Being a Hate Forest, Astrofaes, Nokturnal Mortum, Lucifugum, fan made it an obvious leap to Khors. Mysticism is now the third Khors album I have been on board for, and as it turns out, they have only three albums released. Even though band members are shared with the above mentioned bands as well as Runes of Dianceht, Temnozor, Aryan Terrorism, “Contrary to rumors, the band is not attached to any politically motivated groups or extremists,” is written on the press release. All I will add to that is extremism is in the eye of the beholder.

In case you need further background, Khors is the bassist from Astrofaes and this is his atmospheric black solo project. Slavonic atmospheric. I freely admit that I appreciated the black heart of Cold but listened to it even more minimally than I did its predecessor, The Flame of Eternity’s Decline, which had a warmer tone, harsher vocals and more focused compositions. So what has changed with Mysticism? Hold “Conscious Burning” up to the cold flame for scrutiny, to get the basic formula of the past efforts in you head and then you will find album three to be more personal and more mature, no surprise there. The melodic, symphonic core is more refined and not quite so Nokturnal Mortumish, i.e. not so folk driven, more classically symphonic. The slowness of the album works in its favor, the faster they get the lass interesting, but it does reinforce the black heart, which is a good pull away from the soundtrackish moments.

Overall Mysticism tones down the rage a few dozen notches. It also brings back simple melodic lines and the overall slow pace. The loud bass and the harsh voice remain. “Raven’s Dance” has some far reaching melodies, drums set a slow pace and never really deviate from the simple pattern. It is a satisfying song but it is missing vitality. The whispered vocals are a distraction. The next few tracks just blur by, very similar  and not very memorable. The next that stands out is “Pagan Scars,” which is quite nice, simple accompaniment, memorable leads. “Red Mirrors” closes out the album with clean singing that will never get Helg confused with Garm. Those vocals really kill the song for me, which is a shame because musically it  is a bit more somber and has a faster pace, which gives it a nice feel. In the end we are treated to another well produced symphonic folk black album that fails to extend itself out of the crowded field.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
March 5th, 2009


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