Gorath: The Chronicles of Khiliasmos


All good things have to come to an end, the course of even the greatest glories finding finality and so it is with Belgian post black metallers Gorath as they depart leaving in place their sixth and final album The Chronicles of Khiliasmos. The band over the years has made a major impressive and acclaimed mark on the genre with their progressive blackened experimental explorations and the new release is no different. It arguably is not the final massive adventure one might have expected for a farewell, an explosive and dramatic statement, but as a fully enveloping funereal outpouring the album impacts firmly on thought and imagination to be ultimately rewarding.

Formed as a one man project back in the nineties by Filip Dupont, the band found a real presence with their released demos in 2003 which led to the release of debut album Elite in 2005 with Black Owl Records. The following year saw The Fourth Era appear through Descent Productions, the cosmological themed release finding strong acclaim for its Mayan based concept. It was at that point that the band became a quartet and ventured out live to over the subsequent years, share stages with the likes of Foscor, Watain, Graven, Darkspace,  Mayhem, Dark Funeral, Shining, Dark Fortress, Nazxul, Gallhammer, Primordial to name a few. Misotheism came next in 2008 to again impressive responses which grew stronger still when MXCII was released two years later. The Chronicles Of Khiliasmos follows last year’s Apokálypsis – Unveiling The Age That is not to Come and finds Dupont alongside guitarist Bart Put, bassist Raf Meukens, and drummer Bart Vanderheyden, bringing band and overall concept to a conclusion timed with the prophesised end…

The ConSouling Sounds released album is made up of three chapters, a trio of doom soaked tracks which complete a legacy which wykrojnik  (3)will impact black metal for time to come. Khiliasmos I begins with a dawning stir of guitar and seemingly random sonic pulses, the track taking its time to extend to its full height. It is a teasing presence at first toying with expectations that are waiting for the track to unleash something, Soon the scowling growls of Dupont enter to rile up the air though still the track resists offering mere fluctuations of energy within its prowling doom lit engagement, the song remaining relatively subdued and content to provoke and evoke reactions through intelligently inciting craft and imagination. It is the little incursions which invite the imagination to play within the track, the distant vocal sirenesque harmonies and insidious tones of Dupont within the exhausting repetition of riffs and intensity, distracting whilst igniting further responses to fine effect. The track possibly out stays its welcome before its ten minutes finishes with the senses, though the last couple do evolve into an acidic melodic stance which fires up the intrigue.

Khiliasmos II is a hungrier and more aggressive encounter, vocals and sounds bringing a surer thicker intensity and malice to their gait. The emerging groove brings an infectious lure to the song which within its first moments already has a stronger grip than its predecessor. The barbs of the track in hooks, grooves, and vocal additions, ensures a welcome compliance to its demands with the drums of Vanderheyden and guitar invention of Dupont and Put a magnetic pleasure. The track is easily the best on the album making a thrilling bridge between the opening and closing blankets of doom driven atmosphere. It at times makes for an uncomfortable listen as one immerses within with relish, but at the same time contrasts the vast and in comparison underwhelming pieces surrounding it perfectly.

Closing the album, Khiliasmos III is a massive soundscape of sonic clouds and vocal storms again brought with a labouring but compelling presence. At twenty minutes long, the track like the first maybe pushes its limits but does make every second of its encounter an impacting yet magnetic weight on the ear. There are small offerings of melodic respite for some alleviation from the incessant and oppressive blackened heart of the release but like the opener has its own emotive and imaginative aspects which makes it never less than provocative and like the album as a whole ultimately rewarding.

The Chronicles of Khiliasmos is a strong and satisfying release though it falls short of certainly the previous two albums from the band. It is still a worthy farewell from a band which has pushed black metal to strong levels over the years and will ensure whatever the members do next there will be an eager audience waiting.


RingMaster 30/11/2012

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Germ: Loss

If you are looking for something unique and different in your next metal purchase then you could do a lot worse than checking out Loss from Australian black metal project Germ.  To be honest calling it black metal is an incomplete description such the amount going into and within the inventive presence of the release, its eclectic breath and imagination a wide reaching soundscape to intrigue, distress, and captivate the senses. It is a mini album which will bewilder, engage, and ignite the strongest reactions, a release to draw opinions and emotions for an impact many other releases can only dream of.

Loss did take time to come to terms with and to be honest it still evades a full understanding of its imaginative intent but without doubt it is one of the more evocative releases this year and one to immerse within as a regular treat. Germ is the solo project of Tim Yatras (llium, Nazxul, Austere, Woods Of Desolation and Grey Waters) which he created to combine black metal with his love of classical, pop and electronic music alongside an accompanying visual aspect. Beginning the work in 2003 he released a debut EP three years later which drew a good response. It was another three years though before he returned to Germ, working on other projects during this time. More distractions and other projects stalled the work he began towards a debut album until the beginning of 2011 from when he managed over a period of time to complete. The album Wish was released earlier this year through Eisenwald and made a strong impact, predominantly drawing acclaim though some did not find a connection to its unique sounds.  A mere few months later Yatras returns with the six track Loss, an album which has evolved from its predecessor whilst still being as magnetically unsettling and corrosively beautiful.

Again coming via Eisenwald, Loss jumbles up thoughts and emotions more than arguably any release this year. It is an album which needs a fury of listens to enable its grandeur and charm to state its case and even then it still leaves questions. The one thing it does not leave is a void of satisfaction and pleasure, the release a thrilling and delicious piece of imagination which matches the questions with shafts of pure joy.

Opener My Only Hope  begins with voice and piano, pure singer songwriter territory oozing emotion and potent ambience. An electro brush of sounds then steps into the gentle mix, the song taking its reserved time until sweeping into a symphonic grandeur and gothic atmosphere. Soon distant and forceful screams permeate the air, the squalls  of mental bedlam like shards of molten anguish against the strong piano strokes. It is a brief piece, compared to others on the album, which sets one up for a tempest of energies and imagined terror ahead, and in many ways that is what one wonderfully receives.

The following So Lonely, Dead Lonely slowly caresses the ear with  orchestral arrangements and epic essences, the track a brewing black metal wash with a caustic breath and intrusive energy. Almost immediately the screams emerge again sending fiery and tempering spears of emotive venom against the stirring melodic weaves of the keys. With a journey of ten minutes the song takes one through a hellish flight brought by stunning shadowed melodic beauty and thumping rhythms. Reaching its second half the song steps out into a rock driven invitation before thrusting one back into the maelstrom of inciteful malevolence. The strings which make their appearance are glorious adding another floor of depth to the song whilst the finally arriving clean vocals of Yatras have a dulled edge against the emerging eighties electro sunrise. It is a song which makes you wonder what just happened whilst glowing from the pleasure of it all.

The two parter Only When Every Timepiece In The World Is Smashed leads through another nightmare destined tunnel, its black metal malice distilled through further electronic scorching and classic rock fires. The screams are never far removed from the gallop of the song within Part  though primarily the track is a classic rock spiral of guitar mastery and vocal simplicity. The second part is a simple rock guitar and vocal union which is a contrast which is startling against what came before.

Cold Grey Dawn (A New Beginning) and Loss complete the album, the first the best track on the album which reminds of The Mission with a pop hearted eighties glow. It is a song which arguably should not appeal as irresistibly as it does but there cannot be a denial of the sheer contagion which sears and kisses the senses impressively. The closing song is a breathtaking classical piano instrumental, its heart and drama stopping one in their tracks, especially after what the album had already unleashed.

Germ will give you something you have not contemplated or met before with Loss, something you have to discover with an open mind and a strong grip on reality as it will take you to somewhere quite disturbing yet wholly rewarding.


RingMaster 14/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright