Archive for the ars magna recordings Category

Review: Klor- Klor

Posted in ars magna recordings, atmospheric black metal, black metal, denmark, Reviews with tags , , , , , on January 30, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

**Edited 1/30/14, because the Danes are from Denmark, not the Dutch. My bad. In my defense, I’ve had a toothache and have been on a LOT of painkillers this week.**

Klor’s self-titled debut packs a huge punch in an unassuming package. This Danish band reminds me in many ways of bands like Taake and Mgla- bands that take traditional black metal sounds and combine them in new and original ways, resulting in a fresh and alluring sound.

Although Klor utilizes a lot of distortion on this album, the chord progressions are often melodic, shifting to unexpected resolutions. The opening track, “Ancient Timer,” provides an excellent example of this technique. The result is something that sounds forest-like to me; although it’s a dark sound, it also reverberates with a feel of wonder.

Klor would probably be happy to know my opinion of that sound, considering that the album as a whole draws on a lot of woodland imagery. Songs like “Criminal Youth of the Woods,” “Helmet Overgrown With Weeds,” and the beautifully named “Ghostlip,” all evoke images of a natural setting.

Even some of the heavier pieces on the album, like “Criminal Youth of the Woods,” have some lovely parts (around 2:16 in particular). “Sunroom” uses harmonies that I normally associate with post-black metal or blackgaze, but the tempo is much faster than that particular subgenre normally is. The guitar harmonies are incredible on this track, and the eerie keyboard opening is a welcome shift in pace before the track blasts off, ending abruptly.

As mesmerizing as the pretty parts of the album are the churning, dissonant passages. “Helmet Overgrown With Weeds” makes use of this technique, wedged in between a post-black metal feeling opening and woodsy bell-tones at the end.

As I mentioned above, the wilderness feel of Klor extends beyond just the feel of the music and the song titles. The album artwork is also inundated with forest imagery, which is what drew me immediately to the album. The back cover lists the names of the songs with plants, feathers, and other nature imagery corresponding with the titles. However, the simple black and white background does little to prepare you for the inside artwork. Seafoam green and bright orange, the inside of the case is highly unexpected, as with so much of this album.

20131106_091231

I’m told this says “Klor.”

This color scheme was rather unexpected.

This color scheme was rather unexpected. I really like the contrast with the black and white disc, though.

This makes my little foresty heart happy.

This makes my little foresty heart happy.

The production on Klor’s debut is very good; the instruments and vocals are accommodated nicely in the mix. I only could make out the words clearly at a couple of points, which means that the vocals were blending into the mix in the way that I really love when it comes to black metal. Especially since Klor is such an atmospheric album, I feel like the blending of vocals with instruments and the meticulous highlighting of the more unconventional and post-black metal parts serve the band well.

Quite frankly, I love this debut album from this little Danish band I had never heard of until recently. It’s astoundingly original and fresh- although the album draws on post-black metal/blackgaze, which is really popular right now, Klor approaches these subgenres in a new way. It’s always exciting to hear new things in black metal, especially with how popular the genre has become. Please give Klor a listen; trust me, you won’t regret it.

Hagalaz’ Favorite Tracks:

Ancient Timer

Sunroom

Ghostlip

ALSO, A special thanks to Ars Magna Recordings for sending me this album and allowing me to review it! I really appreciate your support!

-Hagalaz

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