[schema type=”review” name=”Khepra – Cosmology Divine” description=”Label: Naturmacht Productions / Rain Without End Records” author=”Basak Günel” pubdate=”2016-09-10″ ]
Khepra is a Turkish metal band. Originally formed as GÜRZ in 2009 by Dou Kalender and Kenan Turandar, the Turkish formation have come a long way. After having released their first EP under their old name, the band has evolved musically and went through a transformation… and so Khepra was born! Their style can be described as “symphonic/death metal with ethnic influences”. Their debut record “Cosmology Divine” has been released last month!
I gotta say that “Cosmology Divine” is not your typical ‘ethnic metal’ record. As a matter of fact, I have never been a fan of the ethnic metal genre. This record, on the other hand, is quite interesting and even mysterious. This is not the work of just a few but many musicians; apart from the featured guest musicians, a lot of ethnic instruments such as qanun, kemane or ney were involved in this masterpiece and the band even collaborated with Murat İlkan, who is known and adored by many in the Turkish metal scene.
What makes the record more interesting is the huge mosaic of many concepts blended within. Musically and lyrically, the band has been inspired by Mesopotamian deities, occultism and ancient religions as well as some famous names in the world of literature and science such as H.P. Lovecraft, Michio Kaku and Carl Sagan. In this sense, the band delivers a rich sound throughout the record. The record can even be thought as a huge puzzle; the more you listen to it, the more you explore the hidden concepts or ideologies.
Musically, although this is indeed a death/symphonic metal album with ethnic influences, I wouldn’t strictly categorize it. The album features a great harmony of many genres with the highlight on orchestrations. The orchestrations, which form the essence and the unique sound of the record, make “Cosmology Divine” stand out than the other ‘ethnic/symphonic metal’ albums that I know. In this sense, the album is quite melodic but the darkness and the mystery of this huge puzzle is always there. This is especially well emphasized in the last 3 songs, which form the “Cosmology Divine Trilogy” and which, according to the vocalist Dou, form the main ideas for the album. Apart from this, the choirs and the use of many ethnic instruments add a flavor to the band’s sound. When you consider all of these musical elements – from choirs, guitars to orchestrations and the use of ethnical instrumens-, it’s hard to get bored with this record. All in all, there’s a lot to explore! My personal favorites are “Atra Hasis” and “Obsession of the Mad”.
“Cosmology Divine” is highly symbolic and definitely interesting. Just like the Anatolian and Mesopotamian soil, it’s filled with mystery and it’s up to the listener to get lost in and explore the beauties within the melodies and the concept. Get ready to take a journey in the cosmic web!
Line-up for this album:
Dou Kalender – growl vocals, guitars, orchestrations
Tolga Köker – guitars
Kenan Turandar – bass
Erce Arslan – drums
Murat İlkan – clean vocals on #1
Özgür Özkan – clean vocals on #2
Onur Turgut – high choirs on #1,#2,#5; ney on #10
Uğur Yılmaz – bass & baritone choirs on #1,#2,#5,#8,#9
Hakan Çiftçioğlu – bass choirs on #1, #5
Melis Eser – soprano on #1
M.Cantuğ Ağıç – additional lead guitars on #1 and #2
Onur Narin – additional lead & acoustic guitars on #4, #7, #9
Ersin Baykal – kemane on #2 and #4, baglama on #1, oud on #3
Sühendan Çetin – ney on #3 and #4
Ediz Aydın – ney on #4
Tolga Şekerci – qanun on #2 and #7
Erkan Yalın – bendir on #1 and #4
Özlem Yıldırım – cello on #5
01. Atra Hasis
02. Enki (Diaries of a Forgotten God)
04. We are Descending
05. Obsession of the Mad
06. Steps of Immortality
07. Evil Incarnate
08. Into the Cosmic Disharmony
09. Cosmology Divine
10. Through the Cosmic Web of Voids