Featuring a member of Dødheimsgard, and so many guests it’s quite remarkable, (mainly on vocals or keyboards, and from bands such as …And Oceans, Amiensus, Dødheimsgard, Finntroll, Nòtt, and Moonsorrow), a lot of talent and experience has gone into Timaeus.
Khôra’s music combines progressive, avant-garde, and symphonic elements, as well as touches of death and heavy metal, into a rich platter of atmospheric black metal. At least, that’s the appellation I’m loosely going with. The reality is that Timaeus is a multifaceted extreme metal album that has a lot of texture and depth to explore. With so much going on here, this is an album that requires multiple spins to truly appreciate, as it’s less about instant gratification and more about long-term worldbuilding and atmosphere-crafting.
Melodically bountiful and layered with expressive keyboards and orchestration, much of the music feels dramatic, but none of this overreaches or becomes too much. The band are adept at creating rich atmospheres and mysterious auras, both of which are effectively done. I also like that the music also has its aggressive side, and Khôra know when to go for the throat when necessary.
Given all of the above you’d be forgiven for making the assumption that this is a bloated album, full of lengthy songs that show a lot of over indulgence. Not actually so – at 40 minutes the album’s duration is quite agreeable, and only one track here breaches the 5-minute mark, with most well below. Despite this, the band pack in a lot of content and ideas into these songs, and Timaeus is a wild and colourful ride. It’s epic, but without the sprawl.
Imagine a streamlined Dimmu Borgir, mixed with elements of sharp melody from a band like Naglfar, and then enhanced with the avant-garde tendencies of someone like Arcturus, and you’ll have a rough starting point for Khôra’s work.