"Emanation" is the debut release from Ossarivm (which stands for a charnel house), a band I'm having a hard time finding information about. It was originally released on CD-R by the label "Latrina Do Chifrudo" in 2010, and got reissued on CD and LP in 2012. The CD holds no lyrics, but the gold-on-black layout is otherwise pleasing and the grim drawings suit the EP's atmosphere well.

The songs mix darkened death metal and ambient with ritualistic elements. The opening 13-minuter is a heavily rhythmic piece that's based on simple and slightly discordy and even sloppy riffs, steady background drumming and heavy growled vocals that seem to crackle a bit. The song ranges from sloth-paced drudging to somewhat black metal-influenced tremolo-riffing that relies more on its dark and ominous atmosphere than any musical hooks other than bold variance. It has two sections of simplistic dark ambient with chimes, and those pieces work well in giving the song some additional character and charisma.

The second piece lasts for about six minutes and features no traditional death metal instruments for most of its length. As its name suggests, the song delivers some metal-chimes and ethnic flutes mixed with thundering and somewhat monotonal low-end drone. The ethnic instruments and the end part's distorted strings are a good add, but in general the song could be way bolder. It's a good piece, but its very traditional and even safe sound tames its powers down a lot.

The third song, however, kicks into motion with full force after the ambient-piece. It's a five-minuter of brisk-paced and heavy death metal, and the album's horror-atmosphere truly climaxes during this attack. After all the darkened build-up, this song sounds awesome in its simplistic effectiveness. Even the very traditional-sounding synth-blur as the track's outro sounds pretty neat and gives the album's atmosphere a suitable end.

Overall this EP leaves me with mixed feelings. I really like the mixture of horror, ambient and death metal, but I'd say that the band's style hasn't really matured yet. The darkness is there, but the pure horror could be more prominent. The mixture of ambient-parts and death metal-parts should be smoother, and I feel like neither of these approaches are taken to their fullest; the ambience could be way bolder and more experimental, and the death metal would need more depth and structure and not just the simplistic chugging to make a full impact. Some harsher and more intrusive vocals might help with this, too.

Everything on this EP sounds good and promising, but not yet mature enough to sound fully and instantly convincing, nor is the instrumentation executed or explored to its fullest potential to make a long-lasting impact. I'll be looking forward to Ossarivm's possible future releases as there truly is some great potential within these tracks, and I hope that the band refines and explores their craft further. I am very intriqued, but not fully convinced by this EP.

6 / 10