Mamiffer - The World Unseen Album Review

Magik and mystery from darkly experimental Seattle duo.

Mamiffer The World Unseen album artwork

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Don’t be put off by Mamiffer’s tag of ‘experimental metal’ – think how far Anathema and Alcest are from their death metal roots.

Comprising Isis guitarist/singer Aaron Turner and his artist-musician wife Faith Coloccia, the duo relish the dark side, and that is their historical substratum. But built upon that is nearly a decade of musical shapeshifting resting on a triumvirate of ghostly piano, tolling guitar and Coloccia’s angelic voice. The World Unseen brings shadowy exercises to life via tape loops, banks of effects and otherworldly oscillations.

A celestial mood is generated on opener By The Light Of My Body, and that dovetails into the elegiac, gothic gospel of the Crippled Black Phoenix-like Flower Of The Field II. Lead track Mara is also divine, composed of Gregorian modal drone and multi-part harmonies.

The nucleus, though, is the 27-minute trilogy Domestication Of The Ewe, a suite of white noise, abstract texturising and menacing folk song tension that’s utterly transportive – think Eraserhead, A Field In England and Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares channelled through Mediaeval Baebes. A magikal mystery tour, waiting to take you away.

Jo Kendall

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.