Equimanthorn - A Fifth Conjuration

Oh how the mighty have fallen! Equimanthorn's previous work on albums such as 'Second Sephira Cells' was rich in organic, lush middle eastern melodies that drew from the influences of the members whose involvement in Melechesh and Absu really brought out the flavor while mixing in dark ambient. As the albums progressed, Equimanthorn developed a more esoteric, ambient structure, but still kept to their middle eastern styles. Now, though, with 'A Fifth Conjuration,' it seems they have shed their style for a more straightforward ambient/ noise album that runs as a great concept album full of mysticism and wonder- according to the titles- but the music doesn't really reflect it. For the most part, the album sounds like it was recorded in the windy mountains of Himalayas, so there is a constant rushing sound throughout the tracks which all seem like they follow each other well, but there is a lack of dynamic presence of actual 'music.' Tracks like "The Great Deluge" and "Pyat" feature great rumbling conch shell moanings that never cease, while "Wormfire" is full of creepy samplings that make one feel like they are wandering a lost, forgotten temple and a candle is about to go out. Tracks like these are great for ambient, meditative atmospheres, but at the same time are very difficult to enjoy for those who are looking for more dynamic and virtuous sounds. Compared to previous works, Equimanthorn were great at using guitars and other string instruments that made the music much more engaging and just as dreamy; here it just sounds boring.

The only two tracks that really feature anything musical are "The Transmutation of Metal" and "Enuma Elish." "Transmutation" features very soft, almost jazzy plinks of keyboard amongst the ambient soundscape that is a little less boring than what the other tracks provide. "Enuma Elish" finally brings forth some fresh, organic dark ambient atmosphere with some droning choirs and the keyboards sounding mystical and virtuous with plenty of suspense. There are other vocal qualities among the tracks too, but they are so quiet and soft that they often get lost in the mix and are mostly overlooked. In fact, this entire album is easily overlooked. Once one sits through the entire thing and really listens then they can appreciate the beauty of Equimanthorn's work, but it just doesn't grab their attention like previous ones. It is too quiet and too embedded in the ambient and dark atmosphere side of things. More than three quarters of the tracks are all sounding the same, so fans just as likely may pass it off as repetitive until they find something that stands out. Sadly, there aren't enough tracks here to stand out. Those who are seeking more engaging dark ambient would be better served with music by Karna or Voida who still provide a heavy atmosphere, but a much better selection of tracks that still tell a great story.

  1. The Great Deluge
  2. When Skies Above Were Not Yet Named

  3. Kneeling to the Throne of Winter (Confidence and Lust)
  4. Nanna's Dreaming (The Endless Night of Crucifixion)

  5. Pyat
  6. The Transmutation of Metals

  7. Wormfire
  8. Sigillium Sanctum
  9. Ra Hoor Khuit
  10. Enuma Elish
  11. The Third Dynasty of Ur
  12. The Lightning Forged the Pale Ones Luminosity