Spectral Lore
Gnosis


3.0
good

Review

by ComeToDaddy USER (47 Reviews)
November 28th, 2015 | 31 replies


Release Date: 11/16/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Even the most unique flavours get boring eventually.

What is the difference between an EP and an LP? It’s about the length of the release by definition, but Nihilus Ayloss has never really allowed guidelines to shackle his music. After releasing the monolithic III, he decided 2015 would see the release of 4 experiments in different genres. In this case, he decided to use the EP format to separate these experiments from his fully-realized albums. With the ambient electronic Voyager clocking in at 43min and Gnosis almost reaching 50min, it clearly isn’t about length. The goal here is simply to take as long as he needs to push each experiment as far as he can.

For better or worse, Gnosis is merely a record of his creative process, with slapped-on lyrics to give it a more coherent story and purpose. For all we know, this entire 50 minute EP could only result in a 2 minute Greek folk section in his next full-length album, depending on how the final product is structured and what is needed to fill in the gaps. Each track here was composed in a very deliberate and unique way, without any real thought going into the overarching structure of the EP and how they connect to one another. The two opening tracks are straightforward, mid-tempo atmospheric metal pieces, with eastern-tinged melodies and scales being utilized through that lens. There are no full-fledged folky escapades, and sadly, there’s no real track variation. Both of these tracks are extremely inoffensive, and while certainly not weak, Ayloss flicks on the cruise control and meanders through the first 18 minutes. Most frustratingly, these melodies would be fascinating if they were tossed into one of Spectral Lore’s melting pot LPs in bite-sized chunks, but they simply overstay their welcome here.

The experiment is far more interesting beyond this point however. “Averroes’ Search” features delicate folk instrumentation, one part formless melodies and one part driven by traditional percussion. Though somewhat derivative of the folky centrepiece from III, albeit less engaging, it’s a welcome respite from the single speed the EP had been travelling at up to this point. “A God Made of Flesh and Consciousness” brings the diversity of old to the forefront, combining both styles presented previously and introducing fierce tremolo riffs (the first and last hint of black metal on the entire release). It all builds to a magnificent climax at the end of the track that, for the first time on Gnosis, really reminds listeners of how brilliantly Ayloss can craft a song. Sure, this momentum is killed very quickly by the unbearably slow-paced acoustic finale, but the track serves as a powerful focal point for the release, and more-or-less justifies its existence.

Amongst all the repetition and simplistic song structures lie some memorable little gems. Sure, they may be few and far between, but that’s to be expected of something so experimental in nature. Despite all the shortcomings, there’s something positive to take away from it all - if these sorts of highlights exist on all 4 EPs, and they’re put together with the careful hand we know Ayloss possesses, we could be in for a real treat. For the time being however, Gnosis can only be considered a taster, and a bit of a mixed bag at that.



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ComeToDaddy
November 28th 2015


1575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The EP can be streamed or purchased here: https://i-voidhangerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gnosis



Shoutout to Oranges for proofreading this for me.



A little disappointed by this one, I know these EPs are just tasters while waiting for the LP, but I was still hoping for something more I guess. I wont be reviewing the rest of them, just waiting for the next full-length now

Archael
November 28th 2015


1163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this sucks

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2015


6219 Comments


couldn't make it past the second track tbh. really not in the mood for this

went to proofread this in the contrib thread earlier but couldn't really come up with anything worthwhile. nicely done

ComeToDaddy
November 28th 2015


1575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cheers Sach.

The album cover is definitely the highlight here. I'll advise against it, I can't see you digging anything this guy has put out tbh

Archael
November 28th 2015


1163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah that cover is quite something (i'm not joking). at first i thought it was a man, as well.

ComeToDaddy
November 28th 2015


1575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wouldn't surprise me if a lot of people did the same thing Johnny, opening the EP with those two tracks was a terrible idea.

Judio!
November 28th 2015


8399 Comments


Good review man. I like III but other than that never been a huge fan of this guy. Probably won't check his tbh.

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2015


5279 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review as always dude :] I more or less agree - great ideas overall but it's tough to get through cos it's just so drawn out. Averroes' Search is a stunning piece of music mind.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2015


10703 Comments


Sweet review CTD, this kind of interests me so I'll check it out.

Digging: Die Verbannten Kinder Evas - Die Verbannten Kinder Evas

jesterhead92
November 28th 2015


3398 Comments


I have all the LPs and I love them but I've yet to delve into the EPs, kinda sad that they don't seem to be getting the same good reception.

ComeToDaddy
November 28th 2015


1575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Averroes' Search is great, especially the second half, but I can't help comparing it to "Drifting..." from III since it's the acoustic break right in the middle. Just seems like a slightly weaker, oriental version of it.

@Scuro, check III dude. One of my top 3 from last year for sure.

@jester, check "A God Made of Flesh and Consciousness", you'll at least dig that one if you're a fan of his old works. There's some pretty great moments throughout though.

Dinosaur
November 28th 2015


937 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I agree with most of your points. first two tracks can drag a little. The high points on this EP are really great, though. I dig Spectral Lore I, and II, so perhaps this is my bias speaking.



Thanks for reviewing this by the way. Interesting music to say the least.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2015


10703 Comments


Will do. This is pretty cool though, if a bit repetitive and underwhelming at times.

ComeToDaddy
November 28th 2015


1575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah I'm a big fan of his older works, my incredibly fanboyish review of III got a lot of people around here to check him out so I'm really stoked he gets some discussion around these parts. Sweet dig btw Dinosaur, a friend recd me that a few weeks back and it's killer

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2015


10126 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

finally checked their last album this week, hopefully wont take me like a year to check this

Digging: Wolves in the Throne Room - Thrice Woven

ComeToDaddy
November 28th 2015


1575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

What'd you think of it?

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2015


10126 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dug it a lot, really good stuff

Atari
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2015


22536 Comments


Nice review. EP could have been better, but I really dug averroes' search and the closing track.

jesterhead92
November 29th 2015


3398 Comments


Definitely gonna check

Methinks his work prior to III needs more love too

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2015


4408 Comments


review looks solid. probably gonna pass on this one, but i should probably jam iii since i haven't in a while.



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