Like a compelling painting which draws eyes into vivid adventures and sparks thoughts to conjure complimentary background stories, The Quivering Lights, the split release from Nachtreich and Spectral Lore, takes ears and imagination on an equivalent exploration. Taking inspiration from the metaphorical struggle between Dionysus and Apollo whilst also investigating spiritual decay, the six-track release is a journey, at times a fall, through the darkest emotions and coldest climates whilst expressing a beauty which simply bewitches.
It is a split which offers much more than a trio of tracks from two bands; the proposition seeing Germany’s Nachtreich and Greek ambient black metallers Spectral Lore collaborating and entwining their individual explorations in one soul searching flight of blackened neo-classical drama. Challenging at times, bewitching in other moments, the album aligns the darkest corners of the soul to an emotionally startling landscape in an experience metal, progressive, and classical fans alike can immerse within.
Hailing from Koblenz /Nürnberg, Nachtreich was an instrumental band formed by the musicians P.H. and U.K. in 2003. Fusing dark metal with haunting harmonies and classical seeded orchestration, the band drew acclaiming attention with their intrusive dark romance of sound before splitting in 2010, though the two members continue to work together in different genres. Their companion on The Quivering Lights is the one man project of Ayloss which began in 2005. Spectral Lore is also no stranger to potent praise having released a quartet of intriguing and enthralling albums in I, II, Sentinel, and III. Now the two projects have united in arguably one of their most inspiring and gripping exploits yet. Released via the creative union of Bindrune and Eihwaz Recordings, The Quivering Lights is a perpetually shifting beauty, a soundscape of emotive and provocative imagination which not only evolves from moment to moment and track to track, but from each individual listen to listen.
Nachtreich begin the creative theatre with Lights, an instant seduction of piano and strings which whilst soaked in melancholic seduction also express radiant charm and soulful elegance. The instrumental piece is sheer mesmerism and equally adept at provoking thoughts as well as transfixing them with its potent shadowed expression and haunting touch. Climbing in weight and emotional intensity as raw air washing over the inventive poetry of sound, the track eventually simmers down again and drifts away to allow Spectral Lore’s Quivering to step forward, also on a piano sculpted embrace. Similarly there is a melodic beauty caressing ears but also an underlying coldness which shares a starker scenery further into its length; a chill become subsequently frostier and harsher as vocal squalls and doom laden terrains loom on ears and emotions. The track continually ebbs and flows with its imposing climate, exploring quieter darker corners as well as uncaging squalls of intensity.
Greyness and Ghost Lights from Nachtreich come next. The first ‘sings’ like a lone soul in a mournful field of reflections and doubts with a viola seducing for comfort. Its successor retains the grace and melodic classiness of the band’s other pair of tracks but takes it into a more sinister and predatory climate, epitomised by the low vocal growls which rub with torment against the evocative narrative of the keys. Both tracks are captivating and emotionally inciting, gloriously haunting and impressive shadows from the imagination.
Spectral Lore bring the album to a close with firstly the eleven minute of Vanishing, which opens with its own intriguing web of guitar imagination within an enticing yet slightly tempestuous calm. It is an atmosphere which is increasing in turbulence all the time, eventfully twisting into a broader and more hostile canvas of vocal sorrow and atmospheric causticity sculpted by heavy rhythms and corrosive riffs. There is a veining of sonic adventure and light though which pierces the revolving tortuous landscape of the song and adds stronger descriptive ambience.
Final track Reflection is musically as its name suggests, a sombre and thoughtful self-investigation brought by a sultry dance of fingers on guitar strings. It leaves the listener engrossed and equally as involved in their own thoughts as much as those proposed by the album. Making an immersive and dramatic proposition, the track brings the impressive release to a similarly potent close.
The Quivering Lights is something different from the usual few tracks from one artist and a few from another styled split release. It is a stunning travelogue of emotion and sound from bands combining and merging their individual investigations in one fluid and seriously rewarding journey. This is one album all black, ambient, neo-classical, and progressive metal fans should investigate.
The Quivering Lights is available now digitally @ http://nachtreich.bandcamp.com/ and on limited edition 12”vinyl @ http://eihwazrecordings.com/distro/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=1534
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