The latest album of murky graveyard ambience, deranged synth, phantasmic dread and ritualistic black drift from this cult UK outfit, their first in nearly ten years.
Surrealistic, spectral music and nocturnal delirium transmitted from beyond the veil and steeped in the mysteries of old Britain, like some twisted, eldritch fusion of Fabio Frizzi, In Umbra Malitiae Ambulabo-era Abruptum, and 80’s darkwave.
First released as an extremely limited cassette on Glorious North, Spectre Music Of An Antiquary is the first new material from Emit in over five years, a full length collection of murky ambience, deranged 80's style synth, ritualistic black drift, and stranger sounds forays into black noise. This British outfit has been creating their unique brand of experimental blackened delirium since the late 90s, branching out of a low-fi UK black metal band called Ante Cryst. With Emit, the members began to explore a creepy, synth-heavy sound that was unmistakably descended from black metal but supremely more deformed, combining harsh electronic noise, horror-movie soundtrack atmospherics, droning keyboards, wrecked and fractured black metal guitars, and bizarre vocals that would often push Emit's music into a strange realm of hallucinatory, ghastly psychedelia. On Spectre, though, Emit's sound has morphed into something that more resembles some mutated, primitive 80's darkwave being completely taken over by malevolent spirits, with eerie electronic drones and distant moaning vocals often taking over; very different from what I've heard from Emit in the past, though no less weird or phantasmagoric. And as with other Emit offerings, this is concerned more with the occult lore and hidden history of the British isles than Satanism or goat worship or any of the other over-used black metal tropes, which all serves to enhance the wraithlike vibe of these songs.
The album opens up with that chorus-drenched minor key guitar sound that is unmistakably Emit, eerie choral drift intertwining around the vaguely off-key melody of this short intro track "Haunter Of Benighted English Summers", sounding dreamlike and hallucinatory and off from the start. That's over pretty quickly, and then it completely shifts gears with the throbbing distorted synth and gated drums of "Mors Wher Devels Are Abrod", an eerie melody woven around ghoulish vocals lost off in the background, that chiming, chorus-soaked guitar coming back in after a while; utterly weird, this sounds like some cross between something off Tangerine Dream's score for Risky Business, a rack of keyboards lifted from John Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness soundtrack, and a shambling low-fi basement black metal outfit, and the result is rather bewitching. Clanking industrial percussion, strange mechanical melodies and distant crooning blur together on "The Dusk Gardens Of Translucent Mansions", continuing the bizarre dreamlike feel of the album, sounding like some inebriated death rock band wandering through a graveyard of broken clocks, and then that murky, soundtrack-like sound returns on "Shades Over The Mere", with more distant Tangerine Dream-esque synths droning over heavy mechanical rhythms, those deranged vocals waaaaaay off in the distance, everything wrapped in a thick fog of tape hiss and low-fi corrosion, but still strangely pretty and haunting beneath all of the sonic slime. The rest of the songs are similarly delirious, "Sylvan Old Enchanter" drifting on waves of buried synth and deformed black metal guitar, washed out and bleary as it transforms into a wash of gorgeous organ-drift, like something out of a Hammer Horror film drenched in lysergic acid, followed by the ghostly ambience, strange melodic singing and plodding drums that almost sounds like a more stripped-down, minimal version of black psych weirdoes Yoga; that's followed by "The Meadow Reapers (A Field Recording)", which is pretty much just that, a stretch of minimal environmental sound flecked with strange nocturnal cries, mysterious rumblings, bits of ominous warbling synth and distant voices, everything slightly skewed and otherworldly.
The final track "Emanations From Beneath Far Hills, Beyond Far Moons", though, is closer to the sort of weird black ambience heard on older Emit releases like The Dark Bleeding Gods and the excellent Abortions collection, a dimly lit, murky wash of metallic resonance, soft shimmery pulsations of cymbal-like reverberations, these sounds coalescing in the blackness into strange, chiming, half-formed melodies. After awhile, mysterious percussive sounds begin to appear and disappear, soft ghostly knockings that drift up like transmissions from beyond the grave as the track slowly fades into total and utter darkness.
A must-hear for anyone into the murky surrealistic blackness of artists like Reverorum ib Malacht (a band that has shared members with Emit in the past), Yoga, Occultation, Uno Actu, Utarm, and Dapnom, Spectre is now available on CD in digipack packaging featuring evocative, all-new artwork.