The Greek band Spectral Lore, a long-time NCS favorite, is probably the best-known musical vehicle of its alter-ego Ayloss, but it’s not the only one. As those who are familiar with Spectral Lore’s releases already know, the musical interests of Ayloss and his methods of expressing them are wide-ranging, and another band named Divine Element is the method through which some of those diverse interests have been channeled. Divine Element’s first album appeared in 2010, and now a new one has finally arrived, bearing the title Thaurachs of Borsu. It’s the source of a song called “Beyond This Sea” that’s the subject of a lyric video we’re premiering today.
Despite the passage of seven years leading to the Divine Element comeback, Ayloss remains in harness with original vocalist Antonis on this new album, which was released last month by I, Voidhanger Records, but this time he has also enlisted the services of drummer extraordinaire Hannes Grossmann (Alkaloid, Blotted Science, ex-Obscura, ex-Necrophagist).
The new album is based upon a novel of the same name that Ayloss has written (which will soon be unveiled, to be followed by short stories from Antonis). The novel is set in a medieval fantasy universe and, according to Ayloss, it “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, as the gritty and daring warriors of his nation, Borsu, fight to regain their ancestral homeland from a much more powerful enemy.”
One part of this tale is told through the lyrics and music of “Beyond This Sea“, as the story’s protagonist prepares to embark across the sea on this military campaign, expressing his wish to find meaning through force, to lead warlike men in their wrath without losing his own sense of judgment and freedom, and his regard for the simple wants of others. In the video, the music is accompanied by evocative original artwork by Nansi Lazarou (with animation by Antonis) that also express the story’s narrative.
The music itself is clearly different from what Spectral Lore has done — centering on heavy yet melodic styles of black and death metal — yet it shares with Spectral Lore a strong feeling of atmosphere and the capacity to inspire a strong emotional response.
The core of the song is an intensely memorable melody with a melancholy and introspective flavor, and accents reminiscent (at least to these ears) of Celtic folk music. Over the sounds of distant thunder, that melody is introduced through isolated reverberating guitar tones, and as the bass and drums arrive, along with Antonis‘ carnivorous, scarring growl (both rounded and ravenous), it becomes increasingly intense and powerful. With the guitars themselves seething and surging (and coming to resemble the sounds of pipes and fiddle), the music sweeps, swells, and soars, becoming mythic in its resonance. Shadows still cloak the song, but like clouds through which gleaming rays of light have broken through.
Thaurachs Of Borsu was released in mid-May by I, Voidhanger, and it’s now available both on CD and digitally
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