KHLYST "Chaos is My Name"

What could we say that would adequately describe this malignant aural formation? Nothing that really comes close to the actuality of the sound, so we'll stick with the facts - or some variation there of. Khlyst is the brainchild of James Plotkin and Runhild Gammelsaeter -- the album at hand being a manifestation of a long distance musical romance conceived and executed at various studios (Oslo, Norway and NY, NY) between 2004 and 2005. Mr. Plotkin is probably familiar to many of you due to his work with/as Phantomsmasher, Khanate, Scorn, Lotus Eaters, O.L.D., as a solo artist, and a myriad of other musical projects spanning numerous genres and multiple decades. Mrs. Gammelsaeter is also an accomplished cult musician, having participated in the short lived but much beloved Thorr's Hammer, along with Stephen O'Malley (sunno))), Khanate, etc.) and others.

while you might be able to picture what such a pairing might sound like, even such a mental fabrication couldn't prepare you for the contents of the forthcoming "Chaos is My Name" - the CD version of which is due out on Hydra Head on Oct. 24th, with the vinyl version to follow shortly there after. While the initial groundwork of the album was built upon spontaneous improvisation, and a lot of its power is derived from that sense of freedom and unadulterated creative blood flow, it is clear after multiple listens that this project is anything but thrown together. After laying down the initial outpourings, Plotkin painstakingly reconstructed the disparate bits and pieces into a towering and carefully crafted beast that alternates between vicious bursts of howling violence, and placid but unsettling passages of "ambient" textures. For those that cannot imagine what anything sounds like without hearing other band names being mentioned, think of what Abruptum might have sounded like had Brian Eno produced their earlier works - though even this comparison is belittling considering the ingenuity and inventiveness of this project.

The album is made up of eight tracks, all of which work as individual pieces; however it is best absorbed as one continuous piece that is merely divided into eight movements, with many elements that recede and return repeatedly, giving the album an almost labyrinthine character .... it is certainly music to get lost in.

To cap it all off "Chaos is My Name" will feature cover and interior art by Stephen Kasner ( and Runhild Gammelsaeter, all of which is highly complimentary and fitting for the music it houses.

For clips and further/related info see also: