Nachtreich/Spectral Lore Split: The Quivering Lights

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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

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nachtreich-Official/134636053320790

https://www.facebook.com/spectral.lorebm

RingMaster 20/01/2015

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Vyre – The Initial Frontier Pt. 1

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Driven by an adventure and progressive imagination arguably absent from most other black metal releases, The Initial Frontier Pt. 1 from German metallers Vyre is a mouth-watering and testing journey for senses and emotions. Not a release to lightly listen to as it demands and coaxes an intensive investigation the six track inventive blackened soundscape leaves appetite and thoughts immersed in an extensive examination and sonic narrative which rewards further with each dramatic encounter.

Released via Supreme Chaos Records, The Initial Frontier Pt. 1 is a concept album taking the listener on a “dramatic journey through the haphazard evolution of a little planet in the Solar System, projected at break-necking speed by foolish policies towards an uncertain future dominated by technology at the expense of the human dimension.” It is an incendiary fusion of avant-garde and progressive invention to a black metal clad passion with haunting atmospheres which paint intrusive scenarios and provocative dangers that captivate and at times ravage ears and imagination.

The opening instrumental Small Bang Theory is a brief touch -down of the release’s body, the arrival of the sonic concept’s SCR-CD042 VYRE - The Initial Frontier Pt. 1 Coverfocus on the new undiscovered landscape. The title track immediately seizes control next, riffs storming the atmosphere with predacious rhythms matching their eager stride. Sonic colour and guitar bred enterprise brings the richly hued scenery into view, casting the premise for the rasping malevolent tones of vocalist KG Cypher to unleash the emerging tale. It is a hungry and striking incitement, the crystalline spots and melodic flames throughout expressive beacons and persuasion within an intimidating ambience. The track evolves and proceeds to explore an array of menacing and seductive avenues, the guitars of Hedrykk and Zyan fiery provocateurs whilst the keys of Doc Faruk tempt the imagination into picturesque black hearted beauty.

From the track alone the skill and craft of the songwriting and band is striking, every aspect adding an incendiary ingredient to the theatre whilst the production allows it all to breathe and unite with riveting clarity. Fragile Equilibrium is no different, its enthralling drama merging progressive guitar sculpted ingenuity to a jazz/classical bewitchment from the keys and a black intensity which envelopes from within the depths of the intrigue driven track. The rhythmic conjuring of drummer Android is a commanding cage but equally a rampant instigator of the menacing bordering on suffocating intensity, it matched by the stalking presence and murderous tone of the bass of T. Maximilian. As mentioned the album is not an instant persuasion, though first contact is nothing less than convincing, but as this song proves given time and attention the release has alchemy to its sound and evocation to its lyrical and pushy atmosphere which fills every thought and emotion to the fullest satisfaction and pleasure.

Next up Coil of Pipes is a scintillating eleven minute traverse of elegance and savagery, the track from exceptional melodic beauty turning into a bestial torrent of carnivorous riffs and barbarous rhythms before entwining and igniting both extremes into a compelling and exhaustive spectacle of danger and spellbinding imagination. The irresistible tortured grooves and melodic calms are especially irresistible whilst the electronic/industrial hints which emerge as a progressive flight soars from the darkness sets the listener up for the following Digital Dreams, the track a melodic caress building into epic crescendos with horns and atmospheric heights seducing the senses. It is a breath-taking piece which takes the album into a new dawning in its travel and the listener onto an invigorating and inciting plain of imagination, one where a sinister presence roams with bolder intent as the song progresses.

The release closes with Miasma and its broad and ever shifting terrain, the track again a twisting exploration unafraid to sweep senses and thoughts off their feet with a melodic grandeur and temptation or leave them sprawling with gaping wounds from a malicious creative assault. The song brings The Initial Frontier Pt. 1 to a towering inventive and thrilling conclusion, completing a rather impressive confrontation. On the down side, well it is not really a negative but Vyre does not make the album one which immediately makes it accessible which may mean many might lack the patience and bravery to dive into its demanding textures and oppressive depths, but for those that do it rewards with a thoroughly absorbing and impacting experience igniting strong anticipation for part 2 of the journey.

https://www.facebook.com/vyred

8/10

RingMaster 29/11/2013

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Darkside Of Innocence: Xenogenesis

As the album dawns on dramatic brief intro Lux there is an immediate feeling that something striking is going to emerge within Xenogenesis the latest release from Portuguese progressive black metallers Darkside Of Innocence. Striking and perpetually intriguing it is intrusive and at times a formidable challenge but with strong rewards and an unexpected mesmeric appeal. Xenogenesis is an album that will find many casualties in its wake but will inspire many with its imagination and skilled maelstrom of ideas and sounds.

Formed in 2005 the description within their bio states that “Darkside of Innocence can be known as a solemn voyage through the universal consciousness; an introspection that reaches the higher levels of reasoning. It is enlightenment that bestows hence, the self with some awareness regarding its own core – it’s the path eternal of one, seeking to express its inner essence within art.” They bring an intense and to us lesser intellects a confusing path with their ideology, something their music matches. It also adds a depth and adventure to their creativity as it inspires individual thoughts and interpretations through their provocative sounds. Their debut album Infernum Liberus EST was released in 2010 following a previous demo Bloody Mistress which was an internet stream only in 2007. Now down to a one man project in the shape of Pedro Remiz, Darkside Of Innocence moved on to signing with Infektion Records for the release of Xenogenesis earlier this year.

After the intro Airian collapses upon the ear with a familiar black metal vehemence and invasive swarm of intensity. The vocals of Remiz scraping flesh with his rasping delivery as the melodies of the guitar brand and scorch the ear. Midway the song veers into chaotic and perpetually unpredictable avenues with female vocals soaring within the blackened spiralling energy and the track absorbing sounds and ideas from afar to twist them into a vindictive and provocative blistering of the senses. It is harsh and hard to break free from but within the attack there are some quite unique and striking elements unleashed.

It is from the following Dulcifer Tragoedia that unpredictability becomes the life force of the album and wonderfully enterprising it is even if almost impossible to keep up with and at times endure. Many bands venture into avant garde metal to widely diverse results but few are as deeply impactful as here, the track rupturing synapses and swiping away any safety net you might have in place. Challenging and emotively exhilarating it is a glorious flurry of unconnected yet suitably akin sounds and ideas.

If the previous track was a flurry of sound Nox Omega offers a dehabilitating bedlam of creativity, from its haunting nasally sax sounds to the streaming flood of venomous spite it splinters and thrashes feelings impressively and is the best track on the album. Multiple plays do not lessen the surprises and unexpected storm of musical contortions, just thrust them forth with more impact and malice, something applying to the whole album.

The excellent female vocals return in Eros to add a symphonic metal breath though the song cannot be labelled as such. It is hard to describe exactly the genre Darkside Of Innocence and Xenogenesis most represent such the striking sounds and craft and very good to see too. The more straightforward metallic thrust of Thanatos adds another turn with its direct and less complicated journey though it still crafts a disturbed atmosphere and corruptive intensity.

Completed by the equally absorbing and testing Ego and closing disturbed ambient instrumental piece D’eus , the album leaves one struggling to gain a firm footing but having enjoyed the startling experience even if the ear and senses claim different. Xenogenesis is an impressive album which will appeal to far fewer than it deserves but all should at least give it a try. With a new single in the works from Darkside Of Innocence it will be interesting to see now with a single mind behind the project how things develop but more of the same would not be unwelcome.

RingMaster 10/05/2012

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