CD REVIEW Khors

Band: Khors
Title: Wisdom Of Centuries
Label: Candlelight Records
Distribution: PHD - Bertus
Release date: September 17th 2012
Review: CD

Ukrainian band Khors was formed in 2004 by Khorus (b), Khaoth (d) and Helg (v, g) (the latter left in 2010, but soon rejoined his colleagues). In 2005, they released their debut full length (The Flame Of Eternity’s Decline, Oriana Music), which stood for traditional yet fierce Pagan-Black. 2006’s Cold was slightly different, with the introduction of keyboard passages and elements from Doom (meaning: more slower parts). Paragon Records were responsible for the release of album # 3: 2008’s Mysticism. This album sounded more atmospheric and modern than its predecessors, yet still with those elements that distinguish the Ukrainian scene from any other. 2010’s Return To Abandoned was less progressive than its predecessor and sort of incorporated their late progression with traditional elements from the early years.
Now (or better: last year and in early 2012), and with the recruitment of a new additional guitar player / vocalist (Jurgis), Khors recorded their fifth full length, Wisdom Of Centuries, performed in their native tongue this time (not unusual at all in Ukraine, as you might know). The band signed to major Candlelight Records and the release is now a fact.
Wisdom Of Centuries was recorded at Kiev’s Blacklight Studio (also mix & mastering) and Kharkiv-based Oriana Stronghold Forge Studio, and lasts for thirty eight minutes. For the better part, it sort of combines the elements from all former recordings, yet again with a personalised evolution. The intro “Through The Clouds Of The past” opens rather ominous and haunting, and following track “Black Forest’s Flaming Eyes” sounds as if it were recording during the Cold-sessions. Slow-paced and bombastic Metal with an epic, heathen atmosphere, a raw sound and mesmerizing keyboards, a grim outburst, and a majestic melodic lead. The rhythm is straight-forward, the vocals dark and rough, and the whole sounds as if it were guided by a Nordic-inspired feeling… For sure one of the best tracks on the album, and one of the best Khors-hymns to date. “The Last Leaves” is faster in general (even though it includes several slow pieces too), yet still concentrated on epic and mournful melodies. It breathes a pure Pagan-spirit that reminds me a lot to the scenes from the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. Next comes “Where The Grandeur Of Mountains Embraces The Space”, which is an instrumental ambiental soundtrack, followed by another instrumental song, the proggy and semi-acoustic “Horizon Glassy”, which reminds me most to their Mysticism-album. The title track is an oppressive Dark / Post-Black composition with a slightly industrialised yet freezing and eerie approach. “The Only Time Will Take It Away” is a perfect idea of the band’s great ability to combine tradition from the Old School with a modern, or better: timeless, definition of trans-European Black Majesty. Wisdom Of Centuries ends with the short, quiet outro “Twilight”, mainly based on some floating keyboard sounds.
With this album, Khors prove again the majesty of the Ukrainian scene!

83/100

Ivan Tibos.