Monday 23 October 2017

zhOra - Ethos, Pathos, Logos (Album Review)

Release date: October 27th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Ethos, Pathos, Logos – Tracklisting

1.The Stone
3.Sin Eater
4.The Breach
6.Infernal Liturgy 02:42
8.Rubic(On) The Styx
10.Server, Seer, Soothsayer
11.Tabula Rasa


Colin Bolger / Pancho O Meara / Tom Woodlock / Alan Hanlon


zhOra's new album - Ethos, Pathos, Logos - is a very hard album to describe. Firmly rooted within the Progressive Sludge Metal world. The band plays many different styles of Rock/Metal on this album.

Opening track - The Stone - opens with a cool psychedelic sound before zhOra explode into a more experimental progressive sludge sound. It has quite a jazz like feel with the vocals flirting between clean styles and harsher based growls. The song maybe too jarring and experimental for the casual listener and is perhaps to be enjoyed by the more experienced and dedicated sludge metal fan.

Second track - Riverchrist - carries on the experimental sound but with a heavier sludge and almost death metal style approach. Gojira and Mastodon progressive style sounds don't always fully work but zhOra still manage to create some spectacular messed up sounds of their own. The atmosphere of the album becomes doomier with psychedelic noises making a welcome appearance.

The other songs on the album follow the same destructive path with zhOra showing elements of traditional based Rock/Metal melodies to lighten up the mood. Though only for a brief moment between the heavy and experimental carnage. Songs such as Sin Eater, The Breach, Infernal Liturgy, Turmoil and the two superb final songs - Server, Seer, Soothsayer and Tabula Rosa perhaps offer the most craziest and standout moments on the album.

With zhOra still not settling for a conventional sound. The instrumental work is without doubt the strongest aspect of the entire album. With the band offering a musical masterclass for anyone brave enough to listen. The music is heavy and dynamic with experimentation being the main focus here. The band explore as many different genres they can lay their hands on and you have to give them credit for trying to include moments of Psychedelic/Spaced Out Rock within the confines of their progressively heavy sludge based madness. The album doesn't make sense when you first listen to it. As the album takes the listener down a very complex musical path.

The fantastic lyrics have a Mastodon feel to them. Slightly influenced by Crack The Skye at times. The production is first rate with the album being loud and violent from the start. Ethos, Pathos, Logos is the sort of album that Mastodon should be making instead of their more commercially friendly sludge rock sound. zhOra have released an album that is not your usual progressive sludge sounding album.

The band takes many risks on this album and to be fair whilst the majority of these risks Ethos, Pathos, Logos pay off huge dividends for the band. The only issues with the album I have for is when zhOra opt for a quieter style of music. The flow of the album feels forced at times. Though zhOra never stay fully quiet for long and soon return to playing their more addictive and heavier experimental sludge based riffs.

Overall, zhOra have created a truly exciting and weirdly addictive progressive sounding album that will leave you wanting more.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Lisa at Hold Tight PR for the promo. Ethos, Pathos, Logos will be available to buy on CD/DD from October 27th 2017.