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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
02. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
03. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
04. Anathema
- The Optimist
05. God Body Disconnect
- Sleeper's Fate
06. Peter Bjärgö
- Animus Retinentia
07. Friends Of Alice Ivy
- The Last Days Of Fenwyck
08. Isenordal
- Shores Of Mourning
09. Phallus Dei
- Black Dawn
10. Au-Dessus
- End Of Chapter

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Random album

Khost - Governance (2017) - Review

Band: Khost
Album title: Governance
Release date: 16 June 2017
Label: Cold Spring Records

Tracklist:
01. Redacted Repressed Recalcitrant   
02. Subliminal Choroform Violation   
03. Low Oxygen Silo   
04. Cloudbank Mausoleum   
05. Demenized   
06. []   
07. Coven   
08. Depression   
09. Defraction   
10. Stockholm Syndrome   
11. Coven (Adrian Stainbruner Remix)

Some music might cause deep traumas, deep frustrations, unexpected mind trips, psychological disorders and it might even throw a curse upon the inquisitive listener. Khost, the duo from Birmingham (UK), did something like that. Beware, this is one of the sickest, most brutal and mind confusing albums you'll have a chance to listen this year, but not in terms of typical extreme/death/grind metal aggression, it has almost nothing to do with it, this is kind of a death-industrial-ambient stuff with doom metal influences. Khost features in its line-up two artistic, in my opinion troubled minds, Andy Swan (Final, Iroha) and Damian B (Carthage, Techno Animal, Deathless). Governance is already their third full-lenght, I wasn't listening to their first two and believe me that after this experience, for quite some time I won't touch anything similar.

Governance is a scream of a severely tortured victim on one side and cursing of the executioner on the other. Is mind collapsing psychotic musical stance between endurable and deadly, it's chaotic but not chaos, it's claustrophobic disorder but not total insanity, but yet there's kind of a line that connects every single piece into kind of dark entity. The sound is constantly punishing and the atmosphere is very dense, almost creating kind of a post-apocalyptic ambiance where light is a thing from the past, only disturbed creatures and huge noisy machines are still present, so please don't expect any kind of indulge from the total darkness. The two artists delved deep into the sonic world of detachment and dissonance.

The sound is throughout distorted, brutal demoralizing kind of growls devaste the listener inside this nightmarish world. Yet it's nothing strange that some things are like they are, because while this album was written in winter 2016/2017, the band members went through times of unease and sickness, including one near-death experience. So, all this lead into the creation of this brutal transmission of low resolution interspersed with broad concrete columns of distortion that loom suddenly from the dim landscape. In a way Khost did an album that is like driving at night with your spirituality asleep at the wheel. It might as well be the sound of an agonizing scream of ghosts trapped in between dimensions.

This 50 minutes long chaotic and hostile soundscape actually begins quite in an interesting way with "Redacted Repressed Recalcitrant", which is like some kind of ritualistic claustrophobic industrial session. The feeling is like entering the nightmarish grim underworld through some narrow passage where the walls scream at you with punishing voices. Huge machinery makes the whole thing even more opressive and suffocating. One of the tracks that I liked the most is the second one, "Subliminal Choroform Violation", almost perverse blend of pounding distorted beats, massive shattered drone guitars producing kind of barely perceivable melody, violent deep growls in the background and samples of ethereal female voices. The pace is often slow, punishing, it reminds a bit to something that we were used to hear on Winter's debut Into Darkness released in 1990, mixed with the most psychotic elements of Godflesh or Merzbow, and add there that typical death industrial of Brighter Death Now and Megaptera to name a few, but yet Khost did something that must be considered as quite original. On "Low Oxygen Silo", such a sonic violation of everything acceptable in music, if you listen carefully you'll even hear some oriental elements, if only those painful screams won't dim everything for you.

The more and more we go further, more everything becomes suffocating, claustrophobic, hypnotic and devastating. If you won't pay attention to several intriguing details, these frost-encrusted tones and horrifying rhythms might lead you into mental sickness, so beware, it's only for those with strong nerves. Soon the thing might become a bit too monotone if you are not concetrated enough or perhaps if you are not really a die hard of the genre. The album features a guest spoken word passages from Oxbow's Eugene Robinson and guest cello by Jo Quail on the fantastic "Defraction", which not only because of use of cello, also those reverberate distorted bass lines create a very unique atmosphere, which is then even more intensified on the very next "Stockholm Syndrome". The album closes with an oppressive remix of the track "Coven" done by Tel Aviv artist Adrian Stainburner. Governance is well produced album, adding kind of a hypnotizing depth to the whole thing. Governance is an agonizing sonic creation, it's a very difficult listen, recommended only for true fans of the style, but yet if you don't fear what I said about it, you might be able to discover some very interesting elements hidden in there.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7/10

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Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Draconian
Album title: Sovran
Release date: 30 October 2015
Label: Napalm Records

Sovran is a proof that the combination of gothic metal and doom metal works out perfectly if you have top notch musicians performing and composing it. While the pace of the album is a bit slower and not so direct like on some of their previous albums, the whole gloomy atmosphere is outstanding, songs are catchy, flowing, dramatic and absolutely racked by melancholy. Most of the melodies are stunningly captivating, guitar sound is gentle and heavy at the same time, often we hear those typical slowly gliding evocative trademark Draconian lines and riffs which brings tears in the eye, the rhythmic line is crushing, just right to give that necessary dose of turbulent doom metal and slight aggression into these compositions. The multidimensional ambiance gets often fulfilled with obscure gothy symphonic synths which give to the songs such an unimaginable depth and rich sound. All of the songs on Sovran are nicely building up in atmosphere, there are so many layers and the one who would like to take everything this album offers should be concetrated on the music as much as possible, possibly setting up a perfect mood. Sovran is magical, soothing, melancholic and dreamy adventure, yet it is ponderous, powerful and heavy by partly remaining loyal to the formula from their debut album, Where Lovers Mourn (2003), where the band made a deviation from their early death/black metal days into a dark and doomy metal style which convinced fans of bands like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and early Anathema.

Read a full review HERE