Kublai Khan TX // Lowest Form of Animal // Album Review
Right from the get-go, I will say this review. I will admit this review is biased. I’m a huge Kublai Khan fan, and since finding out about them in 2015 with the release of their second album “New Strength” I have been obsessed with them.
2017 saw the release & the first album on Rise Records, “Nomad” which threw the band into the stratosphere. Seen as one of the hardest records of the year & joining the likes of Dying Wish, Knocked Loose & Vein.FM in the new breed of metallic influenced hardcore.
Unfortunately, the band released their last album “Absolute” as a covid hit & wasn’t able to tour as much as they hoped liked a lot of bands & only now are able to celebrate its release. Now we see hot off the heels of “Absolute” comes the band’s new EP “Lowest Form of Animal”.
Featuring the band’s now signature sound of heavy down-tuned, diverse tempos & ass beater breakdowns Kublai Khan are second to none. “Lowest Form of Animal” sees vocalist Matt Honeycutt deal with difficult lyrical topics on this release.
From the abuse of women and prostitution to growing suicide rates and mental health issues across the globe. The band have also set to shine a spotlight on big pharma and their role in drug dependency and abuse.
Matt Honeycutt is no stranger to singing about strong & thought-provoking topics & it’s one of the reasons why Kublai Khan’s music hits so much harder, unlike others.
“Swang Song” starts the proceedings off.
Featuring the legend that is Scott Vogel from hardcore titans Terror this track is a fantastic back & forth between Matt & Scott.
The vocal interplay between them both while the rest of the band Nolan Ashley (Guitars), Eric English (Bass) & Isaac Lamb (Drums) curate rhythmic patterns that no matter how much they switch it up never get boring or stagnant. And this release is full of those moments that can change on a dime but when they do its utter chaos in the mosh pit.
The second track “Loyal to None” is the most pissed off I’ve heard Honeycutt in years. “Who the fuck is fake? Who’s the fucking snake?” Matt is on a mission here. This track is a rare one to hear in the KKTX discography. Sometimes they keep track mid-paced & it punches that 10% harder. Heavy Crowbar vibes with this track.
“Dynasty” closes out the EP with one of the band’s heaviest breakdowns, their discography & also their most chaotic.
Starts out with a solom guitar riff that drives the rhythmic theme of the track before the band stops perfectly then reintroduces the verse. A brilliant bit of songwriting in this track.
“How can I just stand & watch you all fucking die..” screams Honeycutt as the band builds up to the heavy ass breakdown it kicks in.
As soon as the breakdown finishes the chaotic element comes into play. An unhinged moment that is rare in Kublai Khan’s sound but it’s another new addition that works really well here.
Kublai Khan has yet again knocked it out of the part with this release. An extension of the last few records but adding small new elements the whole way through see the band even after 13 years as a band they are still evolving their sound to make it even more punishing.
If you’ve never heard of Kublai Khan then this is a fantastic starting point. If you’re a loyal fan like I am, you will love this record & the constant progression the band are forging.
Lowest Form of Animal is out via Rise Records 1st April 2022.