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Mamaleek Changed, But “The Recompense Is Real”

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Georgia Malone

In a prosaic sort of way, music is a mixture of the journey and the destination. Artists grow, and they have intent, so their art grows and changes with some sort of end goal in mind. Be it through practice, context, or a natural evolution, most bands reach a fruition which makes at least a semblance of sense when viewed within the context of their oeuvre.

Naturally, there are exceptions to every law. In black metal, or black-ish metallic music, there is Mamaleek: two anonymous brothers challenging each piece of the black metal construct one at a time. In an interview I conducted with the band eight years ago — their only interview to date — the band writes:

Mamaleek is a compulsion and thus is difficult to understand, even for us. We don’t have a mission statement or any useful way to understand the direction it takes.

Even so, the progression from the diptych of 2008’s Mamaleek and Fever Dream through the more recent Via Dolorosa felt fluid, each taking a small portion of black metal and simply breaking it. Mamaleek are the great destroyers, craftsmen slowly dismantling their creation piece by piece in hopes of revealing something new.

What happens after complete dismemberment? Is there a soul to any particular music style? An essence? The junction of metaphysics and art poses itself as a romantic notion but logical impossibility, and Out of Time is the result of being broken, a new beginning completely separate from previous efforts. Where does an artist go when left with shards?

Out of Time itself is an impossibility, somehow sounding akin to Mamaleek’s prior works, but still a completely separate style. It comes from another musical universe entirely, a pastiche of jazz, world music, dub, and completely inhuman sounds. Much like the brothers said back in 2010, this sounds compulsive, but with black metal’s textured veil completely lifted. It skips gleefully through the strange, broken fields of its own pulverized glitter. There is no apology for the freedom from their glass prison of musical logic, simply a jarring sprint through post-modernity and prismatic projection. Much like the artwork which graces this new album, Mamaleek’s implied face is broken, and random, unstructured thoughts run free. Welcome to the new Mamaleek.

Out of Time will be released August 31st on The Flenser. Listen to an exclusive premiere of new single “The Recompense Is Real” below.

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From the band:

Like Rush’s Moving Pictures, the record, Out of Time, is a triple entendre. It refers in a literal sense to being out of time…extinction, a future which no longer exists, precipitated by spirituality replaced by identity politics and digital mirrors refracting idols of the self. It also refers to the effect of alienation, the feeling of not belonging in the here and now, heart and soul haunted by derealization. Finally the musical component, the sounds, out of time; The record is backed by accretions of samples, including crooning culled from tapes of live Turkish music concerts, advertisements for things that no longer exist, and a long-dead player’s tenor wail,
all howling at the moon,
within carceral time.

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