Khôrada (ex Agalloch & Giant Squid) Has Arrived

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It seems like ancient news, the breakup of Agalloch. In reality, it has been exactly two years since the Facebook post announcing that John Haughm would be splitting from the rest of the crew. A lot has happened since then!

Here’s a non-comprehensive timeline:

  • May 13, 2016 – The breakup went Facebook official.
  • August 26, 2016 – The Khôrada Facebook page is built, announcing Don Anderson, Jason Walton, and Aesop Dekker would team up with Giant Squid (also recently hiatused) vocalist Aaron John Gregory.
  • March 10, 2017 – Haughm’s new project, Pillorian, released their debut album.
  • September 15, 2017 – Most of Giant Squid, including Gregory, released an album under the name Squalus, a great tribute to Jaws (which I reviewed).
  • January 6, 2018 – I’m standing in the shower and have a thought: “what the fuck ever happened to Khôrada?”
  • May 15, 2018 – Khôrada FINALLY dropped their first single, “Ossify”, off the album Salt, which will be out July 20.

First thoughts*:
*subject to change without notice

I wasn’t expecting it to sound more like Giant Squid than Agalloch (it sounds nothing like Agalloch until the very end, and even then… not really). Gregory’s vocals just have a really strong effect in that way, and also some of the surf-feel that pops up in Squalus. It’s an incredibly odd blend of moods, switching from playful to dread without notice. I’d hate to be the guy who has to genre-label this album. From the little attention I paid to lyrics, it seems like they will require a deep dive at some point. The first few minutes were a little disappointing, but only because I was fearing that the whole album might have a low intensity, but it ends up being a building block for the rest of the song. Loved it all on the second listen. If nothing else, this is super fresh, yet not needlessly experimental. My expectations were forcefully drowned, given mouth to mouth, and then shown the way to enlightenment.

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