Gorath ‘The Chronicles Of Khiliasmos’ – album review

Gorath ‘The Chronicles Of Khiliasmos’ (ConSouling Sounds)
Available now

Final release from the Belgian extreme black metal outfit who (possibly) took their name from a early 60’s Japanese disaster movie about a giant meteor named Gorath which was on a collision course with the Earth, being Japanese the film also inexplicably featured a giant walrus…anyhow should said meteor have collided with earth I hazard a guess the sound would of been something similar to that contained on this the bands sixth and final release, though if you were expecting a typical 35mins of grinding guitars and blast beats then you would be either disappointed or pleasantly surprised.

The term Khiliasmos stems from ancient Greek and defines a belief in an earthly thousand-year period of peace and prosperity, often equated with the return of Jesus for that time; the use within the album title is further endorsed within the introductory text to each of the three tracks which hint towards spiritual beliefs and doctrines.

The Chronicles Of Khiliasmos’ whilst most definitely being of the black metal genre also offers a level of progression and sophistication that is both enlightening and welcome; across the three tracks Gorath create an unsettling atmosphere of doom and impending apocalypse, opener ‘Khiliasmos I’ begins with a barely audible guitar riff which over a full minute plus builds as various sound effects are introduced creating an almost ambient texture before cavernous drums descend to accompany the schlock horror blood curdling vocals courtesy of guitarist/vocalist Dupont; the track flexes and twists over a near 8mins, the pace is sedate, way quicker than the glacial rumblings of SUNN O))) but Gorath certainly ain’t going anywhere in a hurry; then a real curveball that had me checking the display on the CD player – the track suddenly drops into a rush of feedback before morphing into a melodic outro that highlights some downbeat drumming eventually coming to a more natural conclusion. ‘Khiliasmos II’ again focuses upon the drum patterns which force a number of tempo changes, none more dramatic than when drummer Vanderheyden increases the pace to lunatic speeds, pounding out those double bass drums, the dual guitars of Dupont and Put struggling to keep up as they shred layer upon layer of squall, all of which carries us to the epic ‘Khiliasmos III’ – a full 21minutes in length, the first half arcs back to the album opener and builds a doom laden complex ambient aura before the pace slows into more rhythmic patterns, coupled with sludge-like guitar riffing, as Dupont chants “Like wriggling maggots and worms/Living in a world of slime and filth” the track finally slipping away into an extended drone overlaid with similar soundscape atmospherics that opened the album.


An outstanding release, and a fitting culmination to the legacy of Gorath that not only reminds people of their dark experimentation but hints at the potential of future projects.

‘The Chronicles Of Khiliasmos’ is available now in a 300 copy ltd digi-pack edition.


‘Khiliasmos I’
‘Khiliasmos II’
‘Khiliasmos III’

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Phil Newall is from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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