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4.18 | 9 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2017


1. Benei Ha'Elohim (4:43)
2. Pandaemonium Gathers (4:51)
3. Blôt (4:44)
4. Genesis 11:1-9 (5:04)
5. Before The Crawling Chaos (6:59)
6. Prometheus (4:24)
7. Thou, My Maker (5:11)
8. Magnum Opus (3:10)
9. 1904 Era Vulgaris (5:56)

Total Time 45:02


- Reinier Schenk / Guitars
- Collin Boone / Guitars
- Dennie Grondelaers / Vocals
- Kristof Van Iseghem / Bass
- Kevin De Leener / Drums

Guest/Session Musicians:

- Dries Gaerdelen / Keyboards
- Niki Dierickx / Vocals

About this release

Label: code666
Release date: 17th March 2017

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Melodic black metal ruminating on the musicians' personal occult interests is hardly new - Dissection were all about that, after all - but on Saille's Gnosis they offer a solid and enjoyable example of the form. Guest performer Dries Gaerdelen's keyboards and other features add some tasteful symphonic touches, but these are neither bombastically prominent enough to drag the album into symphonic black metal territory or clumsily heavy-handed enough to overwhelm what the rest of the band is doing.

With the sort of tributes to Biblical fallen angels, Norse gods, H.P. Lovecraft and Aleister Crowley that have littered innumerable metal albums over the years, you'd think that this would have entered the realm of utter cliche, but whilst there's nothing lyrically new under the sun here, musically there's plenty for melodic black metal fans to sink their teeth into.
Kev Rowland
Belgian act Saille are back with their fourth album, and it is the first one I’ve come across. Having heard this, I am seriously thinking that I need to go back and listen to the others. This is melodic Black Metal with some symphonic influences, punishing and brutal yet also with a lot of care, and even delicacy. This isn’t a simple full-on assault of the senses, but rather something that has been carefully created, and I was not surprised to see that it was mixed and mastered at Hertz Studio in Bialystok, Poland by the Wieslawscy brothers (Behemoth, Decapitated, Vader). It is the production that allows every single guitar note to stand on their own, for the bass to be the driving force, and for the drums to provide the necessary backbone while Dennie Grondelaers is in in commanding form.

As to the lyrics, Donnie says “With 'Gnosis' (Greek for 'knowledge') we venture into the world of the Promethean ideal and its Luciferian counterpart. This album explores a multitude of historical, mythological and fictional sources that tell us about the strife for knowledge and its (potentially devastating) consequences. We also visit several creation myths and scratch the surface of Aleister Crowley's Thelema. The concept was born during research into Russian composer Alexander Scriabin and his works. His 'Prometheus: The Poem of Fire' didn't serve as a direct source for the lyrics, but it lit the fire that made us venture into above topics." Now you know.

The band themselves feel that this is more in keeping with their second album, ‘Ritu’, yet they knew it had to be harder so they deliberately did that with the music and amended their logo, to show the slight change in approach. Unless you enjoy Black Metal then this isn’t for you, but if you are, then you need to seek this out as this is powerful stuff.
To me it doesn't seem so long ago since the Belgian black metal band Saille burst onto the scene with their impressive debut album Irreversible Decay (2011), but lo and behold it was six years ago already. A lot has happened to the band in the time between that first album and this latest one, their fourth release, Gnosis (2017). For one thing there is only one constant member in the band between the two releases, guitarist Reinier Schenk (who primarily played bass on the debut), as founder member Dries Gaerdelen has stepped down from the band full-time, though he still plays on Gnosis as a guest musician, as the band have continued as a five-piece.

Saille have always had one of those black metal sounds where it's pretty easy to pigeon-hole them in the symphonic black metal genre due to their classical influenced aspects, but such has always been an overstatement about how symphonic their music actually is. They're a melodic black metal at heart and Gnosis is no different in that respect. However where the last couple of Saille records Ritu (2013) and Eldritch (2014) felt like more of the same as Irreversible Decay and thus somewhat derivative of that first album, this one immediately strikes me as considerably more fresh. The riffs of Reinier Schenk and new guitarist Collin Boone display a progressive and technical style in some of these tracks (such as Pandaemonium Gathers and Prometheus) that even when placed within the same polished melodic black metal sound as before change the dynamic of the band a whole lot. Overall it still feels very much like a Saille album, but not a rehashed Saille album and that's one of the reasons that I enjoy it a whole lot more than the prior album Eldritch, which I felt was solid work, but also too safe and familiar. Up until this point I'd have said that Saille's releases were giving diminishing returns, but Gnosis bucks that trend in a big way.

Indeed, while their debut album Irreversible Decay still holds a special place in my black metal collection, I have to say that with Gnosis Saille have come up with what I'd easily call their next best record. The band have produced a bunch of hard hitting black metal tracks here, that convey a number of different moods and atmospheres. It's a consistent release that doesn't make me feel as if any track is filler, but the standouts have to be Pandaemonium Gathers, Thou, My Maker and the closing duo of Magnum Opus and 1904 Era Vulgaris, which flow into each other. If you like your black metal to be direct, polished and epic, then Gnosis is a damn fine album to add to your collection.

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