Khors - Night Falls onto the Fronts of Ours
Candlelight Records
Blackened Atmospheric Dark Metal
8 songs ()
Release year: 2015
Candlelight Records
Reviewed by Alex

Being an on-the-record fan of Khors, I have to admit I missed the fact that the Ukrainian metallers had a new album out earlier this year. Therefore, I am thankful to Candlelight for a gentle inbox prodding of their Candlelight Cult series of which Night Falls onto the Fronts of Ours is a representative.

Spoiled by a release after excellent release by Khors, being scared for non-delivery is always a case for me when it comes to my favorite bands and their new albums. After all Mysticism and Return to Abandoned provided me with pure physical pleasure and Wisdom of Centuries, although not only melodies and atmospherics, was not too shabby either.

From the very beginning of No Oaths No Tears No Knees!, however, I got a feeling that Night Falls onto the Fronts of Ours might be a different album. Rather than use a cliché and call the album a “return to roots”, I sensed a darker, rawer, angrier, more pissed off Khors. The riffs on No Oaths No Tears No Knees are tighter, the drums beat stronger and Helg’s voice has more fire in his throat. Yet there is still a hint of keys, and Khors continues with its towering three-dimensional voluminous sound, so rewarding for the listener. This, longing piercing lead through the dense sonic fabric, triumphant double bass closure to No Oaths No Tears No Knees! and signature melodies still ensure that physical pleasure I draw from listening to Khors will come … only after some punishment this time around.

There is no respite from the darker angle on Dead Birds Valley, and 1664 delivers the most ruthless ominous song in a long time by the band, the closing culmination just remorseless. At first I thought 1664 is a historical reference to Bohdan Khmelnitskiy signing a treaty with Russian tsardom, but then brushed up on my history and realized it was 1654 when that country-shaping event occurred. Without a booklet or lyrics I can't provide certainty if and what event Khors is citing, but whatever it is, the song is a pressing monolith.

Dead Birds Valley and For the Last Time uncover Khors guitar sound which I can only compare to tolling bells. On For the Last Time in particular this sound, in addition to riding cymbals, provides a feeling of impending doomy toe-dragging march to Golgotha, especially when the tempo is slow, another bleak album moment. There are still, however, atmospheric melody filled songs on the album, similar to the Wisdom of Centuries hit Only Time Will Take It Away. Following the Ways of Blood, Slight Web Solitude and the closing single My Cossack Way provide the trademark solar flight soaring sounds. For me, when Khors plays those melodies, I just grow wings. Yet even in those compositions there is plenty of pummeling double bass (Following the Ways of Blood), lunging predatory riffs (Slight Web Solitude), and as much as My Cossack Way sounds as to what Munruthel would have done, the song is significantly more muscular and forceful, until the closing procession symbolizing hard-edged Cossack life ensues.

A prominent member of the Ukrainian black metal underground, considering their lineup relationships and other bands/projects involvement, it is unwise and unfair to label Khors circa 2015 with a narrow black metal tag. Sure, there is harshness in their tone, as well as familiar atmospheric ambiance. Yet there is little lo-fi or leaving things to raw random chance in their recordings. Very professional, with a deep degree of thoughtfulness, Khors elevated themselves into the dark blackened metal realm, from which they continue to deliver, and Night Falls onto the Front of Ours is no disappointment.

Killing Songs :
No Oaths No Tears No Knees!, Following the Ways of Blood, My Cossack Way
Alex quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Khors that we have reviewed:
Khors - Wisdom of Centuries reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 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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