July 20, 2019
Review by Megan C. Brooks
This summer there are lots of huge metal tours, but something that may have gone under your radar is Khemmis’ "North American Desolation Tour MMXIX" with Cloak. This Saturday night the tour arrived at Underground Arts in Philadelphia in the slightly smaller room at the venue known as The Black Box.
Opening the show were Philly’s own Moros. A perfect local opener to these bands. The sludgy doom metal three-piece band impressed the crowd who was still arriving during their set. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia Cloak’s set began with an empty stage and a recording of creepy Satanic sounding chants. Make no mistake Cloak is not a southern rock group and they made that clear with a non-stop blitz of black metal. You could tell immediately that their set was going to be theatrical, entertaining and most importantly very loud. Surprisingly they didn't play their cover of The Misfits' "London Dungeon" which is their latest release, a 7 inch record "2 Hits From Hell" with cover art that is an homage to The Misfits 1981 release "3 Hits From Hell". It is limited addition and available on this tour. I’m not sure how many people in the crowd were familiar with Cloak but by the end of their set they definitely made some new fans.
Before long the lights in the the venue dimmed again and it was time for the headliner, Khemmis. One drunk guy chanted “Khemmis, Khemmis, Khemmis!” from the front row, while the rest of their super-chill fans waited patiently for the Denver, Colorado band to take the stage. One fan said to the guy “Dude, they’re coming out whether you chant or not.” The band had an impressive set that included tracks from their album "Desolation", released last year including "Bloodletting," "Isolation," and "Maw of Time." as well as some fan favorites from older albums. They ended the set with the fans wanting more of course.
It was 100 degrees that day, so I don’t blame anyone for not venturing out, it was still like 85 when we left and the whole place smelled like sweat, but it was absolutely worth it. The doomy sounds of all three bands’ brought delight to the fans in Philadelphia and will finish up this tour this week, so if you have the opportunity go see this tour!