Underjordiska / Spectral Lore - _Split_
(Stellar Auditorium, 2008)
by: Andreas Marouchos (8 out of 10)
Both bands presented on this split have been featured on this very publication. Neither band failed to intrigue with their unique take on the genre, and of course such a collaboration should raise a few eyebrows. Although both stem from a solid black metal foundation, this release sees them at the crossroads of experimental music craft and dark ambient.

First it starts off with clean guitar passages that softly segue into a cavernous soundscape of rumbling frequencies and clanking, distorted sound effects. From here on, any sort of structure is engulfed by ethereal ambient textures. Dynamics slowly but steadily pick up, culminating in an awakening crescendo of synths and thick counterpoint. The enchanting eeriness of it all is aptly maintained with the second part, where droning stringed under-layers of seismic tones fuse with sound effects and distorted atmospherics. The musical journey nears its end refreshingly with the sound of a rather unorthodox instrument which I fail to identify (according to the bands they have made use of mandolin and a duduk(?), amongst others) before reaching the finish mark pretty much how it started: gentle melodies fading into silence.

The promo sheet points to the cyclical nature of the split's thematicism, with the descent into the abyss and subsequent returning ascent into the world. But this needn't be so. What truly makes this release stand apart is the effective juxtaposition of different elements. Upon reaching the end, one feels re-invigorated and more appreciative of the incipient themes of contentment and calmness which started off the split. It's a musical offering that essentially leaves you with a question: how can we truly know light if at first we haven't known darkness? Definitely a captivating release from a pair of outfits who aren't just content with riding the zeitgeist but instead attempt to steer it away into new territories.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/stellarauditorium

(article published 1/9/2008)

12/29/2014 C Drishner 9 Spectral Lore - III
12/29/2012 D Lake 6 Spectral Lore - Sentinel
5/21/2009 P Williams 7.5 Spectral Lore - I
5/11/2008 A Marouchos 8 Underjordiska - Dystert Vilse
3/22/2006 A Marouchos 3.5 Spectral Lore - Spectral Lore
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