Khandra’s All Occupied by Sole Death is as bleak as a Belarusian winter itself. It comes in cold and leaves you feeling colder. This is a debut that feels like COVID lockdowns – cold, isolated and detached from everything and everyone. It’s difficult to find a more appropriate soundtrack to our current earthly existence.
My favorite cut off this seven song LP is “Irrigating Lethal Acres With Blood.” It really introduces the flavor of the band so well with it’s aggression and percussiveness. Layers of sound takes you into a bleak landscape right from the beginning and it never lets you escape it’s cold, dark clutches. And the video is something you must see (be sure to catch the homage to Immortal’s Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms)
The title track “All Occupied by Sole Death” is a brooding, atmospheric track – but with plenty of hooks and textures. Lots of tremolo picking and an obvious sense of foreboding.
Khandra is a band that is all about the dissonance and the atmospherics. The LP is grindingly raw and, at times, reticent of a black-metal style dirge. This is it’s allure, of course. A reminder to the finality of death and of the European origins of the authentic black metal sound. In fact, when you put it all together, the name of the band, Khandra, is one key descriptor of the composition here as the term “Khandra” translates to “a feeling of crippling listlessness or melancholy that takes one over in a state boredom.” Now, I will say that one need not be in a state of boredom to truly enjoy this record, but let’s face it, these past 20 months or so have been the apex of boredom for many. Maybe Khandra then ushers in the cure.
Order it now or pose. All Occupied by Sole Death releases on May 28, 2021 on Season of Mist records.