Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Mystras - Castles Conquered and Reclaimed

I am a huge fan of Ayloss's work. His recordings as Spectral Lore are truly great and I've always been enamored with his one of a kind approach. This latest project, Mystras, takes you down unique and exciting paths of medieval lore. His opening salvo with this project is a stunning record entitled Castles Conquered And Reclaimed. With clear parallels to Obsequiae this is a fascinating and interesting project that I think any fan of underground black metal is going to get something out of. It's truly masterful.

On Castles Conquered And Reclaimed, Ayloss magnificently captures medieval vibes but counterbalances them with so much more. This is a record that borders on the transcendent and uses harsh waves of black metal to contrast folk-like melodies. A bit rawer than other Ayloss projects there is something to be said for the sense of almost primitivism on a track like 'The Murder of Wat Tyler'. It helps to further evoke the bitter beauty of what Mystras have conjured up here. It makes for some compelling listening and a record that is worth many a spin as you pull apart the individual layers.

Mystras is a new project but it's one that has gone above and beyond. It's an exciting listen, a record that constantly has something new to offer and perfectly fuses epic soundscapes with moments of twisted black metal pandemonium. There is a lot to love about this record and knowing Ayloss's seemingly constant output I wouldn't be surprised if we heard more from this band in the near future. I for one will be waiting for it eagerly, as Castles Conquered And Reclaimed has transported me to a distant time.

Pre-order it here:

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