By Tom Breedon
Here we have something a little bit different from down under. One man metal fusion project KHANAGE, the brain child of musician and producer Khan Ratima, blends powerhouse modern metal riffing with elements of electronic music and subtle hints of Dubstep to create some fairly epic instrumental pieces that are heavy, energetic, eerie and infectious all at the same time.
Each track has a certain raw charm and grips you with sounds and features you really don’t expect. The KHANAGE material will take you from a bruising Meshuggah inspired riff section into something that could easily be the backing to a gangster rap crossover in a heart beat, yet somehow it seems to work. The pace for the most part is pretty unique too. If heavy music chugs, fast music gallops, and groovy music bounces, KHANAGE kind of slithers! With catchy sections and intricacy combined with the melancholic feel of sitar sounds you get a different type of drawn back groove which gets your foot tapping but in a different way to your standard rock song.
The first song to catch my ear was KHANAGE’s clever interpretation of Michael Jackson classic “Billy Jean”, with a modified title of “Skilly Jean”. Adapted with a layered harmonized guitar, it presents a unique look at a pop classic only a very creative mind would be bold enough to attempt. Composition “Bad As The Madness” shows more of a meat and potatoes modern metal look where as the next piece I encountered, entitled “Sickened”, was more of an example of the drawn back and eerie side of KHANAGE, while “Epic Killa” could quite easily feature a metal and rap collaboration over it, as could the brilliantly mixed “Screaming Inside A Barrack of Silence” which blends an electronic dance like beat with some beautifully layered twin lead guitars and chunky riffing.
I’d definitely recommend giving KHANAGE’s social media and Soundcloud pages a visit and checking out what he’s doing. A variety of instrumental compositions, some of which you can definitely imagine will be used in the future in collaboration with a vocalist, others which could easily be used as a WWE wrestler’s entrance music! Cool, unique to the bone independent project with a kick. Go and give it a listen!
Tom’s pick of the album: Screaming Inside A Barrack of Silence