Six weeks ago or so, I wrote about US one-man black metal project, Mare Cognitum, who had been part of the collaborative album/atmospheric black metal masterpiece ‘Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine’ and then only 12 months later released and absolutely sensation solo album in ‘Solar Paroxysm’. Well, now it’s time to talk about the other half of the creative force behind Wanderers.

Spectral Lore, a black metal mastermind from Greece, also released a follow-up solo album, ‘ฮ•ฯ„ฮตฯฯŒฯ†ฯ‰ฯ„ฮฟฯ‚’, only a year later and it, too, is a work of atmospheric magnificence. The fact that these two artists worked together to create such an incredible collaboration, and were both still able to gift us with utterly brilliant albums the following year is pretty fucking amazing.

To my ear, where Mare Cognitum is atmosphere and melody, Spectral Lore is layered, textured, and powerful. The new album is a solid 76 minutes, overflowing with mesmerizing razor sharp guitars and sinister vocals. The compositions are complex, and structure unpredictable, with tracks moving from passage to passage, switching time signatures, and at times creating a feeling of chaos. This perfectly accentuates the moments where things snap back to a big, catchy riff.

‘ฮ•ฯ„ฮตฯฯŒฯ†ฯ‰ฯ„ฮฟฯ‚’ is complex, chaotic, and dramatic, but the beauty when all the elements align is undeniable, which is why it is easily one of my favourite albums of the year.