Koen S. : Honestly, the truth is, until today I didn’t know a single Belarusian metal band and even after sifting through my significant metal collection, I still didn’t find a single Belarusian band. But that is going to change with Khandra from Minsk. This duo already released an EP with two songs at the end of 2017, called ‘All Is Of No Avail’ and brings us now their next EP 'There Is No Division Outside Existence'.
The album contains four tracks and has a playing time of nearly twenty-six minutes. Khandra plays sinister black metal with a nihilistic and desolate atmosphere, but without leaning towards depressive black metal. And even though the songs sound grim and the dissonant tones often portray melancholy, there are plenty of catchy riffs to keep the whole still digestible. Opening track 'Into The Absolute Nothingness’ is a tedious doomy intro, but from 'Decaying Into The Ascended' on we are being bulldozed by this steamroller. Closing track 'Progressing In Desolation' takes eight minutes and remains roaming around in your head for hours. The extremely dark atmosphere and the catchy, melodic parts make this song the absolute highlight of 'There Is No Division Outside Existence’.
In terms of production there is not much to complain about: the instruments, including vocals, are nicely balanced, only the bass could be higher in the mix. Little is known about the members of Khandra, but that is not necessary. As long as they will release music of this level in the future, I'm already happy and now we can look forward to their debut LP and there will be finally a Belarusian band in my collection.