Kublai Khan was the fifth Khagan of the Mongol Empire. He founded the Yuan dynasty, which ruled today’s Mongolia, China, Korea and some nearby areas, and became Emperor of China. In 1279, with the defeat of the Song dynasty, the occupation of Mongolia was completed and Kublai became the first non-native emperor to rule China until his death in 1294.In this case, the likeable band named Kublai Khan were unable to create any musical empire themselves, although they honored the Asian bloodthirsty ruler as they played violent and raw Thrash Metal, while they obviously chose the name because it sounded cool enough and nothing more. Kublai Khan were created in 1984 in Minnesota, by singer / guitarist Greg Handevidt. Megadeth fans probably recognize Handevidt’s name (Dave Ellefson’s best friend ) as he has played, for about 8 months, next to the Chief – and now dangerously “graphic” – Dave Mustaine, Megadeth guitarist, without having recorded anything with them (he left before the recordings of the Last Rites demo). Their one and only full length album, ‘Annihilation’, was released in 1987. Despite them being a support act for legends such as Metal Church, King Diamond and Kreator, the band did not make it to the top and broke up in 1989, while in 2003 their reunion had, as a result, a demo named ” Kronk Meets Kublai Khan “. Nothing followed up though. It’s a really good album, although the production is rather weak (with drums being too loud) that removes the tension and power from the result, while the guitars were a bit obscure. They were interesting though with smart ideas while most solos are impressive. Handevidt’s vocals fit perfectly the whole aesthetics of the album and if you find the 2009 re-release, with the remastered and refined sound, you will find a small treasure of another era, that has probably gone forever and will never come back. Old school fans will certainly enjoy the dirt of the first,original edition and the raw sound of it. Their songs, despite their simple structure, have much to offer and we can say that they look like a less complex version of the Danish band Artillery or the German band Paradox, in sound and “cult” feeling. Some tracks are, of course, better than other like “Mongrel Horde”, “Battle Hymn (The Centurian)”that reminds of “Whiplash” – it basically has a “Kill’ em All” feeling or a little bit of “Killing is my Business” in the album and of course, the instrumental, “Clash of the Swords”.
Genre: Thrash /Speed Metal
Greg Handevidt/Vocals, Guitars
Kevin Idso/Guitars, Backing Vocals
Mike Liska/Bass, Backing Vocals