Emanation- “The Emanation of Begotten Chaos from God”

Emanation

Spanish black metal project Emanation has been quite busy lately, especially for an act with only one member. Between last year’s fantastic Under Magnetic Sleep MLP (reviewed here earlier this year) and their One Soul, One Body, One Spirit tape, they released two solid efforts in just a few short months. With June’s release of The Emanation of Begotten Chaos from God, a full-length CD, Emanation have churned out three unique and challenging releases in the course of a single year. While many bands would be hard pressed to put out a single album of equal quality on an annual basis, it seems there is a greater drive within Emanation than the average project. Perhaps it’s because the spiritual, philosophical, and scientific themes and concepts explored on these albums were well researched by the artist long before a single note was written, or perhaps it’s because the desire to delve deeper is so strong that Emanation simply must continually release new music. Whatever the reason, it’s making Emanation one of black metal’s most exciting new artists to watch.

From the seemingly off-pace introduction to “Cyclic Metamorphosis,” the album grips the listener in a way most black metal cannot by forcing attention. This is not a release to casually play in the background in hopes you’ll absorb it. Instead, this music is meant to speak to the listener, requiring either total focus or none at all. While I’m sure you can let this go while you sit with friends who share your taste in music, it would be a true waste of time and attention. This isn’t to say that any album doesn’t deserve your full attention, but others are possibly easier to learn through immersion. Emanation’s music has never been an easy experience, but the reward is well worth it. Perhaps the title of the first song even makes it clear. Shifting, changing, yet circular and slightly repetitive at the same time seems to be the only real constant to Emanation’s music. The effect is truly hypnotic, leading the listener into a state between dreams and conscious thought. Even in more straightforward moments later in the album, such as the dense body of “Ritual Asphyxia” or the churning trudge that opens “Inorganic,” Emanation retains a pulsing and otherworldly quality at all times. In a way, the albums strengths are easier to digest in sparser moments like the latter half of “Immortal Blood Coil” or the slow build into “Sands of Totemic Silence,” where the seemingly unrelated elements are all stripped bare, allowing the listener to hear exactly how things come together when the more layered approach is utilized. Still, Emanation is at its finest when collapsing in on itself, immersing the listener in true chaotic bliss.

The true skill with which Emanation alters atmosphere and the state of the listener is what makes repeated listens a must for each of this project’s albums, with The Emanation of Begotten Chaos from God standing tall as a symbol of jet black perfection. This is neither purely orthodox nor is it going to gather outsiders whose curiosity may be sparked by more accessible acts, leaving Emanation with a rather niche yet dedicated audience. Anyone who is open to expanding the boundaries of black metal’s chilling atmosphere will be delighted. Anyone interested in the stagnant grimness of cult black metal may find elements appealing but will likely miss the heart of Emanation’s artistic and spiritual focus. This album is available for purchase from multiple sources and comes highly recommended. It’s released by Monad Press Ltd. but can be obtained from many distros worldwide, so keep an eye out. The highly unique and detailed packaging begs to be seen (and transcends basic descriptions), so this is one to own, not just to peruse online.