Distributor/Label: No Colour Records
Distributor/Label URL: http://www.no-colours-records.de/
Buy Album [URL]: http://shop.no-colours-records.de/
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/KZOHHband
Khorus – bass
Zhoth – vocals
Odalv – drums
Helg – guitars
Hyozt – keys and samples
1. Pest kamen mit Schiffen
2. Alousia et Pestilentia Ignearia
4. Un Drapeau Noir sur L’eglise
5. IV Millas Al Dias
6. Vind i de Tomma ögonhålor
7. Ghosts of Melcombe Regis
Hark to the eerie howling of the south-eastern wind.Smell its putrescent, malignant breath… And following the crunch of the wain’s wheels the dead start their frantic dance… La Grande Danse Macabre…
The mighty KZOHH reign and unify from Ukraine and Russia, back in June 2014 the group united and began their quest to darken there lands with the brutal ghoulish sounds of Black metal with Doom\Ambient\Depressive\Avantgarde elements. The fearsome horde is made up of vocalist Zhoth, drummer Odalv, Hyozt on the keys and samples, Khorus slamming the bass and guitarist Helg, known from other exceptional bands such as Khors and Reusmarkt.
After the overwhelming success of their debut album the band conjured up the second soon after in 2015, which took form in the shape of Rye. Fleas. Chrismon. The ideas and inspiration shifted from the first album and focused on the subject matter of the plague that consumed medieval Europe, I’m sure that this will be the groundings to create pure grotesque madness. Rye. Fleas. Chrismon was realised by label company No Colours Records on November the 23rd 2015, which is made up of 7 tracks that times up to almost a colossal hour of immense pure black metal mayhem and I can sense this is just the beginning for the fearsome KZOHH.
First on the album is Pest kamen mit Schiffen. It starts with the soothing night time white noise of crickets talking to one another setting the scene of travelling through a moonlight field, the journey then progresses into what could be described as a festive feast of celebration in a town or great hall. The light orchestral symphony adds to an upbeat tempo typical to what would be expected in medieval times, soon the story twists to the sounds of pounding waves and the voice of the sea haunting you on dangers yet to unfold. The song ends with ambient yet eerie chanting, sending uncertain chills down your spine, creating suspense of an imperial doom.
Next I need to mention track 5, IV Millas Al Dias. It begins similarly that to of a 80s horror move, soft spoken words that entice you and give clue of what is yet to unfold. You are then smacked with the ghoulish harsh vocals that seem to bewitch you into ultimate surrender, there is no turning back or escape. The ferocious guitar riff mayhem against the relentless crazed drum beat creates a spiral of destruction straight to your soul that grabs on and doesn’t let go, which is oddly compelling and perfectly balanced against one another. Around half way through the song then intertwines itself into a slow and merciless shriek of powerful instruments and psychotic vocals, which is horrifically demonic, brutal and shows the true plague of terror that black metal music creates. Madness of the best kind, and a song that I have no doubt could be the main favourite from the album.
Finally we end with Rye. Fleas. Chrismon with Ghosts of Melcombe Regis. It holds an ambient eerie starting with an atmospheric drum pound, which is accompanied by haunting incantations that seem in the distance, although you are hearing them beyond the grave. The ambiance surrounds you and guides you through a transition almost of what can be only be described as the perilous journey of life to death. The song then twists into an up-tempo powerful drum beat followed with vocals telling the tale of the god forsaken destruction created by the plague that invaded and consumed everything in its path. The song beings to slow and quiver as though you’re living it and that you are taking your last few breaths before death takes over and devours your soul. This track is a phenomenal way to end the album, perfectly executed and beautifully harmonised whilst being packed with emotion and doom. It almost intrigues the listener of what’s next to come and urn to know more about this gruesome tale created thought the whole album.
Rye. Fleas. Chrismon is a perfect example of a fresh take on black metal as a genre but also on metal as the intertwining themes of Doom\Ambient\Depressive\Avantgarde elements pull through in a very controlled and balanced manner giving a new twist that’s unique as a theme. These guys have skills and talent that out sine many at this level in there career, which is exciting to see considering this is only their second album release. I have no doubt that this monstrous horde are yet to become titans of the black metal scene and I look forward to when it happens.
Review By Alexis Evans