There are many adjectives that can be used to describe Khanate's Things Viral -- adjectives that include tortured, twisted, dark, morbid, despairing, ominous, and pessimistic. But one thing that this doom metal CD will never be called is fast. 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. Both musically and lyrically, this CD has an extremely dark cloud hovering over its head. And while some doom metal is melodic and musical, Khanate's ultra-slow brutality is dissonant, noisy, distorted, and abrasive. Things Viral has a lot in common with the equally unforgiving Grief; like Grief, Khanate epitomizes doom metal's lunatic fringe. Of course, metal as extreme as Things Viral isn't everyone's cup of tea -- like grindcore, death metal, free jazz, and techno/rave music, this type of doom metal is very much an acquired taste. But that doesn't mean that the members of Khanate aren't good at what they do -- actually, they're great at what they do. And for those who have a taste for Grief and similar doom bands, Things Viral offers considerable rewards.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson