Album Via Dolorosa
Release Date: 26 May 2015
Label The Flenser Genre Black Metal | Experimental Metal
Soothing harmonized guitars slide over tortured vocals and a simple drum pattern to start off Via Dolorosa, the new album from black metal act Mamaleek. It’s an odd contrast like this that has kept a high level of creative respect for this group. The experimentation that oozes out of the music is a refreshing breath of air in a genre that is constantly expanding, and Mamaleek brings a great variety of characteristics to their music to keep relevant.
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After a soothing and deep outro to the opening number “Nothing But Loss,” we are introduced to a much darker composition; “Pain as Providence” becomes what I can only describe as an insane asylum patient unraveling as the chimes and percussion become more frantic toward the end of the song. The wailing vocals make the pain feel and sound real, creating a rather intriguing amount of aesthetic to the discordant nature of the music.
Walls of distortion are absent from this record, which is rather contradictory to a lot of the stigma that surrounds the black metal genre. A majority of Mamaleek is built on warm and comforting progressions. They even bring jazz into their music, as heard in the arpeggiated chords of “Ain’t no Thief.” When it comes down to it, a lot of the music is easy to listen to, the vocals rarely being the focus but definitely holding a lot more of the emotional weight to the tracks. As “Already There” reaches it’s epic climax, the music weaves its way around painful vocal cries.
Closing track “Χριστός Latmiya” is one of the darker tracks with a lot of presence. This is due to the war-like drums pounding every two measures. Imagine them as the thunder while the guitar is the calming sound of rain that people love to sleep to during a thunderstorm.
This is an astounding record by a band that has consistently put out interesting releases without much failure. For fans of experimental music, definitely give Mamaleek a shot. Via Dolorosa is a warm pleasure of emotional aesthetic not normally heard within the realm of black metal, but it sure makes its stay welcome.