Disgraced Emanations from a Tranquil State

Apparition

This isn’t just death metal; there’s real talent here.
July 7, 2024

Apparition – Disgraced Emanations from a Tranquil State
“This Isn’t Just Death Metal; There’s Real Talent Here.”
Big Bear Buchko

Few fans of any genre of music would consider themselves to be fans of that genre and that genre only. For example, a few years ago, I was lucky enough to see Marilyn Manson and Katy Perry in the same weekend. I’ve also seen Dolly Parton and Cannibal Corpse, Prince and Rammstein, even Ice Cube and KoRn – those two together at the same venue for the same show – and I’ve loved them all. So, while I more than willingly exude a deep love and appreciation for extreme metal, I also have a heavily-rooted pop and commercial rock sensibility in a lot of what I listen to. What the hell am I talking about…

Apparition is a band that I am disappointed to say falls into the more extreme, death metal category. I say “with disappointment” because there is a brilliance to their musicianship and the material that they’ve created that is going to pigeonhole them into a class of artists and acts that they are truly too good to belong to. Worse yet, there is amazing potential here for the band to be something much bigger than a death metal, metalcore, whateverthefuck band relegated to the stagnant underground of churgachurgachurgachurga blegh! music. This isn’t just death metal; there’s real talent here.

The album is Disgraced Emanations from a Tranquil State, and I’m pleased to say it’s one of the first albums that I’ve reviewed of this genre with a title that at least makes somewhat of an attempt to be coherent. It paints a picture. I get what it’s trying to say, and that bodes well for the adventure ahead. The band name is good, the title is interesting, but then… the album cover. I’ve seen covers like this a thousand times; there’s nothing special about it and I couldn’t pick it out of a line-up if I was forced to at gunpoint, with a band logo that looks like every other “what the shit is this? I can’t read this” branched thicket style of graphic design. This is the first inkling that I have that Apparition really wants to fit in with others of this ilk, but it’s wholly… unnecessary, as trying to fit in does not work well with a sound that so succinctly stands out as Apparition’s does. It is not properly indicative of what is about to follow.

We start with “Asphyxcreation,”which very simply does not fuck around it its approach. No, there’s no “Stairway” here, there’s no “Blind” or “Beautiful People;” there’s no long, dramatic build-up into the guts of the fray. The band comes in with pure intensity, with full, agonizing vocals a second after that. The guitars in this song – along with almost every single track that follows – are positively brilliant. The note bends, the trills, the layers and melodic harmonies, the textures! As a lifelong instrumentalist myself, the presentation and progressive techniques of the guitars here are enough to make me loudly fangirl like a teenager (which, for a 40 year old fat man, must surely be a sight to see). But the high accolades don’t belong to the guitars only, as the fluctuating tempo and alternating punk to metal to funk-style drumming here (and again, throughout) holds its own as a mark of performative excellence.

The vocals, however, are typical death metal fodder – deep, incomprehensible, and mixed too far to the back. This is by no means a knock at the singer or at the band, but I very quickly wished that the vocal style had been handled differently. With a more “commercial” approach, as I use that term very lightly, Apparition would have a much greater appeal – the likes of, say, Slipknot, Trivium, or Killswitch Engage. This is headliner-stage-at-a-metal-festival-level talent, but not with these vocals. And this opinion was only reinforced even harder as we moved on through “Imminent Expanse of Silence and Not (or Not)”  - a track with such an elegant eccentricity to it that I actually stopped and turned the volume up halfway through, as I needed to hear it MORE. An incredible groove break within the bridge, their sound is a volatile violation of the word “monotony.” Under no circumstances can you get bored, lost, or daydream listening to Disgraced Emanations from a Tranquil State. You get no “tranquil state.” You will pay attention here and like it, goddamnit.

The dueling guitar solos are melodic and haunting, and the song ends with another piece of unusual flair that can’t but help make you like this band. You finish with one track and immediately jump to another – “Paradoxysm.” Now we hear those crisp, clean drums again, starting on their own with an old metal beat that reminds more of Metallica or Slayer in their prime; it's not pompous, it’s not blistering, it’s just good, crisp, clean drums. It’s another welcomed layer to their album’s fascinating tapestry. For a split second, you hear a guitar – dry and ethereal, sudden and weird – and then it’s gone again. Your inner ear twitches as you wonder what the hell that was. But then, a moment later and it reappears out of the fog of death metal, but this time wrapping and enveloping the song, dominating it and taking it over. Without warning, it becomes a different type of song – and I like it. My biggest compliment about both Apparition and Disgraced Emanations is that you really have no idea where they’re going to take you next. It’s interesting. God help me, it’s freakin’ exciting.

There are only six tracks on Disgraced Emanations from a Tranquil State, which is typical for a typical death-metal-style band, but with the wild and complicated nature of each composition expanding each song to an impressive six-to-eight minutes in length, you don’t walk away feeling robbed of an overall presentation. With six decently-long tracks, you’re feeling like you get something close to a full album. My complaints about marketability aside, Disgraced Emanations from a Tranquil State is a captivating and engrossing effort by a band trying too hard to fit in with similar, shittier bands. Regardless of how they present themselves in future endeavors, I wish them the absolute best, as musicianship of this caliber can only produce continually jaw-dropping results for their audiences and fans alike.

Maybe I’ll get to see them the same weekend that I see Madonna.

 

7 / 10

Good

Songwriting

5

Musicianship

9

Memorability

7

Production

8
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"Disgraced Emanations from a Tranquil State" Track-listing:

 

  1. Asphyxcreation
  2. Imminent Expanse of Silence and Not (or Not)
  3. Paradoxysm
  4. Excruciating Refuge in Reoccurring Torment
  5. Inner Altitudes, Light Transference
  6. Circulacate

 

Apparition Lineup:

Miles McIntosh - Bass and Guitars
Andrew Morgan - Drums, Vocals
Taylor Young - Bass
Andrew Solis - Guitars

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