Khors - Wisdom of Centuries
Candlelight Records
Melodic Black/Death Metal
8 songs (38'10")
Release year: 2012
Candlelight Records
Reviewed by Alex
Album of the month

I would be willing to admit now that back in 2010 designating Album of the Year for Ukrainians Khors, Return to Abandoned arrived at the very opportune moment, when towards that year’s end I did not have anything vaulting itself to the top of the heap. The wonderful newfound melodic muscle by Khors on Return to Abandoned completely swept me off my feet at that very moment, and I could not have felt any better about my designation at that time. The critics started chiming in soon, some people saying they were bored and could not get into the album at all. As much new music as I have to go through sometimes, it wasn’t often that I got back to Return to Abandoned. Yet, get back to it I did from time to time, and I fully stand behind the aforementioned designation.

Having preserved the core of their lineup of Helg, Khaoth and Khorus, the band is back with Wisdom of Centuries, the album pretty much cut out of the same cloth as Return to Abandoned, taking us on the dense powerful melodic journey in the economical 38 minutes. Just like Return to Abandoned took earlier mysticism and added muscle to the atmosphere, Wisdom of Centuries ceases on the same wall-of-sound riff intense approach delivering again with a cleaner production than what can be expected from an underground Ukrainian band. Rather than the forestry image, Wisdom of Centuries breathes decadent power of the ancients, long gone and forgotten, yet brought back to life by Khors guitar foundation. I am further reinforced in this interpretation looking at the monumental crosses on the album’s cover art.

The longer full vocalized songs on Wisdom of Centuries take me to that primordial realm, with their rolling double bass drums, constantly building layered guitars, hints of keyboards and outwardly going all out growls. When I hear Black Forest’s Flaming Eyes and The Last Leaves I definitely remove all my doubts about the direction Khors has been taking on the last pair of albums. The fact one can hear equal measure of Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth, Insomnium and Opeth in these compositions, without losing their Ukrainian authenticity, speaks to the quality of the band Khors is. Not content to play along the single plane, Khors experiments on Black Forest’s Flaming Eyes reaching for a more dissonant core in the middle. Transitioning through the slower laboring doomier moments and then bringing out piano notes, the song covers the range from transcending to trance to triumphant.

The ancients apparently had all sides to them, according to Khors. The title track is both heavy and prehistoric. Percussive and mysterious at the beginning, it builds on those ritualistic and shamanistic moments, reaching the prehistoric heaviness in its latter buildup. Stunning Only Time Will Take It Away opens up with quiet atmospherics reaching the tormenting storm of emotions, while being no less beautiful throughout.

The shorter instrumental tracks in between longer songs provide for the needed atmospheric moments, giving the needed break and release. Where the Grandeur of Mountains Embraces the Space is the sound of battle approaching, Horizons Glassy is withdrawn bluesy piece, while closer Twilight is a quick nautical descent into nothingness.

I am going to wait and see now where Wisdom of Centuries will end up at year’s end. Even if Album of the Year this is not, it will certainly make the year’s end list. The album hasn’t left my player for a couple of weeks now and Only Time Will Take It Away is on constant repeat. Candlelight did extremely well bundling Khors alongside Wodensthrone in its Cult Series.

Killing Songs :
Black Forest's Flaming Eyes, The Last Leaves, Only Time Will Take It Away
Alex quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Khors that we have reviewed:
Khors - Night Falls onto the Fronts of Ours reviewed by Alex and quoted 83 / 100
Khors - Return to Abandoned reviewed by Alex and quoted 94 / 100
Khors - Mysticism reviewed by Alex and quoted 91 / 100
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