Monday, April 30, 2012

Locrian & Mamiffer: Bless Them That Curse You (2012)

and pray for them which despitefully use you

Mamiffer is a piano-based ambient/post-whatever project featuring Isis’s Aaron Turner and wife Faith Coloccia. Piano usually implies something that’s easy listening, for the most part, but their album Mare Decendrii is the reason I no longer listen to music while eating. Yeah, I listened to plenty of death metal at lunch before, but this piano-based stuff was too unsettling for that. Now I listen to people talking about autopsies.

Mamiffer teamed up with ambient/noise artist Locrian (whom I’ve never listened to before) on the creation of Bless Them That Curse You. I don’t often go in for ambient types of music, but I have been going through a bit of it lately. Given my lack of familiarity with the genre, how it’s created, and what’s expected of it, my ability to talk about it is limited. I’ll give it my best shot.

They combine a lot of minimalist elements into a fuller sound. They use sampled percussive noises, electronics, drums, and guitars that aren’t so much “played” in any traditional sense of the word as they are “played around with.” That’s combined with the wonderfully eerie piano elements and some occasional singing and growling, resulting in something that sounds something like the soundtrack to the kind of movie that does not have a happy ending.

What makes this work better than stereotypical ambient music is the fact that these songs actually resemble songs, progressing and climaxing well. The album as a whole also has a progression, culminating in the angry part at the end. Will that be enough to hook you in? I don’t know. It was for me.

The Verdict: Approach with caution, but if you’ve thought about branching out into ambient or minimalist kinds of music, Bless Them That Curse You would be an excellent starting point for any metal fan. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Buy Bless Them That Curse You


  1. "With caution" might be the worst way to approach ambient music in my opinion, particularly those who are unfamiliar with the genre.

    Get some eno, some william basinski, and OK some mammifer, and approach warmly and confidently, without caution, prejudice, or expectation, or you'll hate it.

    (BONUS: smoke a bowl and play your favorite NES games while you listen. Or get a BJ.)

    Thanks for keeping it real, being honest, and challenging yourself and your readers. I read this blog everyday!


  2. Thanks a lot for the comment. You make a good point, so I should revise that to say, "Approach if you think you're ready, but if you do, dive in without preconception."