Mamiffer Statu Nascendi
Published Nov 14, 2014Forget those Rockabye Baby! albums with lullaby versions of Slayer and Sabbath; metal fans searching for soothing sounds that still have street cred needn't look any further than Mamiffer's mix of ethereal piano and organ, post-rock guitar and crystalline vocals. The collaboration of real-life couple Aaron Turner (ISIS, Old Man Gloom) and Faith Coloccia (Everlovely Lightninghart), Mamiffer has, in the past, stayed a little closer to avant-garde orchestral rock, complete with drums and an Angelo Badalamenti–like penchant for lush strings and melancholy moods.
On Statu Nascendi, the followup to 2011's Mare Decendrii, Turner and Coloccia pare things down to the basics: "Mercy" is almost exclusively piano and vocal, an interplay of drifting melodies that is gradually overwhelmed by a fog of feedback and distortion; opener "Caelestis Partus" edges along on a sparsely arpeggiated clean guitar riff that wouldn't sound out of place as an intro to an epic ISIS jam; and the 16-minute "Anantridromia" is a master class of creating drama through contrasting textures. A striking evolution of the ideas they explored on their previous album, Statu Nascendi is the work of a duo who seem much more confident in the core of this collaboration; in this elemental incarnation, devoid of traditional rock signifiers, Mamiffer is surprisingly effective. Coloccia has called the four-track offering a "transitional album," which bodes well for whatever Mamiffer construct upon this new foundation. (Sige)