Khorada
Salt


4.5
superb

Review

by Marehelm USER (4 Reviews)
August 20th, 2018 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We are fucked.

Someone told me a while ago that the most valuable resource we, as individuals, possess in this modern, digitalized, and global world is our attention and where we, consciously or un-, directs it. He went on about the usual suspects: Flashy commercials, breaking news, Facebook, and how all this affects multitudes of aspects of our lives. "Yeah," I said.

One way to get my attention: bring three-fourths of Agalloch and Aaron Gregory together to make a band, Khôrada, and an album, Salt.

So, the music. Don't expect full-on Agalloch-ish folk-ish black metal with marine vocals. Instead, put an abnormally large squid into a blender, go to your local water-recycling facility and get your hands on some sludge of which you add just about a teaspoon, and carefully add a few bits of a deer's crushed mantle.

Finally, add salt.

Except that's nothing but a cheap attempt that doesn't really, truly capture what this behemoth of an album sounds like. Listen to it instead, I've got other points to make. Actually, listen to it several times. There's lots of intricate details to pick out in subsequent listens. I think the kids would call it a "grower".

So, the vocals. In short, Gregory is being Gregory. But what really captures me here is how the music and vocals consistently seem to, almost hand-in-hand, follow each other. They ebb and flow together, climb peaks together, and crashes into valleys together. It's not like that concept is a game-changer in the world of music, it’s probably the default for most bands. However, the degree to which the music and vocals follow each other is impressive. Rarely does Gregory roar without distortion and drums roaring back, rarely does Gregory whimper without a clean guitar or trumpet whimpering with him. Whether he barks with a hungry-dog-at-dinner-time-like urgency or whispers with subdued surrender, the music follows in tone and intensity.

Or its the other way around and the vocals follow the music, who knows.

Further adding to this feeling of strong interplay between the vocals and music, is the low mixing of Gregory’s voice. This unites the two parts even further and amplifies, instead of detracting, the emotional weight. This united force seldom re-visit the same musical places. Instead, they go on exploring and only rarely is something resembling a chorus or riff repeated. The music is almost free-flowing, like the home of Gregory's fascinations and muses. However, the crescendos, the tsunamis of sound are not quite as Earth-destroying as one might expect from this band line-up. There's, or at least I'm hypothesizing that there is, some resigned undertone to all this - even during the supposed the climaxes. This might be seen as a negative by those who are looking for auditory, cathartic destruction. To me, this apparent weariness in should-be grand moments only adds to the overall musical and lyrical themes of the album. Themes which previously, for Gregory, has been stories of the wonders below. Not so anymore. Seemingly fueled be the ongoing demise of lives and environment at both sea and land, the message has changed.

We are ***ed.

And I can't even begin to think about how to approach the complex topic of the almost infinite ways in which we are ***ed. And I can't even bother to include Gregory's version. I guess these days it’s kind of self-explanatory. But I think the root of our current situation boils down to this: Our attention has not been where it should. We have been blinded by comfortable living and consuming, flashy commercials, breaking new, Facebook, and somehow lost sight of the ball while it was in mid-air. And now, were ***ed. But, I would like to believe that during brief moments of the last track, "Ossify", we're offered a shimmer of hope. Like some young and innocent major chord went to the beach with its parents, went swimming alone and got dragged away by the current and somehow ended up in final minutes of all this doom and gloom.

Or I may be imagining this brief presence of hope. It may a false hope, but what else have we got to cling on to in this soon-to-be flooded world"


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Comments:Add a Comment 
Marehelm
August 20th 2018


801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So, the review. I actually put some effort into this and tried to talk just a bit about the actual music.

Marehelm
August 20th 2018


801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Constructive criticism is of course always welcome. And this album needs more ratings.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
August 20th 2018


24639 Comments


"Yeah" I said

Marehelm
August 20th 2018


801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah

DungeonBoy
August 20th 2018


6021 Comments


Interesting review! Surprised it took so long for a write up from this site, but better late then never. I heard two tracks off this and I was not too impressed with the vocals, recording, or musical style in general, but will give the entire thing a listen based on the band members when I get a chance.

Digging: Misthyrming - Algleymi

Marehelm
August 20th 2018


801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks! Hearing the whole thing might make it more interesting. I, as you can tell, love the vocals, but I can definitely see why some would find them grating.

Marehelm
August 22nd 2018


801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn, not much attention and love (or hate) for this. Seems to be mostly "meh"

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 22nd 2018


15838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a good album but the vocals are jarring sometimes.

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir

Hawks
August 22nd 2018


70716 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gotta jam this asap.

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir

DarkNoctus
August 22nd 2018


10764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

i was disappointed by this

Digging: Tanagra - Meridiem

Marehelm
August 27th 2018


801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, seems to be the general opinion on sput

quetzal
September 25th 2018


22 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

dropped this to a 1, it is my pick for worst album of the year, the vocalist is so abominably awful that it completely ruins their bland, generic hodge-podge of post metal tropes

DungeonBoy
September 26th 2018


6021 Comments


lol. The vocals have deterred me from diving into this one. Someday I might sit down and give it a listen, but not today

DarkNoctus
September 26th 2018


10764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

i don't think the vocals are as bad as people make out. i think it's more the way they're produced that irk me (and tbh the production in general isn't great) - he sounds like he's singing from another room

osmark86
November 28th 2018


8966 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this was a bit of a mess really. could have been really good but I thought the execution left a lot to be desired and not a fan at all of the vocal delivery. some very cool ideas though, gotta give them that.

Digging: Polynation - Igneous

DarkNoctus
November 28th 2018


10764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

i want to like this more than i do - there's definitely some great things going on with it. it really picks up on the last 3 tracks, that's for sure.

osmark86
November 28th 2018


8966 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah, there were so many moments when I kept thinking "well this is pretty damn novel and cool" but then I just ended up being disappointed. so the overall experience was more of a frustration than that of an enjoyment for me.

Meridiu5
January 19th 2019


2188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Now i know why this record failed...



http://www.metalinjection.net/interviews/khoradas-don-anderson-talks-moving-on-from-agalloch-and-crafting-an-epic-anti-trump-record/amp

Digging: Mengalloch - The Mentle

teamster
January 19th 2019


4133 Comments


This and RLYR are my two biggest busts from 2018.

Digging: Spotlights - Love and Decay

artiswar
January 19th 2019


7929 Comments


didn't one of the writers over there have it as their album of the year?



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