First off, I trust you are doing well?
Hi! Yes, we're fine, thanks! We're just preparing for some live shows supporting our new record.
Since this will be the first Khors interview for Lords Of Metal, could you introduce Khors to our audience through means of a short biographical overview?
In 2004 I invited drummer Khaoth with whom we played together in Astrofaes some years before it. A couple of months later we invited guitar player/singer Helg. In three we recorded our debut album 'The Flame Of Eternity's Decline' the same year which was out in 2005. In the same year we invited guitar player Nort then starting to play live. For six years of our existence we played more than 50 live shows and recorded four full length albums all of which were released of course. Unfortunately Helg and Nort are not with us anymore. They were replaced by Jurgis and Warth accordingly. One can read detailed biography in the web if interested.
Congratulations on your latest album 'Return To Abandoned', I thought it was very good. How are the reactions towards it so far?
The response is very positive in general and even better than the one for our previous album 'Mysticism'. That's more than we expected and that's much pleasant.
How would you compare the album to your earlier works?
Ok! Our first album 'The Flame Of Eternity's Decline' turned out the most malicious and firstborn. Power and melodies are harmonically combined there in. On the second album 'Cold' we decreased tempo a little bit, more melodic songs there in and importance of keyboards and lead guitar increased a lot. On 'Mysticism', the third album we created original atmosphere having included big amount of ambient sections, acoustic guitars and some keyboards and vocal effects. On 'Return To Abandoned' album we're back a little bit to a sound of our early recordings having mixed it with the atmosphere and melancholy of 'Mysticism' album. We think our new record will be interested both to lovers of our early albums as well as to lovers of the last one.
To me the album was quite relaxing. How do you combine the abrasive nature of black metal with soothing melodies?
Frankly speaking I don't know exact recipe hahaha. We are just working in our vein just as we usually do having making arrangements such as we see it meanwhile we don't try to make a combination of black metal and relaxing music. But if you feel relax with listening to 'Return To Abandoned' album then it's not so bad. Especially when you're back home after long hard working day hehe.
One of the most striking parts of your sound is the keyboards. Its use and sound are quite unique in metal. From a musician point of view, is it hard to incorporate this into a metal format?
Thanks for your appreciation! We experiment with keyboards on every album of ours and it often occurs not only within canons of metal music. The result is much interesting and varied then in our opinion. I'd like to note our old friend Saturious thanks the talent of which we have possibility to make a lot of such experiments.
Musically, you have elements of both pagan black metal as well as progressive melodic metal. Does it require a certain way of song writing to successfully merge the two?
This is kind of our style, our direction. Initially we didn't put ourselves in exact frames of any style and with our every subsequent album we're trying to do something different from that we made on its predecessor. In any case it will carry Heathen component first in some degree. As for progressive then yes, we like to use some elements of this style but no more…
What inspires you musically and thematically?
Musically it's a lot of bands in different styles. I can note Porcupine Tree, Katatonia, Anathema, Celtic Frost, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Burzum, Primordial, Emperor, Green Carnation, Pan-Thy-Monium and many others. Thematically it's ancient belief of our ancestors, history of our land, history of Slavonic and Scandinavian, ancient runes and symbols.
In recent years Ukrainian metal has experienced a significant rise in popularity. How do you explain this? What's the scene like there?
Yeah, I think it rises and all it occurs thanks of Kharkov based Ukrainian scene. Back in late 90s/early 2000s such bands like Nokturnal Mortum, Astrofaes and hate Forest became known in musical world of extreme music. The situation became much more expressive now. Drudkh, Hate Forest, Blood Of Kinghu signed with major labels. Dub Buk and Nokturnal Mortum released great albums. So I think the scene's growing. I think it should be better seen from your side what's unusual in our scene that enables it to gain such a move. As for me so I think it goes for some kind of national authenticity, something innovative unlike European scene that's strongly oversaturated with monotonous metal music.
Is there any chance to see guys play live in the Netherlands or surrounding countries any time soon?
I don't think it's possible. We're unknown band for European promoters, we are not in any roster so I don't see any chances now but I hope the better time will come for us in this issue. Usually we play many shows mainly in counties of ex-USSR region (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova). As for European shows and especially shows in the Netherlands so we had some invitations but it didn't reach any concrete for now. It's all up to European promoters and we're ready to storm European areas.
Can you tell us something about your plans for the near and distant future?
In the nearest time we plan to play a few live shows supporting our new album as I told you before. In spare time we'll make new songs for our new album the recording of which we plan on winter/spring the next year.
Well I guess that wraps it up for now. Thank you for your time. The final words to our readers are yours!
Thank you for your interest in our band and Ukrainian scene in general. Be well, take care of your family, honor your ancestry and heritage of your ancestors.