About twelve years ago, Erich Von Daniken's Miracles of the Gods graced my nightstand / pile-of-clothes-by-my-bedside / place-where-I-put-whatever-book-I-was-reading-at-the-time. What was most fascinating about the book wasn't his expanding hypothesis of ancient astronauts and extraterrestrial intervention which Chariots of the Gods made a far stronger argument for, but instead the images taken of early 20th century photographs reportedly showing the essence of souls vacating the body. Enter Emanation, a Spanish project by C. G. Santos. Depicted within his recent release, The Emanation of Begotten Chaos From God, were similar photographs to accompany a soundscape of ritualistic ambient coalescing through harsh and hypnotic drones to form what felt like the background to a steampunk nightmare. The occult vibe is powerful across the six tracks and hour of material. It falls somewhere between Earth's Pentastar and Bosque's harshest scrapings.
You can take this or perceive this as many thinks but I set my listening experience against the background of a seance gone wrong. The opening lengthy dirge of "Cyclic Metamorphosis" draws the spirit into the room. Through foggy interior chambers we flow in first person as the aroused themselves, coming to materialize amidst curious onlookers. "Ritual Asphyxia" finds us feeling the anger after being rudely awoken and manifesting that anger into a new creature, of physical being. In "Immortal Blood Coil" we gaze upon the new creature, as an onlooker, in terror as it wisps around us like a serpent of dense steam, whispering in each participants ears the morbid way in which it would destroy each individual. As "Synethesia of the Lesser Sphere"rumbles forth each person, frozen in horror, succumbs to the summoned creatures method of murder. One by one, the responsible parties are whisked to a dimension of endless torment. "Inorganic" follows each of their souls realization into immortal suffering as "Sands of Totemic Silence" mimics their endless drifting, as the song crawls onward.
The album is marked with each song being different and recognizable though extremely consistent. Each of the pericopes works to fill specific needs of the pacing of the release which is characterized by the fact that it's not at all tiring or boring to the listener; a feat quite impressive considering the length of the release and issues which ambient music often encounter. At over an hour, dark harsh ambient like that created by Santos for his Emanation project can become severely tedious but here, I've found it easy to keep focus, and interest in the release - perhaps because I found imagery to accompany my listening. Santos has managed to use the techniques that often create auditory tunnel vision to instead create points of interest. Repetition, saturation, confusion and the texturalization of each element reigns supreme. I found the percussive elements rewarding throughout and mystifying. Songs like "Inorganic" fling drums and sounds around in the timing of random asteroid colliding in space, and caused my to consciously try to find patterns in the effects. After eighteen minutes my efforts yielded nothing.
This is an album for aficionados and connoisseurs of noise and ambient. It's enjoyability is not for youthful listeners of the genre, though those enjoying the genre in passing and looking for a challenging listen could find that here. With a suffocating and substantial heft, a tortured and painful texture and overwhelming phantom melodies, it takes both some background and a deep-rooted interest in noise and ambient for Emanation and The Emanations of Begotten Chaos from God to be welcomed. This is a more mature and thoughtful release than One Soul, One Body, One Spirit. This will be a rewarding session for some.
Jon / Contaminated Tones.
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