Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mamaleek - "Kurdaitcha" (2011) [Enemies List Home Recordings]

So I've been sitting on this one for a while, but for good reason. Amidst the flocks of "Man, I think this album is really weak compared to previous releases" you might see on, I've found myself absolutely enthralled with this just took a while for me to fully realize my reasoning behind it.

Mamaleek is an anonymous duo, who I actually interviewed last December, who make some of the strangest and marvelous black metal I've ever heard. In their first two albums, Mamaleek and Fever Dream, there are echoes of noise pop, fevered electronica, jazz, and horrific, magnificent black metal, but Kurdaitcha, released this past March on Enemies List Home Recordings, is an entirely different, more "sophisticated" monster. Immediately with the first track "The Hypocrite & The Concubine," one understands that Mamaleek is an ever-changing entity without regard for style or having a set sound. Yes, this album isn't as catchy as, say, Fever Dream's mellow pop sensibilities or Mamaleek's shimmering brilliance, but, upon listening, can you really say you've heard anything like Kurdaitcha? No, I don't mean like in the "Jesus Christ, this is the weirdest thing I've ever heard" manner like one feels upon listening to, say, Anubi, rather a "Wow, this is texturally interesting and Mamaleek has, yet again, taken black metal in directions of which I never could have fathomed." It's dirty, yes, but the magnificence lies within, and behind, the sheer aggression.

One should never approach a band like Mamaleek expecting anything, which is what a lot of people did with Kurdaitcha. Expecting some sort of magnificent pop album, which, aside from a few songs, Kurdaitcha isn't, these people left unhappy, which is such a shame. This album's tasteful avant-garde tendencies that never go "too far" (I'm looking at you, later Arcturus) demonstrate Mamaleek's complete and deep understanding of just what their project is. Mamaleek is amorphous; it might be a poppy, pretty black metal band one day, or it might be majestic, blown out avant-garde black metal the next, but it's still Mamaleek, and that is by far the coolest thing a black metal band can do. So, I implore Mamaleek fans: now that it's 3 months later, shed your expectations and listen to this with new ears. You might like it.

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