Spectral Lore - Gnosis - Review

What better way to attain true knowledge, “Gnosis”, other than questioning? It is with this premise that Ayloss introduces his inquiry into the nature of self-exploration. Through the development of Eastern musical scales, while using a Western approach (see metal), questions are expressed. With leading melodies that can take the listener to a journey into the ages, from the middle age times to the modern, technological and industrious day to day lives, one wonders about the essence of life: What is it that we crave? Is eternal life, a thing to be obtained? Or is it something that flows? Is consciousness devoid of identity and person-hood? Am I body-matter or am I mind-consciousness?

The music is soaring with the guitar melodies developing up front; the tambura and darbuka playing in the background; the whispers and screams like the wind that blows in the fall, somewhere into the Byzantine Empire, or maybe the Ottoman Empire; a journey to spirituality through the lenses of a man living ten centuries ago; a baker in Istanbul or a Phanariot in Constantinople; a Yunnan or a Turk. After all, is not time relevant? Or is it constant? Couldn’t we say that the whole of human history is expressed through us right now?

Ayloss has subconsciously expressed the Greek state of mind. But it is not as finite and historically confined as one might assume. His inquiry speaks into every human, no matter the time or place. It is a conversation between logic and soul. One speaks with words and the other with heart. I see into it myself, a Greek that has one foot into the scientific approach and the western culture and one foot into the ever forming but never defined, spiritual essence.

The geographic location of Greece and her long history is the border between two different cultures. The West and the East have merged and the offspring is a bastard that can be uniting and divisive at the same time. Both soul and body, rational consciousness and a desire for the eternal coexist within the confines of man.

“Gnosis” is a work that is as mellow as the sea that embraces the coast and as hard and resisting as the rocks that rise from within her. Both mind and heart commute with the desire to reconcile. And that is the essence of being human; in the world, yet not of it.

The 49 minute EP is built around the guitars and if you allow it, it will communicate with you and move you. But the strongest point in Spectral Lore’s music is the orchestration. Each song feels alive, vibrant and multilayered with it’s own personality. And while the music plays, I see the belly dancers swirling around at the bazaar, just a few hundred meters away from Hagia Sophia and I smell the freshly roasted coffee. I hear the Imam chanting and I listen to the conversations around me. I, a man of all ages, stand among brothers and sisters, with Aristotle’s Metaphysics in my hands. I, a Greek that speaks through “Gnosis”, inquire into the nature of being; with my heart being the music and my mind being the explorer, I see the world as it is. Always moving, never the same.

Listen to “Averroes’ Search”; beginning with simple guitar melodies, maybe free style, that turn into a slow Tsifteteli. This fades away and “A God Made Of Flesh And Consciousness” enters as a black metal fusion Greek folk song and in between them, the lyric: Let me become a bridge between the East and the West. This is the essence of “Gnosis”.

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