Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Emanation - Temple Sleep Crystallization (2016)

Apparently, no one cares about this Spanish black metal act, which is a shame because they've got some real potential. Temple Sleep Crystallization is actually the band's sophomore album, even though the scribes at Metal Archives stopped with the demo. I guess if one guy hears a demo that he only half-likes, he pretty much says fuck all to the rest of the band's recordings. I couldn't find much coverage done on them either sans two black metal blogs, which will make this review yet another promotional step for them as they do deserve it. This record is one of the few experiences where I find it hard to tell if there are any actual vocal pieces. If you listen deeply to the album, you might be able to pull out something that might resemble vocals, but according to the information that I have here, that is definitely not the case. But it doesn't need to be either. The mastermind behind this project is CG Santos and he commands everything that you're hearing on the disc. I still can't tell you if there are vocals here, these might be samples mixed into the whole aura of the thing – it sounds like a mist. A swirling sort of mist, like a tornadic event if you will; but with a heavy backbone of blast beats. The blast beats sound like metal caught up in the storm, almost giving me a slight feel of metal mixed with classic industrial. Even noise elements appear on this record, which make it loom far away from the realms of metal as we'd expect.

Not all of the tracks are quite so heavy, like “Crystallization” which reminds me of the kind of material I'd get from Malignant Records. That's pretty cool in my opinion, because it shows just how far the artist is willing to go to create this soundscape. Sure, you can bang your head to it and enjoy it like a raw black metal album, but it's a bit whirly and twisted – it might even make you think. A man on the internet today just warned me that from listening to too many odd approaches like this, I can totally damage my psyche. If that's the case, Tower readers know that I'm already too far gone. I can understand the man's concern, and there might be (haven't checked myself) some factual evidence behind erratic sounds and the human mind, but I don't find myself losing it until I start staying up far later than any man should. (I am working to remedy that.) Getting back to the album, we'll find a mixture of both heavy things and rather subdued things, making for an experience that is just that – an experience. You don't really say, “Well, I liked this track because it had a good chorus, or a good riff.” It's more like, “Well, that was a bit odd.” At least give the band a chance if you're looking for some slightly different deviations from the normal metal soup. This to me is like when someone puts fruit in cereal for the first time and realizes that it's actually quite good. You don't think something like fruit would work well actually inside the bowl with the milk, but as soon as you've tried it, you realize that the process yielded better results than you would've hoped. I should add that some pieces veer closer to black metal, while others like “Bridges” tend to feel like they would work better with horror films. Yes, I'll admit that I felt a bit of a chill on the back of my neck with that one. Could it have made Blair Witch better? Probably not. Even the album's final cut, “Compulsion” makes me feel a bit awkward, with it's ghastly church organs and ghostly mist. This is usually the music that plays in films where evil triumphs, or demons rise from hell or something. Most people don't like to hear such an approach in real life, which might be why some of the reviewers over at Metal Archives refused to review it. The disc is just a bit freaky, and when the metal isn't playing, I feel as though there's something looking at me from behind my shoulders. Some say that there might be and I'm okay with that. But you might not be...

(8 Tracks, 47:00)


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