Published Dec 04, 2015For this second EP over the past year in an exploratory series of recordings, Ayloss — the lone figure behind Spectral Lore — has musically emigrated from the frigid forests and cemeteries characteristic of black metal, opting instead for the midnight tent of some cosmic dune seer. What we get here is 50 minutes of mid-paced melodic black metal drenched in Middle-Eastern folk tropes.
The EP kicks off with a brooding phrase reminiscent of later Deathspell Omega, but "Dualism" as a whole forgoes any explosions into sinister sonic wrath. In fact, none of the three metal songs here ever peak in an aggressive tremolo maelstrom that one might expect or hope for. Even the vocals are spoken or barely audible when they do show up, and two of the tracks abstain from any distortion whatsoever, sounding like something from a Sir Richard Bishop record. However, this all fits perfectly well with the aesthetic and telos of this work. "A God Made of Flesh and Consciousness," perhaps the EP's standout, maintains a ruminative drift that beckons the listener to meditation before blossoming into a melodic cadence that will have you putting the 14-minute track on repeat.
Gnosis is an entrancing musical ritual, and for the most part, it works and sounds great. For anyone interested in hinter-worldly black-metal meanderings, do yourself a favour and give this a late-night listen. (I, Voidhanger Records)