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Spectral Lore is a musical project from Greece led by sole member Ayloss. This is another one man ambient black metal band, yet this one is fairly unique. Spectral Lore's music is definitely ambient black metal, yet combines elements of prog into the music. I guess you can call this ambient progressive black metal, but that surely is a mouthful, so ambient BM should suffice. This is Spectral Lore's first album, and unlike the rest of his catalogue, it is fairly forgettable. Yet, does that make it a bad album? I don't think so. There is still plenty of stuff on here that I enjoyed, it was just somewhat plain and the production wasn't what it could have been.
Musically, this is not as prog influenced as Spectral Lore's later efforts. It is more droning, simplistic, and straight forward. There is some experimentation, such as in "Layers of Conception", which we hear some guitar soloing on. That specifically caught me off guard, because a lot of these ambient BM bands don't usually use solos. The guitar work on this album is pretty good. It's nothing we haven't heard before in black metal. What it lacks in originality, it makes up for in beauty. There are some truly beautiful guitar riffs on this album. Take "Echoes of a Long Dead and Forgotten Place" for example. This is the epic of the album, clocking in at over 13 and a half minutes. It is my favorite song on the album, as the tremolo riffs are absolutely epic, and the overall atmosphere is captured well. The only thing that puts me off about the guitars is the tone. They are not produced well and because of this, the tone sounds a bit muddy. This is not an uncommon factor in this type of music, but a lot of bands do this to their advantage. The guitars can sound fuzzy and still sound amazing, such is the case with a lot of similar bands. This, however, is a different sounding fuzz. It does create an atmosphere but it sounds more like demo material than full-length material.
If you can get past the dysfunctional muddy production, there is some really good music to be heard. The keyboards and drums really work well with the experimentation, creating some haunting soundscapes. This is probably some of the most intricate ambient BM I've heard, aside from a few bands. Thankfully, Spectral Lore will only improve from here.
Nice experimental blackmetal from Spectral Lore, a one-man band hailing from Athens, Greece. The sole creator of this release is Ayloss, who plays in the also Greek blackmetallers Divine Element. However, Spectral Lore has nothing to do-musically-with the aforementioned band.
In this release one can listen to experimental blackmetal, with keyboards, guitars in a noisy manner with full reverb and hypnotizing (not boring though!) atmosphere. Sometimes it gets really experimental, with innovative rhythms and songs (given that we are talking about blackmetal here), piano lines and mind-travelling compositions. A band that springs to mind is Paysage d'Hiver, which musically is close enough, but not identical. In addition, we have vocals that somehow resemble whispers.
In the label's site (Saturnine Society) we read "for all those who never liked Marduk". Hell, yeah.