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returntothepit >> discuss >> Khanate is back! new steam by the_reverend on May 19,2023 9:29am
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toggletoggle post by the_reverend   at May 19,2023 9:29am
May 19, 2023, NEW YORK – Khanate, the experimental doom outfit featuring members of Sunn O))), OLD, and Blind Idiot God, have returned after a self-imposed, fourteen year hiatus. The band surprise released their fifth album, To Be Cruel, overnight, with the 3-track, 60 minute album available now via Sacred Bones Records (

The New York-founded band simultaneously made their back catalogue, including Clean Hands Go Foul (2009), Capture & Release (2005), Things Viral (2003), and Khanate (2001), available once more via the various streaming services and with plans to reissue on physical formats in the near future.

The band members, who stayed in touch over the last decade-plus and often worked together on other projects, including releases from ÄÄNIPÄÄ, Khylst and Jodis, reconvened prior to the global shut down, writing and recording what would largely turn into To Be Cruel, with finishing touches being added in recent months.

“Stephen [O’Malley] and I had an opportunity to record music together for a Drag City compilation in 2016, it was then that we recognized we wanted to do more together. We booked an incredible studio in Woburn, England to record the guitar and drum parts that would become the basis of To Be Cruel,” explains drummer Tim Wyskida. “We shared those initial recordings with James [Plotkin] and Alan [Dubin], who were as motivated as we were to create new Khanate music. James began arranging the material and developing new ideas as soon as he heard the tracks, and Alan immediately started crafting the lyrics.”

“Orgone, the studio Tim mentioned, is in an isolated area, set in the middle of the fields of a huge royal estate,” adds Stephen, noting the inspiration the duo took from that setting. “At one time, during World War II, it was an old radio building that broadcast fake German radio over the English Channel into occupied France.”

On To Be Cruel’s themes, Alan shares: “The album viscerally and metaphorically portrays a self-immolating destiny that perhaps ironically blames outside entities. There is a need for revenge but… against who and why?”

To Be Cruel physical pre-orders are available now ( on a variety of limited-edition vinyl variants, and CD. The physical release will be in-stores June 30.

Photo credit: Ebru Yildiz

Khanate is Alan Dubin (vocals), Stephen O’Malley (guitar), James Plotkin (bass) and Tim Wyskida (drums). The New York-born band have released five albums: To Be Cruel (2023), Clean Hands Go Foul (2009), Capture & Release (2005), Things Viral (2003) and Khanate (2001). Pitchfork said “even in the realm of extreme music,” Khanate’s music “is dark and distorted,” while the Washington City Paper deftly surmised: “Khanate offers realism in general and a jazz ensemble’s approach to group interplay in particular.”

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