HDR - 019 : Ekove Efrits - Conceptual Horizon


Released: July 29th, 2011
Details: Pro-Manafactured-CD, 16 page booklet/standard jewel case - Limited to 500 Copies
Genre: Melancholic Black Metal


From : The Werkshed
Published: June 27th, 2011

It really amazes me how far and wide heavy metal music has gone over the past few decades. We are truly experiencing a global phenomenon even if it often lurks in the shadows of what is the mainstream. Whether it be the more successful styles or underground chances are it has found a place in almost every country in the world, even beyond western development. In fact many non-European nations are home to various hidden gems whether they are situated in South America or Southeast Asia.

One such region that while limited in quantity of bands but makes up for it with a nice ratio of quality, relatively speaking, is the Middle East. While the more popular bands of this area are likely to throw in the folk music of their indigenous areas to add flavor and stick out among the crowd, others keep the styles traditional and execute it well. From within this scene comes a nice black metal solo project hailing from Iran; Ekove Efrits. Throwing in a dark symphonic influence and more melancholic passages than your old school acts, yet still staying true to the genre, here is an act worth looking out for as I see only good things to come.

Conceptual Horizon, the act’s forthcoming release, offers an accessible but well executed musical passage that melts beauty and lamentation into an intricate and emotional journey. Each track is complemented by rich symphonic passages and down-tempo guitar work, which makes for a very melody driven release. Ambient passages are also to be found throughout which both are nature inspired and more technical other times. The only two complaints I could really have is that the clean vocals could be better performed, though they are still not bad. The other complaint is while each track is beautifully orchestrated, the listener isn’t given much variety here, save for a few tracks. While it is good that the general mood of the release is consistent, I feel experimenting with song structure could benefit Ekove in the long run. My favorite track of the release would have to be “A Celebration for Sorrow,” the acoustic guitar fuses nicely with the synth ambience, and reminds me a lot of Blut Aus Nord’s more transcendental works, before it goes into doom inspired symphonic black metal passages along with more well written ambience, which seems to be Count De Efrit’s strong suit. Overall this album just falls short of being an obscure classic, but it is well worth purchasing, as well as being one of Hypnotic Dirge’s best releases thus far.

Rating: 8/10
Reviewed by: Matt Coughlin


From: Alternativ Musik
Published: August 27th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a German Review. You can read the original HERE

In our latitudes, one gets to hear very little of the metal scene in the Middle East, and if we do it is mostly bands like Orphaned Land and Melechesh, the black metal mixed with oriental influences and thus have become famous. Far away on the other hand is the one-man project Ekove afrit from Iran, but also the moves of Black Metal, but in the direction of depressive and melancholic sounds. As usual for Depressive Black Metal, there are guitars slow pace. These are enriched by many symphonic passages, making the album a relatively melodic affair, while the musical talent of Saman, N., the man behind Ekove afrit shows.

But it quickly show more talent of the musician: The lyrics are true genre-typical of depression, melancholy, love and hate, but they managed very lyrical. To hear are also elements of ambient, post rock and guitars from the doom metal and trip-hop, where everything is so well together in harmony, that conceptual Horizon is both catchy and deep consistently.

Conceptual Horizon is an album that should not be missed and to recommend all of those, is not the depressive black metal hear, but start with good dark music something. So beautiful and dark, that it is a real pleasure to hear.

Reviewed by: Tristan Osterfeld


From: Metal.de
Published: August 30th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a German Review. You can read the original HERE

Hypnotic Dirge Records at the sight of one seems definitely to have good artwork, because similar FUNERAL FORNICATION also the cover of EKOVE afrit is not exactly the best quality. However, as with the Canadian label mates is "Conceptual horizon" of a fine musical quality -. At least for the most part, is exciting but for now a very different thing. EKOVE afrit comes not from common metal countries, but from Iran. On truly exotic deposits but you need not hope for Count De afrit draws its influences from mainly metallic varieties and decorated throughout with some elements of classical music. Depressive black metal doom metal meets here and is enriched with a bit of gothic metal pathos. It only interferes with the production, the drum machine is not sitting at 100%, and a bit too much, the Iranian Count wanted. . By and large, can be "Conceptual horizon" enjoy good but this is primarily due to the dense atmosphere, which radiates most of all, nostalgia! Packaged in a highly appealing lead guitar, soft keys, a successful change from clear and raspy vocals, and mostly slower pace. Monotony can not be accused EKOVE afrit also happens to overload too much in the songs, but sometimes it works. Especially nice are the recitations from the classical music, so you can look forward for example in "Hills Of Ashes" about Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" in a slightly faster variant. The theme is then taken up again and makes its way through the thick, heavy guitars - fine. Also working with samples and succeeded Count De afrit like. "Faceless Moments" gets through the playful childlike chanting at the beginning of an even more dramatic touch, thanks to the guitar than it already has been. BURZUM was standing in the black metal passages and often sponsor, but also in any bare Abkupferei, but used quite inspiring. So, "Conceptual horizon" exotic, a very different way than you might initially assume. Because unlike many European bands may be EKOVE afrit can impress a really dramatic, sad and lonely stamp. Whether this is due to the difficult circumstances in Iran, but remains pure speculation. In any case worth a listen!

Rating: 7/10
Reviewed by: The.Beaver


From: Doommantia
Published: August 30th, 2011

Hypnotic Dirge Records has always been amazing at finding these obscure bands that play unique heavy music. Bands that can't be tagged as one direction or another and Ekove Efrits are another one. For a kick-off this band is from Iran - yes you read right; that in itself is unique but musically this band have delivered an album that doesn't just blend genres, it sounds like it is trying to invent a new one all-together.

The only music even remotely close to rock from the Middle-East that I have heard are folk-tinged kind of outfits. This album is the complete antithesis of that. This album is a morbidly depressing mix of ambient doom, black-metal, and beautifully orchestrated, symphonic, cinematic music. On top of that it is all the work of one man who goes by the name of Count De Efrit. Along with many demos and a split, this is the third full-length from this project.

This album has 11 tracks lasting well over an hour but the tracks play out more like sections in a larger conceptual piece. The music is dark, depressing and melancholic but it is the melting pot of various metallic styles, classical and ambient music that ultimately wins you over. Also the only element that yells "one-man-band" is the drums which is obviously a drum-machine and the vocals which are not bad but they don't exactly enhance the music in the way they should.

Regardless of that; this album is an enchanting album despite its depressive value. There is great lead guitar parts, nice keys and it is really good at maintaining a hypnotic atmosphere throughout. Songs don't change much at all and you can be forgiven in losing track of where you are in the albums playing order. Songs do sound all the same at times and the albums extended running length makes it hard to stay interested for its entire duration.

There is some wonderful tracks; the eight minute 'A Celebration For Sorrow' really stands out. The way its moves from acoustic ambience to symphonic black metal and crippling doom all in the one song is stunning. 'Hills Of Ashes' is blackened classical music and is a fascinating piece of work. 'Faceless Moments' is one of the albums more black-metalish tracks but it is also a highlight here. This track starts off haunting then gets severely dramatic as the track progresses. Littered in among these tracks is other good tracks and a couple of fillers; 'Floating Energies From Nature' is one track that is almost a deal-breaker for me but luckily it has an interesting last couple of minutes that keeps me tuned in. This is mostly very captivating and extremely unique. While it gets a little boring at times as the songs are lengthy as is the album, Ekove Efrits is easily one of the best bands I have heard on the Hypnotic Dirge label. Hardly perfect but 'Conceptual Horizon' is an album I will keep going back to for a long time to come

Rating: 8/10
Reviewed by: Ed


From: Lords of Metal E-Zine
Published: August 31st, 2011

Is it psychedelic ambient post-gothic black doom? Or more avant-garde trip-hop necro? Indeed folks, the Iranian Ekove Efrits isn’t pigeonhole-able. If we are to over-analyse this than it would seem that the basis lies within the depressive black metal genre. But the actual music has so many musical influences that ultimately the similarities to that of any genre, are simply not there.

One thing is for sure: ‘Conceptual Horizon’ has a melancholic mood. Ekove Efrits uses atmospheric keys, violins, noisy guitars, piano, samples and more to generate a musical journey into deep emotions, psychological abysses. This is heavy on the stomach and requires multiple spins to even remotely understand what this album is about. Vocally sometimes reminiscent of Tiamat, musically sometimes Shining and then suddenly Ulver. Ekove Efrits does not pick one direction but it melts them all into a special album creating a strange musical catharsis. Providing this with a numerical score is almost impossible. Very impressive performance, but what to say about the quality of an album that is totally unique? Go out and listen carefully for yourself.

Rating: 85/100
Reviewed by: Roel de Haan


From: Nocturnal Cult Webzine
Published: September 2nd, 2011

This one man Iranian entity packs more emotional impact into his third full-length album than most full sized bands do within the scope of their entire career. The slow dreamy quality beginning of Unmeaning Circle brings to mind Tiamat at their most Pink Floyd-esque. Piano and strings mingle with metallic guitars and grim vocals as the track continues. The stark guitar and pounding industrial beat give way to angelic synth and throbbing bass. This all culminates in a very touching and sincere atmosphere of desolation. This thread of desolation is a common thread throughout the album and continues on Faceless Moments. Icy synth and thin drums are unified behind eerie black metal vocals as the song freezes the blood in your veins. Haunting clean vocals drift in like some gothic ghost while strings pierce the darkness. All That We Lost enters timidly with sorrowful piano and then gathers steam behind a wall of guitars and synth. As with the rest of the tracks, the tempo here crawls along and the drums are so sparse and thin they remind me of Katatonia's Brave Murder Day. The way in which the guitars and synth are utilized here it gives the composition an orchestral feel. Clean, melodic guitar and chilled keys summon visions of a still pond on a crisp fall morning as A Celebration For Sorrow begins. Deep, clean vocals and gothic riffs crest and wane and then rise into black metal soundscapes. It is very depressive, bordering on suicidal to listen to this music. Extreme arctic coldness permeates the ambient synths that paint the soundscape of I Walk Into Darkness. At times I am reminded of Neptune Towers meets Burzum's more synth oriented work. Once again the latter day Tiamat comparisons resurface as Hills of Ashes gets rolling. Perhaps it is Saman N.'s airy, vocals and the bizarre keyboard sections. The pulsing bass provides a foundation for the cacophony of synth swirling around it. The gothic and depressive black metal orchestration that comprises Conceptual Horizon creates an environment of despair and isolation. There is a deep chill in its notes, one that you can feel in your bones even after the album has finished.

Reviewed by: Bradley Smith


From: Scwarze-News Webzine
Published: September 16th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a German Review. You can read the original HERE

About Hypnotic Dirge Records have recently come a lot more or less strong publications over to us. In contrast to the labelmates Ov Hollowness or Funeral Fornication is the man behind Evoke afrit not from Canada but domiciled in Iran. Black metal bands seem to be sown more than rare in Tehran. Precisely for this reason it is strange that you have a project with a back catalog of eight publications to date taken so little notice. Whether Count de afrit ninth output with the title "Conceptual horizon" but because something changes, please read below:

The cover might suggest, the first notes confirm it: Although the man himself "Count" and called it a penchant for theatrical black metal purists can overshadow hides behind Evoke afrit not just black metal in its purest form. The "Post" trend seems to be able to access and achieves even have to Tehran. Otherwise it can probably not explain that an existing project comes up for 10 years straight with a clear voice, and otherwise takes a more experimental way.

"Unmeaning Circle" is the kickoff for a long trip over one hours, somewhere between dark ambient passages, a few black metal outbursts and skillfully applied piano and string arrangements. The notice at the beginning vocals are less than clear as one of many facets of the changing vocal, often at moments of whispered back on harsh attacks than really nagging. Precisely that is really only in the faster moments to use what they can immediately stand out even more striking. Real black metal eruptions are relatively rare because the guitar instead of a principle rather decorate real stylistic device is verwedet. Instead, the disc relies extensively on Syntie carpets and hypnotic monotony, and somewhat melancholy dripping pathos. "Hills Of Ashes" quotes Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, and occasionally find their application mandatory samples. Which depressive black metal-influenced band holds something in it already comes out without a thing? On really unexpected so you wait in vain, but know this album on an atmosphere which could hardly be closer. Everything goes into one another, can be dreams, and digress into instrumental pieces such as "Floating Energies From Nature" sink. Particularly pleased with the crystal-clear production and the fact is that the man behind the duck's Intrum Decade "professional experience" sounds perfectly. No instrument stands out negative, and the drum machine is not unpleasant consequence. If you look at the leaning of singing at the very beginning not to feel very discouraged and gives the board a chance "Evoke afrit" here is a pretty good disc for quieter minutes succeeded, where you can just relax.

Headphones on, a good book at hand and put himself in a chair by Count de afrit can sprinkle with a really pretty good and emotive piece of music. "Conceptual horizon" is not an album of individual songs, there is no "song" that stand out. For this one moment again and again the value of them are there to give his full attention and friends predict atmospheric black metal just as likely supporters of dark ambient sounds.

Rating: 8/10


From: Thre Nodies Webzine
Published: September 18th, 2011

It’s not unusual, that the origin of a band is emphasised, especially when they originate in a country, that is not known for metal. How exciting it must be, that there are bands from the orient, asia or south america which are playing metal, too. Except some special cases like Melechesh you can’t even hear, from which country they come. Ekove Efrits is one of those bands, where you might guess their home country by taking a close look on their name, but no hint in the music, on which we will focus the review.

Don’t hesitate to look up, from which country Ekove Efrits are from, if it’s really of interesst for you, but IMHO it doesn’t matter at all. It’s way more interessting, that the band has allready released seven outputs before Conceptual Horizon, thereof two full-length records, some demo cd’s, one split and one compilation. The genre which the Count de Efrits is playing can’t really be defined, as many different influences are merged together. His music is streaked with ambient parts, some occasional black metal eruptions (in terms of orchestration, as well as vocalisation), trip-hop and some minor post-something moments.

Although you can’t define the genre Conceptual Horizon would fit in, you can define the major influences which shape the music: The ambient parts are creating a depressive/melancholic trip-hop (as it’s simply to calm for black metal) atmosphere held in mid-tempo regions. The main style of vocalisation is calm and mostly whispered instead of really sung, but there are long passages without vocals as well. The instruments of the Counts choice to create this atmospheric layer are the keys/synthesizer, occasionally strings and everything is accentuated by the guitars, which seldomly play a bigger role.

It would be an erroneous belief, that the tracks might be too similiar and boring, if they all have the same fundament in form of melancholic atmosphere. The Count really knows how to compose songs and so there is enough variation as some songs are using samples (Faceless Moments), others cite classical music (Hills Of Ashes) and the last category just features really experimental sounds like “gurgling” melodies (Floating Energies From Nature).

While the combination of these several elements was done really well and the variation on the record is guaranteed, there is nothing left to complain about, right? Sadly, that’s not the whole truth, as the songs are a bit overladen which can be annoying from time to time. Another flaw are the programmed drums, which don’t really sound bad, but there are moments in which they just don’t seem to fit in right. The last flaw might be the clean vocals, as they sound a bit shriek from time to time.

Conceptual Horizon is no record for balmy summer evenings, but the exactly right thing for rainy days in fall. The record is defined through the really thick atmosphere but the black metal passages are good as well and all in all you could be reminded of Blakagir. Sadly, there are some flaws on the record, for instance the shriek clean vocals, but Conceptual Horizon is nevertheless a good record.

Rating: 76/100
Reviewed by: Daniel Dervaric


From: Post-Christ Webzine
Published: September 19th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a French Review. You can read the original HERE

It's not every day that I can chronicle of Iranian groups! The example is interesting because in a scene that's sometimes plays a little "warrior", it would be good for some to move to their music in these countries as well and see what it's really live dangerously! In short, Ekova Efrit is not the only and the last group of Iranian bm, but one of the few to have been able to sign him on a label to promote his music properly.

I admit, reading the name of the group and knowing the origin of this one-man band, naively hoping to have some kind of bm a little oriental and dark surfing the staging of the Persian mythology or Muslim. A little disappointed when I found that Ekova Efrit was moving more on the melodic and atmospheric bm without much cultural pretensions. Yet all is not bad, far from it. Mr. De Efrit Count is still, indeed, not the first trial run: since 2001 he chained three albums (with it), 4 demos and a split. On this latest album of more than an hour, work is undeniably present, surfing the many influences of both post-rock, trip hop, doom, without ever (and almost paradoxically) actually plunge into the avant-bm garde. Because this album is definitely an album of atmospheric bm where the atmosphere is clearly at the heart of the concerns of its creator. This does not prevent the pieces intelligently to develop a construction quality music and musicianship with an equally credible. Some additions of strings, layers of keyboards and placed carefully measured, never aggressive riffs and back, but used effectively musicality that sometimes turns squarely to the symphony (eg on the end of the 3 e song), here are some traits quickly sketched that you will be entitled to listening.

In short, at a formal level there is not much to say is the substance that can be less pleasant. For if the set is very subtle and far from boring, it lacks good melodies and catchy passages. Additions of clear voice does not always serve the music, but fortunately not every time. It also lacks a well-posed and spoke concept, which can increase the value of listening and open spaces major emotional. Yet one should not infer that this album is without a soul, on the contrary. He exudes a certain melancholy, almost esoteric of this music, but it just lacks explicit support. It is therefore the mood of this album is perhaps his greatest asset! The video is also on this a little disappointing, with a mix of modernity and nature that I do not understand too much and an obvious lack of homogeneity of tone and color. So there was artwork on the way to do much better!

A good album very well done, as long as we love the atmospheric BM "open", but fishing by its lack of inspiration and finishing. Too bad, but it will not stop fans of the genre to love I think ...

Rating: 4/6


From: ZWareMetalen Webzine
Published: September 20th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a Dutch Review. You can read the original HERE

Eighteen months ago, it scored an Iranian high eighties with the self-released Hypermnesia , a sublime piece of atmospheric doom-income black. Now this person has actually bite a contract with the Canadian Hypnotic Dirge Records, a label for various reasons I have a warm heart (just read the interview). This is the third album by Ekove Efrits .

Although this album is guaranteed to split black metal, there must be a great footnote added. So it is far too romantic for black metal standards grounded (there is even a quote from Oscar Wilde in the booklet) and has a gothic atmosphere rather than a grim satanic experience. The piano and synthetic strings passages bring a melancholic (depressive black) to the whole atmosphere of foggy prose and slightly wavy black ambient. If the momentum grows you will notice that sometimes really amateurish onstrak dimensioned ( All That We Lost ) but still get the moving melodies and instrumental pieces of the analytical mind. Ekove Efrits has a darker sound in the house with both sensuality and native sounds that can transcend the purely technical. On this conceptual horizon .

After listening this album will intrigue many panels and listening is not without melancholy / dramatic gusto. Certainly not a sophisticated image, but one that endlessly driven by a sentiment gripped psyche. Nice.

Rating: 83/100
Reviewed by: Bart Alfvoet


From: Forbidden Magazine
Published: October 1st, 2011

Another sea of despair and over-the-top production awaits listeners on ‘Conceptual Horizon’, the third full length from Iranian one man band Ekove Efrits. Layers of keyboards, violins, guitars and vocals make this 60+ minute album a lot to experience and little to remember.

I found it interesting that the liner notes of ‘Conceptual Horizon’ go to great lengths to provide a long list of genre labels in the full page bio describing the music and band’s history. To summarize: Ekove Efrits used to be black/gothic metal but is now depressive black metal with doom, post rock, experimental, trip hop and ambient influences. Give me a fucking break! Shouldn’t the listener decide what label to give the album, including the all-too-prevalent ’self-indulgent-and-self-important-shit-metal’?

So…my black metal sensibilities, aesthetics, whatever you want to call them, spits on ‘Conceptual Horizon’ and all of its polished and produced masturbation. The soft and sensitive vocal performance would better suit a Kleenex commercial and for all the variety of sounds offered from whatever keyboard workstation sole member Count de Efrit labored over for countless hours, ‘Conceptual Horizon‘ contains virtually no passages, melodies or lyrics that will be remembered. So maybe I define ‘black metal’ differently from others, which is a good thing, but lyrics like ‘…tell me why you left me behind, I’m standing here now without you’ just does not fucking cut it. No blood, no Satan and no matter how loud I turned it up and listened in, the drums didn’t even think about blasting.

I don’t take anything away from Ekove Efrits ability to write music, their discography can speak for itself. While combining so many of the styles that were previously mentioned, Ekove Efrits never quite does any of them very well. It is more important to challenge than comfort listeners by providing a unique listening experience and the only way for an artist to do this is to challenge himself. Just because you have 1028 sounds available and unlimited recording tracks doesn’t mean you need to use them all. Where some may really enjoy the din that is ‘Conceptual Horizon’, I found it’s ‘concept’ to be obscured, indirect and convoluted throughout.

Reviewed by: Sleepwalker


From: The Metal Crypt
Published October 11th, 2011

Ever wonder what it would sound like if Moby joined Pink Floyd and they started playing Black Metal? Me neither, yet that is what it sounds like Iranian one-man band Ekove Efrits put into the blender for their/his third full-length Conceptual Horizon. Standard Black rasps and tremolo guitars are mixed with clean spoken/sung vocals, pensive, simple pianos and crazy keyboard effects right out of Wish You Were Here and The Wall. I can't say it is poorly played, because that would be untrue, but nothing seems to gel. The different parts sound like they weren't necessarily meant to go together but were asked nicely if they would. Conceptual Horizon is a weird, moody album that is pushing at the boundaries of what we think of as Heavy Metal. This is not going to be for many, save the truly adventurous and fans of slow, dirge-like experimental Black Metal.

Rating: 3/5
Reviewed by: MetalMike


From: Aristocracy Webzine
Pubsished: November 14th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of an Italian Review. You can read the original HERE

Iran is certainly not the nation with the most influential heavy metal scene of the world, to be honest apart from me Sorg Innkallelse Tenebrous Shadow Reviewed and edited by M1, is not that the black views of those areas has led me to seek another, and it was a decent surprise to learn that the Canadian Hypnotic Dirge had put under contract the EKOVA Efrits, a band that I had heard absolutely no question but that apparently with "Conceptual Horizon "comes to the third work full-size and has a discography full of demos (four), an EP and the best of" Nettlesome Solitude, "published in 2009. What I will be over in his hands? The disc is not the usual proof of black depression, so it was nice to see that the artist hid behind the moniker, Count De Efrit, both those who do not stop hoping to "get" from Somewhere photocopying gold and riffing Burzum. Yes, there is seasonality in the raffle and several times a melancholy flare is persuasive and enveloping, the pieces mostly oriented to give space to give evidence of instrumental performance than discrete skills composition of the musician on the run by turning phases roughly to black metal atmospheres tend to indulging in post-rock explorations in the field doomico that strengthen the consistency of the base. There are fortunately avant-garde trip to break the mood of a "Conceptual Horizon" that not so much sin in exposure stylistic homogeneity with which the door heavily forward their own solutions. While we have an album that constantly gives more flavor and emotions decadent gothic evil thanks to intense and fascinating tracks such as "unmeaning Circle "," All That We Lost, "" Hills of Ashes "(with a tribute to Mr. Ludwig Van Beethoven) and the" Floating Energies From Nature ", on the other there is the fact that an hour of music and pass such becomes difficult to assimilate than the form of a simple background, which is a shame because the work was done with dignity also with regard to the relevant product and even the sound of drum machines, also scheduled to play all the way and 'nothing more than disturbing, can be a limiting factor really. It will be the case even for a moment to review the tracklist and delete a couple of breakers rather than merely repetitive hypnotic? Could be. The conclusion is simple, if you love metal scene atmospheric "Conceptual Horizon" of Serbia will for you in a lot 'of music that might nurture small but steady doses, I will listen to advice, and is always however, the only way that we have to face the best test of any great thickness, or easy listening that is, to you the ball.


From: Hard Rock Magazine; Issue #37
Published: November 17th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a French Review.
The original review is published in the physical magazine 'Hard Rock: Issue #37'

Being a metal musician is rarely a royal road to success on a large scale and all groups have been armed with a patient tenacity to see their efforts crowned with some recognition. Where, but common barriers, trade and culture, there are others who must deal with a more tangible political or religious opposition and sometimes an outright ban on his art, playing metal becomes almost a priesthood. This is true of Ekove Efrits, and for obvious security reasons, we only know the name of Saman N. who since 2005 has provided the darkest feelings as a black metal thing in his native Iran. Started in a style he described as black metal/gothic imagery with a more traditional black metal style, the project has gradually evolved and expanded to other influences at the same time it is deeply personal. His third album, Conceptual Horizon, is a maelstrom of unique styles and sounds tended towards an expression of poignant grief. The depressive black doom it feeds, to ambient, atmospheric rock, symphonic grandeur and elegance Gothic. The general slowness and layers of guitars and synths with a stiff despair last stand of bitter black riffs and bombastic movements often deploy strings, elegiac melodies on the piano (One thinks of Angst Lacrimosa in their austere gothic sound) and sad arpeggios. The multiple vocals (black inhabited, emaciated or off, clear lines, whispered words ...) and many samples hang bits of life to these complaints are deaf or echoes of a joy that has deserted ("Faceless Moments"), but long instrumental parts also leave and settle the intense cold environments. Through their long course, this album captivates not offer himself as a guide, rather we are projecting a wandering inside which is the companion. There is an atmospheric end, the feeling of reaching a horizon beyond which remains only silence. And a calm that may be bliss. Nothing in this record is no reason to escape the clutches of evil which is the result: any summons every bit of sensitivity for the test of his spleen. One of the most emotionally profound experiences available.

Reviewed by: Jessica Boucher-Rétif
Rating: 8.5/10


From: Metal Revolution
Published: November 21st, 2011

A psychedelic/ambient and Black Doom from Islamic Republic of Iran?! That’s exactly what this is, a new album by this Iranian individual Saman N. (also known as Count De Efrit) who’s responsible for all instruments and vocals.

Initially the music he was producing was ‘Black & Gothic Metal’, but on Conceptual Horizon I hear a lot more depressive and ambient black metal than Gothic sounds. Meanwhile, he doesn’t limit himself, incorporating other influences from Doom, Metal, Post-Rock, Experimental, Avant-garde and Ambient style. One thing is certain; Conceptual Horizon is an adventurous, melancholic and desolate atmospheric album, with a whole range of different instruments such as violins, tremolo guitars, simple piano, synths, keys, samples etc. creating this extra-ordinary sound and atmosphere.

Conceptual Horizon is also an emotional release with few deeper and almost psychological aspects. In terms of vocals it is a strong performance, even though I preferred a few more singing and more ‘metal’ vocals. Like the case is now, it is mostly a spoken-word-vocals.

Conceptual Horizon may even help further to solidify Ekove Efrits as one of the premier acts of the growing Iranian black metal scene. Recommended for fans of Tiamat, Shining, Ulver and even some Pink Floyd. Go out and listen carefully to this weird album called Conceptual Horizon and its 11 strong yet strange compositions – you won’t regret it!

Reviewed by: Bato
Rating: 61/100


From: Teeth of the Divine
Published: December 16th, 2011

Here’s an interesting release from the label behind the recent and solid Ov Hollowness CD, Hypnotic Dirge Records, so you can expect something…well… hypnotic and dirge-y. And in the case of Ekove Efrits, its a one man black metal act from Iran.

I use the term black metal very loosely here, as Count De Efrit, as with many one man acts treads the thin line between atmospherics, drone and doom, even if clad in a depressive, experimental black metal shroud. And it’s the experimentation on this record that holds it back a bit.

On a base level, when kicking out fuzzed out morose, string back moments of blackened despondency, its rather effective, with a tangible sense of sadness and depression, even with the drone-y, but effective clean vocals mixed into the pained rasps. The first track “Unmeaning Circle” is a good example, and is especially good at evoking some truly sad tempos. But more often than not, the Count’s sense of ambition outdoes his skill and song writing, resulting in a few messy tracks amid some relatively impressive moments of melancholy.

After the first two tracks (second track “Faceless Moments” using a child’s narrative particularly effectively), “All That We Lost” seems a a bit busy and muddled with too many layers that don’t jive, and the programmed, experimental nature of the releases starts to negate the organic, depressive style of the music.

The balance between solid, morose atmospherics (the aforementioned tracks as well as “Eternal Wounds” and “We Can Fly Once More”) and muddled experimentation (“I Just Wish…”, “Hills of Ashes”, “Floating Energies From Nature”) is about half and half with a few of the tracks mixing it within the track it self (i.e. “A Celebration for Sorrow”). And whats interesting is that Count De Efrit doesn’t force any Middle Eastern gimmicks to try and bolster the ambiance.

The end result is certainly an interesting if, niche album that fits the young label’s mold but is probably my least favorite of the last three albums they released this year (Ov Hollowness and Funeral Fornication being the other two).

Reviewed by: Eric Thomas


From: Funeral Rain Webzine
Published: January 1st, 2012

Ekove Efrits presents a strange listen, one that is somewhat hard to get through without rewinding it once in awhile to catch something that caught your ear. The core is based around black metal, with a depressive lean, but it’s so progressive in ways that it’s hard to call it black metal at all in some sections.

Strings and keys play a huge part in the overall sound, with a slightly longer song structure averaging just over six minutes. Slower paces and spoken words, whispers, and immense atmosphere really help drag you into the music. I wouldn’t recommend playing this at your next party, unless you were planning a Jim Jones tribute.

Fans of Nine Inch Nails (especially The Fragile), Kraftwerk, Opeth, Morgul, and HDR’s other releases should not miss out on this one. It’s really good.

Reviewed by: Dustin Wade
Rating: 7/10


From: Hierophant-Nox Webzine
Published: January 3rd, 2012

Billing as “one of the premier bands of the Iranian black metal scene” still leaves Ekove Efrits as an unknown quantity to the vast majority of extreme music fans, and yet “Conceptual Horizon” is the third full-length from the project, which is the work of talented solo artist Saman N. As for the style, I’m so inured to reading that a band ‘incorporates’ different influences that it elicits little more than a shrug these days… which soon froze into a weird hunchback of wonder and delight as opening track “Unmeaning Circle” shimmered out of my speakers. Now this is different…

The two labels you can definitely throw and get to stick are ‘depressive’ and ‘post-rock’; the cresting, searing sadness of “All The We Lost”’s plaintive layers, backed up by epic, desperately sad, cinematic string synths, or the haunting, spacey, sparse but vast “Hills of Ashes” will back these up. There’s so much more to discover, though. The grand, gorgeous synth atmospheres that adorn tracks like “We Can Fly Once More” are reminiscent of a massive score to something utterly tragic, and Ekove Efrits don’t shy away from instrumentals or just extended passages devoid of vocals, so your mind can readily wander. Some of the grand apogees to these compositions remind me of Tim Yatras’s Grey Waters, laden with soul-wrenching feeling as they are, although the aching highs are dependent on synths and guitar leads rather than vocals.

Where the depressive black metal mode is more prominent, as on the beautiful “Celebration For Sorrow”, the sound can become quite thin, but it’s so intense that it gives you no respite at all. The mournful, pretty, clean guitar on this track reminds me of Anathema in a similar mood, and the use of different layers of guitar – including a mean, clever, crunchy little number – in the latter stages of the song is very classy. Ekove Efrits is equally at home with more experimental electronic elements, as the urban, trip-hop inflected skitter of “Floating Energies From Nature” would suggest (and, oh my – when the guitar lead, which is pure Burzum, eventually slices its way over this post rock-ambient-industrial piece, you will gasp). “I Just Wish…” makes use of more diverse percussive elements and string sounds, and would probably appeal to fans of Osman Arabi, whether or not ‘ethno-ambient’ is a label you’d ever actually want to use.

The last reference point I would endeavour to navigate by when manoeuvring through this remarkable piece of work is Claudio Alcara’s Stroszek (interestingly and unrelatedly now also signed to HDR); the low, sometimes whispery, sometimes mumbly intimacy that Saman achieves reminds me strongly of that project, and the depth of feeling imparted is equal, as the lyrics are a cut above. I would recommend “Conceptual Horizon” to anyone interested in finding the astounding and inspiring desolation into which post black metal has pushed. It doesn’t have to be a trendy genre label, it can be shorthand for something that will, to get hyperbolic, transport your emotions and your imagination. This is utterly beautiful.

Reviewed by: Ellen Simpson
Rating: 87/100


From: Pest Webzine
Published: February 21st, 2012

One man band from Iran, pretty odd, isn't it? I mean there's no everyday news you get to hear about a Black Metal band from Iran. Ekove Efrits already reached its third full-length effort, an 11 tracks album totaling more than an hour. What we get here is some avangarde melodic, depressive and ambiental Metal that could be labelled as Progressive Black Metal, too. Count de Efrit, the man behind this project, is almost the same level of creativity and skill as Vaerohn from Pensees Nocturnes and that is reflected on this very interesting album that if it had a better sound production it would have been a sparkling 10 for sure. Sometimes the mix of instruments gets hard to follow and understand because of this poor mixing, but all in all the music is very interesting, very well thought and mature composed. Thumbs up for this Iranian project, a real hope for this overpopulated Ambient Black Metal scene nowadays.

Reviewed by: Adrien
Rating: 8/10


From: Metal Soundscapes
Published: April 12, 2012

Ekove Efrits has been a great discovery for me, since their beginning back in 2005. I have both their demos “Into the Funeral Witches” and “The Wraiths of Forgotten Forest” from 2006, where the band played raw melancholic black metal. It is actually the solo project of Saman N. aka Count De Efrit, who is composing and preforming everything in his albums. The fact that he is from Iran, a rather uncommon place for metal, raised my curiosity at first. In 2008 Ekove Efrits released their debut full-length album “Suicidal Rebirth” through Possession Productions and they showed an amazing evolution! A lot of doom, experimental and post-rock influences and some female vocals were added in this enchanting album! In 2010 the album “Hypermnesia” was an internet only release, totally different from the typical Ekove Efrits style; experimental electronic classical music! In 2011 the band released its third full-length “Conceptual Horizon”, this time with a much better label, Hypnotic Dirge and I hope they will get the distribution they deserve.

“Conceptual Horizon” is simply amazing! One of the best melancholic depressive black metal albums I have ever listened to! They manage to merge so many genres in their music with a remarkable composing skill… Saman N. has kept his extreme black metal roots, but his sound is so much enriched. Doom metal, post rock, ambient, classical music, electronic, trip-hop and depressive black metal are blended altogether with a common characteristic: MELANCHOLY. There are so many enchanting moments in this album, so many brilliant melodies. Each time I listen to the 11 songs they drag me deeper into their sorrowful atmosphere. “Conceptual Horizon” lasts for more than one hour, but I wish it never ended. Synths, piano, acoustic and electronic instruments have equal role with the typical metal instruments. Of course I must warn that black metal parts are significantly reduced compared to the first works, but they are still here. The production and overall sound remains in the underground qualities and it fits perfectly with the music. Vocals have also a huge variety, from black metal screams, to clean male, whispers and everything in-between… All songs are so different, but even the instrumental songs, or the songs without metal orchestrations at all, they all sound as one, unified under the same atmosphere. For me the highlight of this album is “Hills of Ashes”, one of the best and most melancholic songs I’ve ever heard. All lyrics are in English dealing about nature, darkness, sorrow and death and as Saman N. himself states “the band has no connection with any cult, movement or ideology”.

“Conceptual Horizon” is one of the best albums I’ve listened to recently, totally recommended to any open minded music fan. It is the most complete work of Ekove Efrits so far and I really hope they continue this way. The CD comes with a nicely illustrated 16-page booklet containing all lyrics and it really worth your money. You can visit their pages in the links for more info and samples, or watch the promotional video for the album below.

Reviewed by: Dimiarch
Rating: 9/10

From: Disfactory Webzine
Published: August 1, 2014
Original Link
*Google translation of Italian review

Many will turn up their nose at the mere act of accomunare Black Metal and Iran, in fact it was not credible come to think of these levels, those of Conceptual Horizon , an album that oozes character and personality from whichever side turns. But such a surprise after all is not for people like me who had worked in procuring gems like The Wraiths of Forgotten Forest and Suicidal Rebirth (or the split with the Bard Brann ) discs that put emphasis on the more underground side of the formation and feral (an introductory course for what will be.)

Now is definitely another story, the system remains extremely well established and "clear", but everything is grouped in a mosaic particular sound and "amorphous", a kaleidoscope of sensations not at all municipalities will be able to wear out the listener who is ill approaches to the work, there will be no mercy let this be known, patience is the only weapon at work here.

It took the courage and the attention of the Hypnotic Dirge Records to cure this output coming out of each linear structural and compositional (the purchase is highly recommended so that you can enjoy with artwork in hand), it takes a few seconds to really understand as Conceptual Horizon was conceived and "grown" from a personality not common, coming from a really unusual for this genre.

Sounds hot / warm (supported adequately dall'artwork) to subtle, almost dark, melodic Black Metal (Depressive for bigots) and dismal backdrop to a "mirror" voice who loves to show their passion through a clean sentitissimo and screams moderate but always deeply bleeding. The opener unmeaning Circle is all this, a song that features essence, despair and violence into one unsettling. Sit back because the journey will be long and tortuous fully, Count De Efrit a journey that will shape and moderate skill with changing situations and scaffolding would only sound like a clever magician. Faceless Moments is a soothing lullaby that plunges deeper and deeper into our most intimate depths while classicism and feeling despair to dominate the instrumental backbone of All That We Lost . The long A Celebration for Sorrow combines the serene mood of Ekove Efrits solutions "chanting" away from the scent Sopor Aeternus . ... I Just Wish is a lullaby from the value slightly lower than what has preceded it while Hills of Ashes adds a touch of horror the now familiar slow base (sincere applause to crescendo). It 'warm and comforting environment every time we come in contact with the clean vocals, We Can Fly Once More from this point of view will soothe even the most turbulent souls, meanwhile the "instrumentality" is rampant once again on Floating Energies from Nature and flows naturally out of one of the "big guns" of Conceptual Horizon , I am referring to Eternal Wounds (song "symbol" of the project Ekove Efrits for as I see it). Dreamy Painting accompanies us in sleep with the help of plan (with whom we have learned to familiarize yourself on some previous songs) and with a well-chosen atmosphere of conclusion.

Stay away if it is blasphemy and what speed you're after, Conceptual Horizon needs time (much, much) to ripen properly, but it is said that he may please in this case. Usually it always goes to the skin, where the speech is amplified further, Count De Efrit has created a great product, but I think in a few, very few if not, they will have it go down properly.

Reviewed by: Duke "Selfish" Fog
Rating: 70/100