Khors - Mysticism

Ukraine’s Khors comes recommended for fans of Kampfar, Moonsorrow and Borknagar, yet for the most part of “Mysticism” the band focuses on mellower and atmospheric sections that display a greater affinity with musical genres like Doom and Gothic than the Folk-Metal of the aforementioned acts. There’s a slight Folk-tinge in their sound that’s unquestionable, perfectly audible when Khors meander into dreamier and acoustic moments, though not to the extent of a band like Moonsorrow for instance. I believe their third work cannot be narrowed to a singular style as it displays traits from all sorts of disparate genres like Black, Doom, Gothic and Progressive Metal. It’s all refreshingly well-done and well-balanced as nothing sounds constrained or cheap and all songs flow with a remarkable ease.
Album opener “Through the Rays of Fading Moon” is a subtle atmospheric instrumental that paves way for “Raven's Dance”, an incredibly dynamic song that straddles between a gloomy Black-Metal impetus and a melancholic Doom-Metal atmosphere with splendid guitar melodies and keyboard embellishments.
Following theme, “Milk of Heavens” sees the group indulging in a Gothic lull with gentle whispered vocals and progressive flourishes giving a more intimate and emotional warmth to their intriguing musical vision. “Winterfall” and “In the Cold Embrace of Mist” are nicely layered songs with plenty of classical guitar picking and progressive keyboards, constantly oscillating between aggression and melody.
“Pagan Scars” is an instrumental theme with a folk twang where the group uses clean chords, acoustic guitars and flutes to generate an intimate atmosphere musically closer to a progressive 70’s band like Jethro Tull.
The album closes with “Red Mirrors”, another incursion into Gothic fields that evokes memories of Moonspell, Helg’s clean vocals have a rich and warmth tone that isn’t too far removed from Fernando Ribeiro’s deep vocalizations.
Simply try to let go with the diverse moods and sounds of “Mysticism” as they come, without looking for a label or tag for guidance, then the experience of listening to Khors’ third album might be extremely gratifying and irresistible.

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