Divine Element
Thaurachs of Borsu

What’s that you say? An epic, fantasy themed melodic death/black metal band featuring Ayloss  of Spectral Lore and drummer Hannes Grossman (ex Necrophagist)? Sign me the fuck up.

Despite being a huge Spectral Lore fan, I had never heard of this project or  their 2010 self released, self titled debut, but this was an immediate listen when the promo shopped up in my email. Ayloss plays guitars, bass and synthesizers and the band is rounded out by vocalist/lyricist  ‘Antonis’, but Ayloss’s finger prints are all over this fine project.

An easy comparison would be a hybrid of Suidakra, Amon Amarth , a touch of  Macabre Omen‘s Hellenic war metal vibe and with a little of Spectral Lore‘s glistening melodies sprinkled throughout.  There’s a sort of Celtic/pagan/folk/viking metal undercurrent amid the material and Antonis has a solid range of deep growls and rasps not unlike Arkadius or Johan Hegg and there is a liberal sprinkling of keyboards, adding to the rousing, epic majesty.

The concept album which chronicles ‘the passage of a soldier through various levels of consciousness about the reality of war, human society and the fabric of the cosmos itself’, is 38 minutes of damn fine, rousing, epic metal. From expected intro “A Realignment with Destiny” to outro “Augury for a Shapeless Future”, the 6 lengthy tracks and one interlude between delivers the goods. Ayloss adds his ethereal melodic leads and layered riffs to a back bone of crunchy, melodic viking -ish metal. The whole album is excellent, and full of standout moments such as the 3;25 and closing mark of the title track, the shrill, uber melodic canter of “On the Trail of Betrayal”, the somber, moody sway of “Beyond the Sea”, choral backdrop of “Call of the Blade” and perfectly paced closer “Traitor’s Last Stand”.

My only minor gripe is I wish the production was little fuller and more powerful. The guitars are a little thin, and while they allow Ayloss’s complex harmonies to shine, they sap some of the power from the militant marches and regal romps (i.e aforementioned standout  closer “Traitor’s Last Stand”), which could have really been truly rousing with a little more oomph.

In all, an excellent surprise from an accomplished group of musicians that does more than just tide me over until the next Spectral lore album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
July 5th, 2017

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