Fast Rites: because sometimes brevity is fundamental.
Greece’s Spectral Lore may adopt several styles between albums, but that doesn’t stop lone member Ayloss from exploring little nooks and crannies using other names. Enter Auriferous Flame debut The Great Mist Within, which sees him take his brand of swirling, melodic, and atmospheric black metal and strip it of many of the prog leanings of Spectral Lore and the medieval instruments and flairs of Mystras. It’s the sound of Ayloss getting somewhat back to basics, although it is still a complex record in its own right.
This is often the iciest thing he’s ever done, with passages of the title track feeling like glaciers moving towards you at speeds glaciers are not supposed to be moving. Elsewhere it exhibits a comforting warmth not too dissimilar from Blut Aus Nord’s Memoria Vetusta records. Regardless of the level of aggression or tempo, the many elements are layered and woven into one large texture, straight down to how the vocals sometimes seem to bellow or scream from a great distance. Like his other projects, Auriferous Flame features plenty of Ayloss’s enchanting leads ‒ both on 6-string guitar and bass ‒ that act as the glue for each song. This uncanny knack for tunefulness shines through during the album’s biggest moments, such as the explosion of tremolo riffs and double kicks that completely shift the narrative of the largely down tempo “Ancient Corridors.” Also key is the peak of “Molten Gold,” which rewards the slow growth of one melody as it passes through softer moments and heavily-blasting sections only to emerge triumphantly over a hypnotic 6/8 rhythm.
Ayloss may slightly shift modes between (and within) each of his projects, but his command of The Moment rarely wavers. The Great Mist Within is another win for the busiest black metal guy in Athens.
Release date: August 26, 2022; Label: True Cult Records.