Zero Tolerance magazine
First off, what does the word "pagan" mean to you? How would you compare it to your definition of "pagan black metal"?
The word “pagan” has the only one mention but the values are different depends on personal perceptions. We know the paganism is the ancient religion which we are familiar with the lot of sagas, mythologies, ancient cultures, chronicles. Based on that I can note the “pagan” is the one brings the ancient history and culture of ancestors in his heart and in his soul and bring it to the future generations. Paganism was still fundamental religion even after christian religion was adopted so it has the strong enough roots still which can be found now in traditions of our people.
So if talking about “pagan black metal” then for me personally it’s a band presenting its vision of paganism through the music it plays (if talking about black metal so means through black metal). But we also know Pagan Metal just as separate music style so Pagan Black Metal might be also mentioned in media just as the synthesis of those separate two styles.
So, do you consider Khors a strictly "pagan black metal" band, then?
Actually we don’t consider Khors a strictly black metal band or pagan black metal one and black metal fans don’t like when Khors considered as black metal band too btw. We started from the straight stuff more in black metal vein on our first record but with the years our own vision of the music and sound for Khors changed a lot I’m sure and as we recorded our third album “Mysticism” we’ve found a definition of the music we play we considered the most suitable for us and it sounded like “Dark Metal”. From that we prefer to call ourselves as Heathen Dark Metal band.
With pagan BM, have you ever considered that it's an odd anachronism/contradiction — in other words, glorifying ancient times but with modern means (amplified instruments, recording equipment)? Or is it imperative to keep that tradition alive, as a sort of ongoing "folk language"?
If imagine paganism is fundamental religion nowadays if we would still drive our horses, wear tatters and shot a bow? Technological progress is about the development of the human race and not thanks to a christianity. For me all the ways of representing the ancient culture and traditions are right. If it be poems, music, art, etc. But no hippie games called as Pagan rituals, volkhves boys, Pagan communities please.
On “Wisdom of Centuries” we are a bit away from the theme of Paganism in favor of historical events in Ukraine in the last century.
we are a bit away from the topic of paganism in favor
You guys have steadily built the Khors sound, but you really came into your own with the amazing "Return to Abandoned," and now you top that with the even-more-amazing "Wisdom of Centuries" — what's the key to this development?
We’re happy to know you liked our new album but there were no any special requirements we set before ourselves for this new record be much better than the previous one. We just started a new chapter and it’s nice to know you consider it’s development.
Lately, Eastern European black metal bands (and particularly those from the Ukraine) have been going full-tilt with their albums and are now exuding a confident *professionalism* in all that they do – excellent production, epic length, varied instrumentation, high-quality art – and Khors is certainly among this favourable turn of events. Is it possible to have an underground attitude and yet aim for the highest peaks? And do you think this consumate professionalism will help change the perception of Eastern Europe being considered inferior compared to the supposedly more "developed" Western Europe?
First of all thank you for your appreciation. It’s nice for us to see such the development of the bands out from Eastern Ukraine too. But to tell you the truth I don’t think Western Europe ever will consider Eastern Europe say on equal. Many reasons for that but we don’t care. We just do the things we truly love and we don’t insult with such an attitude from the Western Europe. Turning to the theme of “aim for the highest peak” it would be silly to deny the wish to be a step up but first we loved to sound not worse than the bands out from “more developed Western Europe” and we consider the good production is mandatory attribute of the modern band regardless of country of origin.
Lastly, what is the "Wisdom of Centuries"?
It’s the cenotaphs of mournful times, smokes of the past fires, traces of bullets in crust, the lessons of dads and terrible majesty of Mother Nature.