Gnosis is the second EP from Greece’s Spectral Lore this year, both labeled as “experimental” from the band. The first one, Voyager, was admittedly pretty different from the band’s usual material as it wasn’t a metal release at all. This one, on the other hand, is closer to their style, but still has some aspects that make it stand out.
First of all are the Middle Eastern-sounding melodies found in there, and also a greater focus on acoustic instruments. The latter is at its extreme on Averroes’ Search. This aligns well with Spectral Lore’s approach to songwriting, in a sort of post progressive black metal manner: long buildups on various themes that set the mood for the song. The use of acoustic guitars and thoughtfully chosen Eastern scales bring up atmospheres that we aren’t used to, which makes Gnosis a pretty special release, alongside Voyager.
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Spectral Lore’s songwriting, and there is yet another oddity to this EP. It’s mostly instrumental – nothing too special there -, but there are nonetheless lyrics to the music, and a lot of them! You can read them on bandcamp and probably in the booklet of the physical album too, and you’ll need to if you want to know what happens, because you must possess superhuman hearing to decipher them in the songs. They are spoken, but infused with so many effects, or so much reverb, that they really are unintelligible. I’m not sure that they are all spoken out; some possibly are kept on paper only. The overarching concept of Gnosis seems to be the soul of Man and its journey through history. It is quite an interesting and well written piece, so I suggest you take the time to read it through!
Overall, Gnosis is a magnificent piece of art for experimental post black metal. I unreservedly recommend it!
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