained two long title tracks. AMG commented that “as evidenced by both tracks, “Capture” and “Release,” Khanate likes to stick to the original game plan from start to finish — indecipherable/screamed vocals and sludgy, single-note guitar drones are the group’s obsession.”
On September 24, 2006, the band split, with James Plotkin subsequently forming Khlyst, along with another ex-Khanate member Tim Wyskida and female vocalist Runhild Gammelsæter (Thorr’s Hammer).
The band’s 4th album “Clean Hands Go Foul” is scheduled for release in late 2008/early 2009. The album was recorded in 2005 in Brooklyn, NY, some time after the band recorded material for “Capture & Release” album.
Update: 2009 saw the release of “Clean Hands Go Foul”, as well as new records by Gnaw (new project involving Alan Dubin) and Jodis (which includes Aaron Turner from Isis and James Plotkin/Tim Wyskida from Khanate).
AMG commented on “Clean Hands” – “This 2009 release clobbers the listener without mercy — and while that hellbent-for-noise approach won’t inspire any of Khanate’s detractors to reevaluate their opinion of the band, loyal followers will find these doom metal agitators to be as exciting as ever.”
Alan Dubin (O.L.D.)
Stephen O’Malley (Aethenor, Burning Witch, Caveman Skillz, Drone Slut, Ginnungagap, Gravetemple, KTL, Lotus Eaters, MK Ultra Blizzard, Pentemple, Sarin, Sunn O))), Teeth Of Lion Rules The Divine, Thorr’s Hammer)
Khanate LP / CD / 2xCD (Southern Lord, 2001 / Daymare Recordings, 2006)
Things Viral 2xLP / CD / 2xCD (Southern Lord, 2003 / Load Records, 2003 / Daymare Recordings, 2006)
Capture & Release LP / CD (Hydra Head, 2005/2006 / Trust No One Recordings, 2005)
Capture & Release / Dead & Live Aktions CD-DVD (Daymare Recordings, 2005)
Dead & Live Aktions DVD (Hydra Head, 2005)
It’s Cold When Birds Fall From The Sky CD (aRCHIVE, 2005 / 2007)
KHNTvsSTOCKHOLM CD (aRCHIVE, 2007)
Clean Hands Go Foul CD / LP / CD + DVD (Daymare, 2009 / Hydra Head, 2009 / Trust No One, 2009)
“German Dental Work (Live From WFMU)” on HHR Vs 2XH Vol 1 “Where Is My Robotic Boot?” (Double H Noise Industries + Hydra Head, 2004)
“Dead” on Let There Be Doom || (A Kult Collection Of Massive Sub-Harmonics) (Southern Lord, 2004)
“Skin Coat (WFMU Radio Session)” on Tunes On Toxic Terrain (WFMU, 2004)