Spectral Lore - Sentinel

Spectral Lore is a solo Ambient Black Metal act from Greece that requires the unwavering attention of its listeners. Known for progressively building more and more monumental tracks with each album, the music presented is meant more to be like a soundtrack rather than the typical Black Metal album that so many may be used to. Many of the tracks sprawl past ten minutes on 'Sentinel,' the band's third album, so if one is looking for a collection of shorter, faster tracks to headbang to in the pit, this isn't really the album to find that. Instead, Spectral Lore focuses on the more esoteric themes of nature, and puts every effort into atmosphere. The lyrics, which are present on the album, are impossible to understand because the vocals are faded out over the constant hashing of the guitars which seem like they go on and on forever in typical Ambient Black Metal style. There is tons of melody heaped into the music such as on a track like "The Dejection Of Arjuna," but it doesnt' quite stand out amongst all the tremolo picking. Even the keyboards tend to get lost in the distorted, hazy mix.  "The Coming Of Age" is where suddenly everything seems to shift with more variation in rhythm and even the vocals turned up a notch or two louder and things start to feel like a full comprehensible Black Metal track.

"Quest For The Supramental" is a thoughtful, deep track that brings in more ambiance and atmosphere than the other tracks while still keeping a solid Black Metal foundation. Similar to Darkspace, Spectral Lore can have an issue with making two tracks feel like they could seamlessly carry on into one another and nobody would know the difference save for the faded out outro to each track. The real test of listener mettle is the thirty minute epic "Atlus," which completely tosses away all the Black Metal inspired guitar rhythms and snarling vocals. Instead, completely ambiance takes over with a 'horror movie' inspired soundtrack that sounds like it belongs on a Karna album. The low synth and fx effects create this Industrial Black Metal atmosphere that, for the average listener, is probably going to be incredibly boring. For those seeking a more twisted, avant-garde touch that is soft, subtle, and still as terrifying without the vocals or guitars, then it is more of a spiritual journey into the unknown. In fact, this entire album is a journey into the unknown; it is up to listeners if they dare to take it.

  1. All Devouring Earth
  2. The Dejection Of Arjuna
  3. The Coming Of Age
  4. The Quest For The Supramental
  5. My Ascension Into the Celestial Spheres
  6. Atlus (A World Within A World)