Reviewed: February 2019
Released: December 8th 2018, Ashen Dominion
Reviewed: Cathrine Wendt
Khors of the Ukraine put out a sublime 6 song EP, Beyond the Bestial, in December 2018. They create a tapestry of intense musical atmosphere throughout the album with a beautiful mixture of atmospheric post black metal and heavy, dark, brutal songs. I love the tortured sounding singing. Not purely screaming and growling but I felt a lot of emotion coming out of the vocals which enhanced the atmosphere. It sent shivers down my spine and it’s great to feel such reactions to music.
The album starts off strong with Beyond the Bestial, which plays between atmospheric and hard, heavy guitar riffs and blast beats with the tortured, screaming vocals. The atmosphere created is cold and bleak, and the album art accurately paints a good picture of the music. It’s dark, mysterious, cold and otherworldly. Going into the second song, ‘Through the Realm of Unborn Stars’, the clean vocals again resonate and command an emotional presence. Frigit Obscurity of Soul is instrumental only and actually one of my favourite songs. It starts soft, slow, and begins to groove and grow in intensity as the song flows. It felt a little more like progressive metal but still worked for me. Dark, sombre tones and the gothic sound of the keyboard won me over.
Every song on the EP was great to listen to and well worth repeated listening. It reminded me a little of Mysticism and that was also quite a solid release. The album ends on a sombre note with Red Mirrors. It’s much different than all the previous songs, even the instrumental track. The vocals are clean throughout the song with a bit of a symphonic and acoustic sound. No percussion can be heard. It closes the curtain on what I think to be a great album. I was not disappointed at all. I give this a 4.5 out of 5. Another great release from Khors, so I recommend giving them a listen if post black metal is of interest to you. Out of all the post black metal albums I have heard and reviewed so far, this one struck a note with me.