Title: За межами тваринного (Beyond the Bestial) EP
Label: Ashen Dominion
Release Date: 8th December 2018
Format reviewed: Digital stream
Over the past 20 days an EP seriously stuck into my mind. KHORS’ “За межами тваринного” (Beyond the Bestial) is the brand new effort by the Ukrainian band. And they delivered it with an exquisite touch. The band has been formed in 2004 by known members of the Ukrainian heavy scene. Since then, KHORS (a Slavik God of sun and light, and the source of righteousness) has released six full-length albums. Defining themselves as Heathen Dark Metal, I think I might try to describe them as very atmospheric and mesmerising black metal with heart and melody. However this is so small part of everything what’s going on there.
“За межами тваринного” contains six tracks which last for 35 minutes. However what an EP! Those six tracks just whisper secrets, forgotten pains, call out bittersweet memories, winter solitude, eternity. The harsh vocals, atmospheric keyboards, the mid-paced tempo, the melancholic parts, and the mesmerising solos – everything delivers that heartache of being small and transient on this forsaken Earth or that incomparable feeling when gazing at winter sunsets in the mountain…The tunes, the main riffs under distortion, the clear-guitar tones, even the cymbals sounding – it is just glorious sadness, solitude and deep pain. There are parts which simply cannot be described, rather must be FELT! The music just floats seamlessly, swirls gently, crossing the borders of the mind and the heart, touching the most precious places of one’s soul. It’s cold and sensual. Dark and uplifting. It makes forgetting the present…
The EP begins with the “За межами тваринного”, just to embrace us gently into his grim atmosphere. Then comes the glorious “Kризь обрiй ненароджeних зiрок” (Through The Realm of Unborn Stars), which is actually my favorite. It’s a fantastic atmospheric melodic track. “Холодний морок душi” (Frigid Obscurity of Soul) is a gentle an instrumental, hiding a lot of sadness behind the gentle clear guitar melodies and tremolos. “Зимовий постоп” (Winterfall) is another atmospheric black metal track, combining stunning melodies and visions of winter mountains landscapes. “В морозних обiймах iмли” (In The Cold Embrace of Mist) continues the line, being a darker track, with even grimmer vocals, with emphasised main motif on keys. The balladic, epic finalé is “Червонi дзеркала” (Red Mirrors) – with clean vocals, piano keys and acoustic guitars, no drums.
I realize that all the above is completely insufficient to describe “За межами тваринного”. The words can’t pass on the emotions and the feelings. That’s why I urge – no, I beg – everybody to go and give KHORS‘ new EP a listen. It is mandatory. Otherwise your soul and heart will miss greatly another unbelievable experience. 10/10 Count Vlad
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.