London quartet Khaidian was born out of a vision to meld fury with technology and create something special that would push the boundaries of both metal and electronica to bring the world something different.
And different has been emphatically achieved. The result is the epitome of boundary-free music, seamlessly fusing together everything from extreme and progressive metal to EDM and industrial dance combined with grungy, soulful vocals.
The band, first formed by guitarist and programmer John Tyrell and bassist Joe Perumal then adding the “screamy, growly” vocals of Andy Hutton, release debut album Penumbra on Friday (18 January), which we’ve had a sneak preview of and it sounds brilliantly eclectic.
As Andy tells us: “Everyone seems to hear something different! I’ve had everything thrown at me from Metallica to the Prodigy, and I’m yet to hear anyone suggest something that’s made me go ‘oooooh yeah!’ So go listen to it – you tell us! I personally think we’ve got two specific target markets – music geeks, and the girlfriends of metalheads. But I could be wrong.”
While John adds: “I guess it is eclectic, but then most people have a really broad musical taste these days. The way people listen to music means they have an acceptance of stuff like dance beats, flamenco and death metal mashed together. The key is mixing these ideas well.”
For a taster of what’s coming your way check out the video to the fantastic Evasion below.
While the equally good Dominion, the second track on the album, opens up with stabbing guitar riffs and intense vocals. A moment of calm introduces their electronica influences, then a fun driving riff leads into more atmospheric vocals, before hints of EDM and ‘beeps and tweeps’ creep in. Check it out in the video below:
The album very nearly happened a few years ago, only to see it put on hold as their original drummer left the band. As John explains: “It’s a shame we had to call off our initial release in 2016. We’d just mastered the album with Tim Turan (Devin Townsend, Thin Lizzy, Cradle of Filth), and Paul felt he wasn’t able to commit to the level he had as he was moving with his family. We all totally respected that and we’re still on great terms. The problem was that we were drummerless and quality drummers who want to do something different are few and far between.”
But it was put back on the tracks with the addition of former GraVil drummer Kris Perrin last year. As John continues: “Kris was a great friend and even initially considered for the position when we first started out, but he wasn’t available. He ended up calling us the moment GraVil went on hiatus as he loves what we do. Already he’s putting his own stamp on things, it’s great! I’m a weird mixture of excited, scared and tired as hell, hahaha. We put years of work into this album and, finally, we can give it to people. It’s really felt like people have known about the band as we’ve been doing shows, but there’s been nothing to actually show them! I’m proud of what we’ve achieved.”
To which Andy adds: “We’ve been working on these songs, and then had to sit on them all, for what feels like a lifetime, so I’m just so pleased it’s finally getting to breathe.”
Given the delicious randomness of their music it should come as no surprise that Khaidian’s musical influences are pretty wide-ranging – from Meshuggah, KoRn and Gojira through to Faith No More, Alice In Chains and Massive Attack, and much more. As John explains: “Musically it can be anything from Classical to Djent. It’s about creating songs rather than just all out heaviness. People appreciate being able to sing along to stuff.”
And Andy adds: “John writes all the ‘actual music,’ I just ruin it for everyone afterwards. But for me, I never sit down with the idea that ‘THIS is what I’m going to write about.’ The words generally come last. It all comes from finding a vocal hook in something John gives me and going from there. I have this very definite idea, there is a specific vocal line living in the tracks I get to play with, I just need to find it. The melody, the syllable patterns, the flow… it’s all in there, I just coax them out, then I find words to fit around it. Whatever comes out, comes out.
“I was personally very, very lucky to fall in with a visionary like John – to have someone who can craft the kind of music that he does, AND have them be happy for me to come along, break it all and stitch it back together without being all precious about it… it’s such a treat! And I guess that’s what it comes down to these days – for me, it’s all about creating something that I can’t hear anywhere else – the excitement of going from a blank sheet, to finding the hook, building around it and then BOOM – there’s this song… dude, I love it.”
The Khaidian live show also sounds like something incredible, with their sets supported by a synchronised video projection screen, while they believe they’re also the first band to create a 360-degree, purely CG performance video, which should be released soon. Beyond that, they’re already hard at work on album two, so keep an eye out for more from them very soon.
On their upcoming plans Andy tells us: “Well, obviously the album is coming out so that’s a pretty big deal! I just can’t wait to see it on up on Spotify. I’m just gonna look at it. I can’t wait. I’m gonna bask in it for a couple of days, then we need to get back to work. We’re booking shows now for 2019 so let yourselves be heard if you want us to play your town!
“We’ve got a stack of crazy music videos on YouTube and all the various social media platforms… pick one, check it out. Give us 4 minutes of your time, we might just be your new favourite band.”
And that seems an appropriate conclusion – Khaidian’s sound will thrill you, excite you, reshape any concepts you previously held of what metal is, and they could well be your favourite new band in 2019.