Khors - Return to Abandoned

Now four full-lengths into Khors’ musical career, what’s most impressive about this new work “Return to Abandoned” is the evolution it marks. Anyone who heard their previous work “Mysticism” will know that the Ukrainian act always had their own way of approaching black or pagan-metal standards by favouring a more atmospheric and melodic ambience in detriment of all the grimness and rawness practised by their Norse peers. On “Return to Abandoned” Khors push their affection for atmospheric nuances and folk-melodies into new heights, everything here sounds bigger and refined, whether it’s keyboard lines or the acoustic moments. As a result these eight songs probably have more in common with Amorphis-circa “Elegy” than anything labelled black or pagan. Songs like "The Fog (…and Grief still Moans)", “Song of the Void”, "The Sea Burns of Omnipotence" and “Sacrament of Buyan” all reveal a new-found penchant for 70’s-inspired music with the band employing various organ/Hammond sounds to great effect sounding not far removed from Amorphis’ folksier compositions.
Whilst the softer and gentler side of Khors is emphasized here, “Return to Abandoned” still has plenty of heavy and dark guitars as evidenced on “Asgard's Shining” and “Mysteries Cosmos” for instance.
All in all, Khors fourth full-length is a tough record to tag and I really have no clue where to file it other than great, engaging and dark music. (7.8/10)

For fans of: Nokturnal Mortum, Moonsorrow, Amorphis