Conducting ritual requires vacancy of mind and precision of intent, allowing one to become a conduit for the forces that direct a powerful will. Usually an intensely personal process, the mage has honed his skill through levels of initiation, trials, and adaptation, and in ritual is where the skill converges with the innate ability to reach into that nightside realm. The figure secludes away in solitude from the external world and seeks that liminal existence where magickal change is a reality. It is a sheer privilege to catch the merest glimpse into the magician’s process, and either one has stumble upon something forbidden or been allowed to see into another existence. Entering into the spiritual depths of most Funerary Call recordings feels as if we are allowed to see past the veil just long enough. The ritual black ambient mastermind has presented otherworldly auras for nearly 20 years, slowly descending further and further into the abyss. Enticing as this forbidden glimpse has been we don’t even realize where it has taken us. So deep has this journey traversed that with “Nightside Emanations” there is no hope of turning back. With keen sensibilities the subtleties of this ritual milestone should be absorbed. It is a slowly building entity that provides the honest feeling of communication with another source beyond the perceptible.
Whereas Funerary Call (CA) has presented the blackest vitriolic soundscapes and bombastic rhythms in the past, inciting fear and preparing for spiritual battle, “Nightside Emanations” reveals a truthful and almost personal side of the work. The varying degrees of darkness that are revealed throughout this process are so much more in line with a realistic vision of occult practice. Outside of the realms of fantasy, magic is a completely other-sensory experience that necessitates a high level of contemplation and focus. In a darkened chamber, in utter silence, with nothing but flickering candle-light to occupy the seemingly cavernous space, the mind and the senses are left to detect the miniscule changes in the atmosphere. The minutiae of a ritual take on very miniscule manifestations, but enormous significance. This is magic in reality: direct manipulation of one’s environment through ritualized action. Slight shimmers in the aether, whispers from beyond, disembodied voices that maybe aren’t what they seem, faces in the smoke. It is for these reasons that H. McFarlane’s newest offering takes on a much more significant role beyond shock and awe. It is a lesson for those with ears to hear, a guiding figure that is worthy of emulation. Through the slight chimes of bells, the rattle of antlers and daggers, or the drone of incantation it is clear that there is a vista of unknown just beneath the surface. That which isn’t revealed is far more powerful than that which is. Mystery and silence are necessary tools, and far more powerful than spoiling that which could be. The literal use of silence on these recordings strikes the balance between trance-like moments of anticipation and fervent cacophonies of peak activity. The tension that breeds within that moment in the midst of the two extremes is where that profound feeling resides.
A meeting of two modern occult visionaries are responsible for the fully-realized expression of “Nightside Emanations”. The physical incarnation of this album is talismanic in itself, through the contributions of the brilliant Russian esoteric painter, Dennis Forkas. His artwork alone is worthy of endless praise, as it is an actual gateway to the other side of man’s darkest subconscious manifestations. Many of his pieces represent a blend of mythology and archetypes filtred through his unique perception and spiritual take. This piece is absolutely no different. The literal invocation of a god right before one’s eyes is taking place on a surreal altar – at once, full of symbolism, realism, and the unmistakably unique quality of Denis Forkas. A mere glimpse at his body of work will consume the mind of even the most fleeting student of esoteric matters. Of course, only through complete control of the auditory environment that Funerary Call builds can this effectively be expressed. It is through the years of mastery as a genre innovator that this degree has been achieved. So easily could this approach have been stripped of significance by a lesser hand; the result being an ill-assembled clatter of sounds, voices, and drones. Only to be undertaken by an initiate!
Never before has such a glimpse into the personal practice of an occultist been revealed, however many will never know this to be the case. Those who know, know; the rest will come away from the experience slightly shaken up and possibly unaffected. Knowing the depth at which this is a reality for the practitioner, “Nightside Emanations” is possibly the closest experience to the subtle and exhilarating vibrations within the ritual chamber. A rare moment of subdued tranquility – sitting in silence, ready for that which has been called. When the answer comes, the walls of perception will come toppling down. Without an all pervasive intuitiveness the meaning and significant is hard to perceive, and even harder to express.
1. Wands Of Fire
2. Nightside Emanations
3. Thee I Invoke
4. Seven Candles Burning
5. The Calling
6. Upon The Heath