Spectral Lore
II


5.0
classic

Review

by ClarityIV USER (1 Reviews)
April 3rd, 2011 | 19 replies | 4,858 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: II is not for those without patience; stretched to an hour and 17 minutes, the album is a musical expedition intended to be explored without distraction of thought. So lay down, close your eyes, and enjoy.

5 of 6 thought this review was well written

Black metal – a genre which in itself is undefinable. Artists, such as Alcest, Amesoeurs, and Cold Body Radiation, have been trying to stretch what defines black metal for almost as long as they've been together. What's the purpose of church burning? How about making the production as terrible as possible? Why confine the genre to only grinding, fast, distorted guitars and a blast beat?

Take a hat, throw a bunch of black metal albums in it, pick any two, and compare them. Chances are – even if they are similarly classified – that they'll sound nothing alike. II is a perfect example of this... in a single album. Granted, it has poor production. Granted, it has grinding, fast guitars, and a blast beat. Granted, churches may or may not have been burned in the making. Even with these elements, Spectral Lore still manages to redefine the limits of black metal.

Spectral Lore was formed in 2005 as the solo project of Nihilus Ayloss, member of Warbled Arma and Divine Element. With instruments (many times synthesized) such as horns, acoustic guitars, and sometimes pure ambiance, his music creates an intriguing atmosphere that draws you in. II, his second release, keeps some of the dark ambient elements from I while adding more frequent acoustic guitar sections and strongly melodic riffs.

Each song throughout the album is like a different portrait down a hall of antiquities. The music by its very nature is extremely artistic, bringing vivid images to mind – ones not dissimilar to the various album covers of the release. The album was originally released in 2007 as an edition of 50 CD's in a wooden box, re-released in 2008 cassette as an edition of 200, then again in 2010 as a CD, each time with new artwork. Each one of these shows II in its essence; a dark, dreary, hopeless scene to journey in a state of reverie. The feeling of the album varies from shrouded mystery, to full-on brutal war mongering, to the dark depression found in the bulk of recent black metal, all ground together into a mournful, kvlt package. The best part? It works.

II opens to an enigmatic acoustic piece, bringing a premonition of what's to come, setting an atmosphere of desolation and despair. This mood bleeds into the verbose “The Thorns that Guide my Warpath”, nearly reaching the 25-minute mark and encompassing a menagerie of genres. While seeming interminable at times, it's still a rather strong track that establishes a precedence which Introitus did not; KVLT!11!! The song goes out with looming synthesizer, which wanes to “Towards the Great Crossroad” in a subtle change of mood. Simplicity starts to take over here, as the song minimalistically progresses, with the same general riff for most of the song.

Similarly, “Leaving the Stars Far Behind”, the second shortest track on the album, sticks with the same general guitar riff with minor variations through the entire song, with some sparse synthesizer and sustained percussion. This song is a sort of turning point in the album, from the brutal black metal seen mostly in the second and third tracks to a much more melancholic mood. “The Drone's Journey, Recoiling Beneath the Waves” ensues, starting as a simple black metal piece and progressing to a pure dark ambient section, bearing much resemblance to I.This eventually transitions into “Through an Infinite Dreamscape”, a piece with no percussion, but instead starting with a simple distorted riff leading into a looming acoustic piece.

Nearing the end of the album, the feelings of despair heighten – the feeling that the outro to this track brings can only be described as pure anguish. The penultimate track, “To Wither in Silence and Dismay”, broods upon the feelings in the previous song with more brutality, which broadens the contrast to the album's close. It ends with “Where Nature will not Ever Yield to Man”, a truly depressing song, leaving the listener in sorrow; the perfect closure to such an album.

I would recommend this album to everyone and anyone who is a fan of black metal. I will not recommend separate songs – the album is truly one cohesive composition with separate movements, intended to be together. Buy the album, put on your headphones, and listen; nothing more, nothing less.


user ratings (11)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ClarityIV
April 3rd 2011



10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My first review, constructive criticism is appreciated.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2011



16016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really enjoyed this album

Digging: Katatonia - Kocytean

Defeater
April 3rd 2011



5782 Comments


The album cover rules. I would talk about the album more in general; the review is a disguised track by track the way it is written now. A few simple facts about each of the tracks isn't a good way to promote the album's overall sound. Also, coding doesn't work in the summary box and bolding is discouraged.

ClarityIV
April 3rd 2011



10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, Defeater! I'll be sure to work on it to focus more on the general sound, and the tag is already fixed.

fulgrim
April 3rd 2011



1542 Comments


Nice review, been meaning to listen to this for a while now.

Hawks
April 3rd 2011



33363 Comments


Not too bad for a first. I'm planning on checking this band out very soon.

North0House2
April 3rd 2011



5617 Comments


Good review, I've gotta say.
I think I'll check them out now.

Digging: Horseback - Piedmont Apocrypha

letsgofishing
April 3rd 2011



878 Comments


Yeah, check out the staff reviews, and see how they focus on the album and it's themes as a whole. That's what makes a review engaging. And for a 5 review, there isn't really enough evidence to convince someone that this is a classic that every metal fan should own. Why does this album stand out from every other metal album on the planet? But in reality, you're not that far off... this is a really solid review. Great write up man, welcome to the site. I'll Pos it :P



TheSpirit
April 3rd 2011



16662 Comments


good band

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

Motiv3
April 3rd 2011



8421 Comments


this album sounds so good, great review too for a first. Pos.

ClarityIV
April 3rd 2011



10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the criticism, fishing! Still editing, want to make it perfect before updating it.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2011



6735 Comments


That's a good idea. Have an ice cream and then a pos in that order please.

ClarityIV
June 18th 2011



10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sorry about the absence! Finally got around to working on this, generalized the review a bit more, added on to most paragraphs.

I wasn't sure if I should have just removed the 5th, 6th, and 7th paragraphs and make it entirely about the general sound or just leave it as it is. Thoughts?

foxblood
October 2nd 2011



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is fascinating. i don't know what to make of it. also the album art is beautiful

foxblood
October 6th 2011



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really good album, not a 5 though. atmosphere is really great, instrumentation is somewhat messy at times and drums are pretty bad etc..

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2012



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Black metal – a genre which in itself is undefinable. Artists, such as Alcest, Amesoeurs, and Cold Body Radiation, have been trying to stretch what defines black metal for almost as long as they've been together.


lol

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

foxblood
January 29th 2012



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol never noticed that

eternium
January 29th 2012



16209 Comments


I'm not sure how I feel about that intro either.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2012



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

also i've no idea what people see in this. the ambient/drone bits are really nice but the black metal bits are just so limp and lifeless and it makes it a chore to listen to and impossible to get lost in because of how nothing meshes together properly.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy