Even though Mamiffer started off as a studio project of Faith Coloccia, throughout the years it has blossomed into something much more. The atmospheric experimental band of the former mastermind behind Everlovely Lightningheart, and Aaron Turner (also of Old Man Gloom and previously of ISIS) released a couple of full-lengths and a number of splits and collaborations with other amazing acts such as Merzbow, House of Low Culture,Pyramids, Locrian and Circle. Now with Statu Nascendi it feels like Mamiffer is further evolving, leaving behind their metal background and steering towards more experimental paths.
What really fascinates me about Statu Nascendi though is its ambiance. There is something that I find quite soothing about how they explore the space and its soundscapes. The earth seems to be shifting and moving around you when “Caelestis Partus” is introduced, but the band somehow manages to retain a soothing sense of strange calm, making good use of a field recording in the very start of the track. There is a similar contrast in the closing track of the album, “Flower In the Field,” which I find dark and uplifting at the same time. Now that is something quite unique and extraordinary, and it is retained by the band through this album, with Mamiffer offering almost cathartic moments in the majestic “Enantiodromia,” alongside some more emotional instances, like “Mercy.”
Mamiffer makes great use of the sonic background. The synths on the opening song fill out the space, making the track sounding huge in the process. In “Enantiodromia” they throw in some organ, giving a very emotional performance and lifting the track to a whole different level. In other instances, they implement noise elements, creating a splendid base for some of their songs. This works great in “Mercy,” subtly contrasting the more melodic tonality coming from the piano near the end of the track, and especially in “Flower In The Field.” Mamiffer build an impressive wall of sound, originating from the distorted guitars turning what was once a peaceful moment into a nightmare-like scenario. Even though you can tell the song is building up towards that, the result is just much better than you can ever imagine.
That is also one of the aspects of Mamiffer that has changed in Statu Nascendi. The distorted guitars were always a part of the band’s sound but here they have taken a step back. Still there are moments when the distortion frenzy comes in and absolutely nails it. The huge riffs about five minutes in “Enantiodromia” come out of the blue and are capable of bringing down walls, in a similar manner as in “Flower In The Field.” Melodic lines are also found inStatu Nascendi, having an intoxicating effect. The circling melodies of the opening song are captivating while the more experimental playing in “Enantiodromia” is mesmerizing, especially alongside the organ. On the other hand, experimentation is also applied in the guitars, with crazy guitar parts offering sonic dissonance before the insane effects come in at the very end of “Enantiodromia” and steal the show. And that feedback is just unbelievable, always changing, never standing still. It just makes the whole trip more intense and interesting.
On top of all that you have Coloccia’s voice being the perfect mean to transfer Mamiffer’s concepts. The actual performance is stunning, and her vocals are comforting and transparent, especially considering her recital in “Enantiodromia” and the more peaceful tone in “Mercy.” While her delivery in “Flower In The Field” with the more steady rhythm, enhances the ambience of the song and acts as a constant hook.
Mamiffer is still evolving, and with an album such as Statu Nascendi you can only assume that things will be getting even better in the future for them. Coloccia herself, considers Statu Nascendi as a transitional album to the full-length they will be releasing in 2015. Now that is something I cannot wait to hear!
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