Thursday, April 21, 2011

Khors - "Return to Abandoned" (2010) [Paragon]

I am no stranger to Khors. A band having members of Astrofaes and Drudkh in their ranks, have put out a few memorable albums in their journey as a band thus far. This album, 'Return To Abandoned' being their latest collection of desolate and majestic black metal hymns. Epic, grandiose, bombastic and majestic are a few of the words that can be used to describe this album. In a listening society where these terms are used ad nauseaum with no regard for what they mean, this album truly does embrace the ideas and sounds of the above descriptors in full.

Freezing black metal is mixed with soaring keyboard arrangements, shred-y solos, folk-y sections and earthen, emotive vocals. This is like a toned down Kataxu, but only toned down in the respect of the synths. The song arrangements are complex and expansive, with a ton of breathing room for the instruments to play off of each other. This instrument work leads to an absolutely huuuuuuuuuuge sounding album, which the production absolutely helps with. The production, while being super clear and defined, is not polished to the point of plasticity. Everything sounds organic and soulful, which is completely necessary for this kind of over-the-top black metal chaos (HEAR THAT DIMMU BORGIR?) to sound believable.

This is symphonic, progressive black metal done RIGHT. Return To Abandoned is going to get a loooooooooooot of playing time around the office (maybe more than I care to admit to). This is definitely going to be a contender for the top ten albums of 2011 for me. Brilliantly outstanding black solar art. 


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