Symphonic music has paved its way into the light of day for the past decade. Within the past year alone, many bands have incorporated aspects of atmosphere and ambiance into their music to fill the emptiness in the background. With the addition of this aspect of music, there’s always the potential for over-stimulation or even overproduction of said symphonies. Some bands don’t have the means to create a quality blend with their music and their background ambiance, yet some bands do. Immanifest are a band that can incorporate the ambiance within their music and not rely on its flashy, well-produced sound to take away from their music. Some bands can make great music without the ambiance, and if you took away Immanifest’s atmospheric aspects, Macrobial would still be an incredible album.
The band describes the term “macrobial” as follows: “”Macrobe was a term coined by Michael Tsarion – an Irish author, occult philosopher and lecturer – when describing the nature of entities contacted through supernatural rituals conducted by Dr. John Dee (mathematician, occult philosopher & advisor to Queen Elizabeth I) in the mid 16th century.”
Where Immanifest’s success with ambiance comes in is that their instrumentation is extremely percussive. Taking cue from Ovid’s Withering in a song like “Ultraterrestrial Creation,” the guitar-work is complimented by the angelic symphonies peppering the background. Without this background music, the forefront of what the song entails would still leave the listener wanting more. Songs that rely more heavily on the atmospheric background, such as “Spirits of Old,” incorporate it in such an ecstatic way that it feels cinematic. Some listeners may not like this aspect, some may feel like it’s not as genuine as if the cinematic feeling came from live-instrumentation, however that’s not the important part here. Immanifest create their own world with each song that drains the listener of any blood left within their body and fills it with spine-tingling carnage.
The feeling of dread looms over the listener through the album. Songs discussing Nordic themes, such as “Niflheim,” and even touching on the idea of ancient magic, the album feels as archaic as one hopes. The ambiance included within the tracks gives a pagan-vibe; angelic choirs, chordal organs, and things of the like appear rife within the album, making it a pleasurable experience. The vocals are littered with diversity; from extremely melodic highs to piercing lows that shake the darkest depths of the soul. The overall gloom encompassing Macrobial‘s lyrical themes, along with the ritualistic incentives, richly increases a larger audience’s interest in the album. Symphonic music is always a pleasure; however, listeners looking for the darker side of ambiance rather than electronic-esque symphonic aspects will look toward what Immanifest is offering: perpetual doom.
Overall, Macrobial is a top contender for top ten albums of the year. The juxtaposition between darkened musical auras and technical flavor spice the album up immensely. Many fans of Immanifest, old and new, will be thoroughly surprised and impressed with what this record has to offer. The themes of darkness blending with the melodic instrumentation and archaic lyrics create a deeply sinister album that one can only hope to escape its darkness.
FFO: Dimmu Borgir, Shadow of Intent, Enfold Darkness