Being outstanding on so many levels, it’s not easy to determine what’s the most impressive trait of Spectral Apparition’s artistry, but still, if I was to name only one, I would probably go with how comfortable and and self-confident they feel in any given musical context and how easy they channel absolutely every aesthetic or emotion into convincing and downright mesmerizing songwriting. Indeed, Spectral Apparition own absolutely everything they play, and nothing about their comprehensive music feels wrong, too much or out of place.
Their ability to effortlessly and swiftly shift between styles, all within a single song, is absolutely bewildering. The opener, Voices Call From Beyond Тhe Shroud Of Perception, is the best possible example ˗ to come up with such a unique, captivating back and forth trade-off between symphonic black metal sequence that sounds like the finest Nightside-era Emperor tribute and the most basic, powerful, contagious thrash metal riff one can imagine, than to add a layer of slow, doomy, ethereal death metal heaviness immediately after, and to convince a listener that those seemingly incompatible metal idioms look perfectly natural standing right next to each other ˗ that takes wit, grit and talent. In amounts one seldom encounters, I might add, as this superb demonstration of songwriting prowess takes place within merely two and a half minutes of the song, at the very end of it.
Furthermore, whenever these amazing musicians opt for making a strong point by emphasizing some particular emotion or getting the most value out of some smaller section of music, they also never fall short. In that regard, I simply can’t escape the impression that, if some ultimate destructive force was to announce the end of days, that eerie, majestic proclamation at 3:13 mark of Malignant Shape Of The Other would be the proper way to do it. Every time I listen to that breath-taking sequence, regardless of what I do or where I’m at, I need to stop and honor its solemn, ceremonial grandioseness with my undivided attention.
Many noteworthy releases have been recorded in recent years, but very few of them managed to offer what these Englishmen proffered with Manifestation ˗ only three songs, but with a clear hint of immense potential that will hopefully blossom into greatness. Given how authoritative display of talent and imagination this EP is, their eclectic, all-encompassing mentality will undoubtedly make their future musical endeavors even more remarkable, and I can’t wait for what’s ahead to unfold. Amazing band worthy of highest praise and recommendation.
(Invictus Productions, 2016)