Khanate Release “Like A Poisoned Dog” Short Visual; To Be Cruel Vinyl

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Khanate, who recently ended their fourteen year hiatus with the surprise release of To Be Cruel (Sacred Bones Records), have debuted an experimental short visual for “Like A Poisoned Dog” (, bringing the Karl Lemieux-created album art to life.

“These stills are abstract but depending on the context, they become objects and objective. And alongside Khanate, they have this strange organic feeling,” Stephen O’Malley notes. “They’re abstract, hand-painted film stills, not photos of organic objects or something, which I think is really interesting because it’s similar to our music. We put a frame around the music with a concept and it presents something, but otherwise, it’s abstract. This lined up very well with Karl’s work.”

“In addition to my other film work, I like to work with camera-less film techniques and paint directly on 16mm film,” explains Lemieux, whose resume includes films, installations and performances that have screened at a variety of venues including the Montreal Contemporary Arts Museum, MOMA San Francisco, as well as over a decade of collaborative work with Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “In 2021, Stephen asked if he could use some of those images for the new Khanate record. I’m someone who spends a lot of time flipping through the artwork of records, CDs, and cassettes…. It’s part of my listening ritual. I have always loved Stephen’s record design work and I was very excited about this collaboration and the way it all came out. The idea for a video came later. It’s not a film, it’s not a music video, but some kind of collision between an excerpt from the piece “Like A Poisoned Dog” and the raw material that I used to make still images.”

The unique visual accompaniment carved out by Lemieux and O’Malley arrives as To Be Cruel’s physical release is at hand, with the hour-plus long album available tomorrow on CD and LP. A selection of limited-edition vinyl variants are available, including a highly limited Decibel Magazine black/white “insomnia” edition. Those variants, as well as streaming links, can be found here:

To Be Cruel arrived in mid-May via Sacred Bones Records, ending a 14-year hiatus for Khanate and becoming the band’s fifth album. Stereogum said the three-song, sixty-plus minute album is “just as uncompromising as their past work,” and SPIN said the band, which features Alan Dubin (vocals), Stephen O’Malley (guitar), James Plotkin (bass) and Tim Wyskida (drums), are “more relevant than ever.” Decibel, in a sprawling Q&A with Plotkin, said of the influential outfit “Even calling them a doom band sells them short. The cramped corner of hell that Khanate takes the listener to, sonically and psychologically, is way beyond doom. It’s doom as a forgone conclusion…”

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