Talkin ‘Bout Flex: Khemmis

Since Issue #75, Decibel has brought you left-of-center b-sides, rarities, live recordings and new songs from top-tier metal bands via the outstanding Flexi Series.  Want to hear the stories behind these recordings?  Read on.

Tired of Khemmis yet?  Neither are we.  After being laid flat by their performance at the Decibel Metal & Beer Fest, then hearing the band’s split with Spirit Adrift last month, we still suckers for more old-school triumphant doom from these Colorado crushers.  This month, in Issue #153 (July 2017, Integrity cover) the guys graced us with “Empty Throne” for the Flexi Series, and we caught up with guitarist/vocalist Phil Pendergast to find out more about this latest addition to the string of Khemmis successes.

When were you approached to contribute to the Flexi Series?

We heard from Albert about it late last year, around the time that the year-end list came out. Obviously we were stoked to be included in the series. Many of our favorite artists have participated and it is just such a cool bonus to get a piece of vinyl with your magazine each month.

How did you decide to contribute “Empty Throne”?

Initially we had thought about doing a cover, but ultimately decided instead to write something original that was specifically geared toward the format of the flexi. We were wanting to write a shorter and more straightforward type of song that wouldn’t necessarily fit with the material for the next full length, so it was a great opportunity to do just that. “Empty Throne” follows a pretty conventional, vocally-driven song structure and is pretty concise (for us), clocking in at just under 5 minutes before the crazy feedback section at the end.

When and where did you record the song?  How much time and work did it take?  Did it differ at all from your regular recording schedule?

The song came together quickly and was recorded in early February during studio time we had booked to track the song “A Conversation with Death” for our forthcoming split 7” with Spirit Adrift. Once again we worked with our friend Dave Otero at Flatline Audio here in Denver. We had a tight time schedule considering the very meticulous way he works with us, and the songs are both more vocally-driven than anything else we’ve done before, so it was a fun challenge but we’re very happy with the results.

Your flexi is dark green with silver print.  Any thoughts about the color choice?

Honestly we didn’t really care what it looked like. If there was artwork associated with it, obviously there would have to be cool wizards and shit, but for this format we’re just glad it exists. The green that Albert chose is pretty appropriate though!

Have you listened to other songs in the Flexi Series?  What is your favorite Flexi so far?

Yeah we’ve all had deluxe subscriptions for at least the last couple years and look forward to those bits of new music every month. It is hard to choose but the Panopticon track stands out and Crypt Sermon’s re-imagination of the closing track from “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” was really cool and a pretty ballsy choice.

Check out all the flexis here.