[Reviewed by stark]
The two prolific musicians, Faith Collocia and Aaron Turner are back with a new Mamiffer album. Yup, not so long since we were able to enjoy (or bleed) our ears with the Daniel Menche collaboration and now, two years after “Statu Nascendi”, another effort by this duo comes to light, with eight songs mixing beauty and decomposition.
During the first listen I thought it could possibly be their most intimate release up to date. Of course, their work was always delicate and oneiric; Faith’s voice softens the toughest black hearts, and when it’s accompanied by slow piano melodies and subtle guitar drones, you may feel like in a dream within a dream. Yet you feel that this serenity and peace of mind is tinged with an anxiety at the end of the third track, “13 Burning Stars”, which from a calm and soothing song turns into a distant echo of a nuclear explosion. Or the decay of a movie reel. The following composition, “Mara”, is still melodic and touched with a brush of nostalgia, but some unspecified tension can be felt in the air. The lamenting strings are like a prologue for the main part of the album, the “Domestication Of The Ewe” triptych.
The first part starts with deep drones, reminding me a bit of the sound of an air raid. With time though it turns towards a more melancholic direction on one side, and a noisier one on the other. Eventually everything turns into ashes scattered over the lost land. The noises, subtly drilling your mind, dominate the second part of the composition, like a glow over a burning city visible from a distance. There was still life here just a few moments ago, now there are only flames.
The middle part gives you a few moments of breath. The guitar riffs and feedbacks are struggling to crush the sublimity of the piano, but in the end they lose this battle. In the final segment of “Domestication Of The Ewe”, with the beautiful subtitle “Divine Virus”, Faith Collocia goes on the highs of her singing. How emotionally and heartbreakingly she uses her voice here. There’s no mercy for the human factor even here, guitar drone walls come into prominence and lead to the very last song, “Parthenogenesis”.
Which is a sad tune that leaves the listener staring at some indefinite point in the sky and thinking if there’s still a purpose in continuing this existence. There are these forms of art that sometimes possess your soul and make it real hard to come back to the mundane world. This is one of them, haunting, melancholic, with a touch of harshness. They’re very creative, Faith and Aaron, and to this moment quality still goes hand in hand with quantity, so… keep it going.