Friday, December 12, 2014

Spectral Lore : iii

One of those album I meant to check out, mixed feeling about Greek black metal might have added to the delayed response. It opens with a jangly off kilter white noise like riff where the tremolo picked part would go on any other black metal album. These guys need to read the interview I just did with Primordial's singer as they are breaking some of his black metal rules and bringing a haft dose of non convention to the party. The guitar sound is similar to that of Hail Spirit Noir with an icy dash of Enslaved thrown in.

The dry rasp of the vocals is becoming the go to least path of anguish approach for black metal. The sonic nature they bring to the table is hard for me to argue against.One the 16 minute "Veiled Garden" there is the sense that more needs to happen and these guys go the memo as if gets off to a much more epic beginning. The guitar is articulately picked out. Not in an over indulgent shreddy manner, but in a very spacious way that allows the song to chime on it's own little storm cloud.The growling gets a little more distant in the mix. The clouds on their album cover pretty much capture how their chords progressions go. This hits the spot many of the bands that followed Alcest in on the black gaze banner went for, but did not succeed as well as these guys who are not going for that, it just happens to become the by product. The song breaks down into near nothingness except for something that sounds like a babbling brook. I am of the mind that means we are moving onto song number three, but this band wants this to still be song two. It irks me a little, but I'll get over it I am in a bad mood any ways.

The album only knows sprawling epics. "The Cold March Towards Eternal Brightness" gets off to a ringing blast. The tremolo guitar here has an almost chiming quality.  The vocals seem to be screaming out into oblivion.The back kind of soar off into the back ground , though it does soar and pack punches. Not sure if this is really going out on a limb here, but this sweeping majestic flourish sounds like Liturgy covering Moonsorrow. The chanted vocals toward the end are very Burzum, not church burning days , but cave elf era, the songs gets folky to suit the vocals.The long acoustic intro to "Drifting Through Moss and Ancient Stone" has me waiting for Lindsay Buckingham to bust our with a refrain of "never break the chain" At 11 minutes this instrumental interlude is a little indulgent.

They return to more folk tinged black metal sound on " The Spiral Fountain". These guys have a way more organic guitar sound than your average black metal band. It;s very warm and stoner rock at the point in the album. They throw their weight around between this tug of war they seem to be with themselves in regard to if they want to commit to being folk metal. Black Metal begins to win out. Their cool riffs do actually make good songs because they flow in the arrangement.They get a little Iron Maiden like at the beginning of "A Rider in Lands of Infinite Dreamscape."The structure of this swirling mass of guitars falls apart when the blasting comes in. Then chaos is reigning as everything flies everywhere.It is very sonic.

To close out the  album they goes into a Tangerine Dream prog Odyssey with "Cosmic Significance". It twinkles in a similar fashion as old Pink Floyd. This does find it's winding way back to the metal in an almost Enslaved like fashion. The guitars continue to build off of folk like melodies.They continue to build off these themes in a majestic instrumental jam.This album could have used more vocals at times. This ambitious piece of work is impressive. It is not something I would listen to enough to justify keeping in the iPod, but a good soundtrack to have in the background while I work. I will give this one an 8.

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