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Pale Spektre – Bereft of Xerotic Layers Award winner

Pale Spektre
Bereft of Xerotic Layers
by Kris Marsden at 08 December 2022, 2:30 PM

PALE SPEKTRE is here! This German Black/Death band, a brand-new creation among three entities, was first formed in 2018, and just four years later, they ended up releasing their full-length debut release, "Bereft of Xerotic Layers", released in the fall of 2022 via "Nuclear War Now! Productions".

The first track I want to discuss is the song "Helcoid Sanguine Maculation Shrouded". The opening song on the record, which opens with an instrumental use of a Theremin and Organ, following suit with slow distortion dissonant-blackened-doom-like riffs which are shrouded in an unsettling atmosphere, hitting that three-minute mark the doom-like drums kick in -following suit with a surge of fast shredding, drumming and (inhuman) screams which sounds like something from the hellish pits itself—finishing with a short bell toll, pushed in the background.

While discussing significant tracks was challenging, tracks like (the second track) "Of Gaping Hollow's Grate", or even the sixth track, "Bereft of Xerotic Layers". At the same time, in its forty-six-minute duration, "BEREFT OF XEROTIC LAYERS" is not just black/death but plays one significant role, which is creating a black/death metal that's pure dark, chaotic, obscure, and utterly without borders—music that does whatever it wants whenever it wants.

Simultaneously, "Bereft of Xerotic Layers" plays black metal with an injection of primitive and barbaric death doom with a touch of war/bestial black metal and experimental metal, with its dark/untamed energy and tempo/speed gives the listener an unexpected journey and doing what it wants, not knowing when the tempo is going to change; the unsettling/atmosphere created by the use of the Organ and Theremin (the use of a Theremin is new to me, but it works), the inhuman screams, instrumental work consists of slow/fast crushing drum strikes and blast-beats, guitars utilises primitive/dissonant sinner-like riffs and fret-board shredding, with moments of the drums and guitar adding a sprinkle of sabbath-like doom to the instrumental score.

"Bereft of Xerotic Layers", in my opinion, this full-length is indeed a hellish beast of its own, full of hunger, hideous, raw, chaotic, obscure, and dark. A band that feels like it arose from the most feral depths of the unknown, a musical spectrum, like a vortex opening to another dimension or the inferno pits of hell. "PALE SPEKTRE" reminds me (somewhat) of the  American Dissonant Technical Death act, "ACAUSAL INTRUSION", and their recent second full-length release, "Seeping Evocation", and the horror soundscape/atmosphere of Australian act "Portal."
Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Helcoid Sanguine Maculation Shrouded
2. Of Gaping Hollow's Grate
3. Raising Cinder in Morne Bethel
4. Tacent over Obsidian Bastille
5. In Anguine Redivivus Virulence
6. Bereft of Xerotic Layers
7. Riven Spirits Shall Abide
Hekla - Vocals/Lyrics/Guitars/Bass
S.G. - Organ, Theremin
G.P. - Drums/Guitars
Record Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions


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