zhOra - Ethos, Pathos, Logos album review

A sci-fi/progressive sludge odyssey launched from the wilds of Ireland

Cover art for zhOra - Ethos, Pathos, Logos album

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Four years on from the release of the delicious slice of lunacy that was debut album Almaz, Irish four-piece zhOra have unveiled a new concept LP. Described as a “sludge opera”, Ethos, Pathos, Logos is centred around the sci-fi infused story of a bloodthirsty despot and his feral minions, set to the backdrop of frozen tundras, scorching deserts and panoptical imprisonment while mentioning cannibals, aliens and more over the course of 11 tracks. Sounding simultaneously primitive and modern, it’s a mindfuck from the opening, gloriously gloomy and piano-led The Stone to the mammoth prog/sludge closer Tabula Rasa. A brave record that rewards with repeated spins, it’s a heady fusion of primal riffs, polyrhythms and haunting Alice In Chains-like melodies. Standouts include the sprawling, jazz-tinged epic The Breach and Earth’d, which tips its cap to the band’s Celtic roots.