2018’s Praxis was an enjoyable slice of personable second wave darkness, bolstered by both personality and ability. It doesn’t seem like too long ago that it was released, so I was surprised to see a new album already. It seems the band are not content to rest on their laurels.
Gnosis is a subtler, more nuanced beast than Praxis in some ways. The album starts off where its predecessor ended, only to travel new paths as it forges ahead with its journey into the dark. Alongside the fire and brimstone of second wave fury that you’d expect, the band have expanded both their emotional range and musical toolbox.
Aethyrick’s approach on Gnosis is largely traditional, opting for a style of black metal that’s well-worn and well-respected. However, within this, they also attempt to branch out somewhat, injecting more emotion than you’d usually encounter in music like this, as well as the occasional post-black metal foray.
Blackened occult rage is augmented by post-blackened texture and melody, resulting in songs that are both familiar and individual. Synths are well-used, adding emotive highlights and epic grandeur when necessary. The band’s use of melody is particularly noteworthy, and draws you into their world on many levels.
Merging modern and old-school influences together as one, could we be hearing a transitional record from Aethyrick? Only time will tell, but until then, listen to Gnosis and get lost in its atmospheric assault.