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Khors - Wisdom of Centuries Review

by Matt Hensch

Khors is the sound of Autumn's twilight. Khors arose from the somber nature of their Ukrainian homeland and have since released monumental breezes of black metal that can only be called pulchritudinous at heart. I fell in love with "Return to Abandoned"; the unbelievable amount of passion and daringness in their effort is still an exceptional experience. With "Wisdom of Centuries," the magic and elemental fury that makes Khors Khors seems a little lacking compared to its predecessor. The songs, although geared in a familiar term, are generally less captivating, overdrawn, and carry a we-dropped-the-ball essence without intention. The signs show this Ukrainian group could not match the ingenuity of "Return to Abandoned," yet I still somewhat enjoy parts of "Wisdom of Centuries."

You may notice "Wisdom of Centuries" actually has eight tunes, but only four are actual songs; the other half is a flock of instrumental transitions. Oddly enough, the total duration of this full-length record eclipses the thirty-minute mark in a slim race, so the material itself is quite limited. To make matters more complicated, the overall identity Khors practices includes brawny tremolo picking, keyboards, blast beats, harsh vocals and folk passages all sizzled over a reflective, introspective postulate that reeks of this band‘s previous endeavors. The atmosphere, however, feels synthetic and definitely not pure at heart. Perhaps this is due to the improved production compared to the lesser sound quality on "Return to Abandoned," or—more plausibly—the noticeable decline in songwriting content.

Yes, the songs just aren't gripping like they should be. Sure, they run through the motions, but that's the problem: "Return to Abandoned" took turns, boasted hooks, and piled on a fathomless amount of creativity, but this seems like a grayed version of Khors' power. "Black Forest's Flaming Eyes" and "Only Time Will Take it Away" (although some sources claim it's titled "The Only Time Will Take it Away," which sounds like something a Blabbermouth regular would write on his English 101 final exam after finally obtaining that elusive D- he needed to pass) are beyond excellent for what they represent; stellar riffs and textures are everywhere and they conjure a representation of classic Khors. The title track and "The Last Leaves" unfortunately fail to capture the magic of the other chapters; they are clearly recycling previous successes, albeit unsuccessfully.

With four of the eight pieces acting as segues and the remaining half photocopying Khors' bloodline, it feels like "Wisdom of Centuries" is merely Khors at half-capacity. The sad truth behind "Wisdom of Centuries" is that its creators are more than brilliant; otherworldly in most regards. Still, the feeling that this full-length record is merely a rushed EP at heart lingers around Khors' blatant lack of color, and the fading creative elements rear their ugly heads throughout much of the release's core, better known as the not-instrumental tracks. I'd say the intelligence and passion of "Return to Abandoned" are sorely missed, and you'll certainly notice the signs of a withering project here, as much as I hate to say it.

Khors - Wisdom of Centuries


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