Nachtreich/Spectral Lore – The Quivering Lights (Bindrune/Eihwaz Recordings)

Sunday, 15th February 2015
Rating: 9.5/10

Rarely are split efforts a true collaboration of talents. On The Quivering Lights, German neoclassical black metallers Nachtreich combine with Greece’s exceptional one-man atmospheric black metal band Spectral Lore to create a remarkable album, and clear evidence that sometimes combining creative forces produces results that not only overachieve, but surprise and leave a mark.

The Quivering Lights is a nearly perfect combination of mournful yet radiant classical passages, performed on viola, violin, piano and classical guitar – and atmospheric black metal. With a definite lean toward the former (at least a 60/40 share between the genres), the mood and atmosphere remains solidly constant from song to song. Additionally, from all other aspects including production and performance, a cohesive sound persists across the record. This is one of the best parts of this work, that being its overall flow and unity. With three songs by each band, the tracks are interspersed together with the first, third and fourth songs (“Lights”, “Greyness” and “Ghost Lights”) by Nachtreich, and the second, fifth and sixth (“Quivering”, “Vanishing” and “Reflection”) by Spectral Lore. Meanwhile, there is collaboration across these tracks, with Nachtreich contributing viola to Spectral Lore and Spectral Lore adding drums, guitars and production to Nachtreich. Further, there are recurring themes that run from one song to the next, each artist quoting the other’s melodies and flowing into one another with refined grace.

The only vocals provided on this work come from Ayloss of Spectral Lore, which are understated and minimalistic. On the theme for the album he says: “This is an album that speaks about spiritual decay and the eternal battle between the Dionysian and the Apollonian soul.” While black metal and strings together certainly aren’t that rare, The Quivering Lights is a unique work that stands far apart from anything that this writer has experienced (the highly recommended, outstanding Aussie neoclassical black metal band Aquilus comes close). “Symphonic black metal” this is not, The Quivering Lights is on another level entirely – a work of distinguished charm and tormented sophistication. Available on limited edition vinyl and digital formats.

Nachtreich on Facebook
Spectral Lore at Bandcamp