“Bless Those That Curse You” is a painting, the title the hook for the frame provided by the union of experimental noise purveyors Locrian and Mamiffer. Within this intriguing collaboration there is a canvas made up of six powerful and provocative tracks and within those sonic colours and shapes to inspire and transport their attentive audience into thoughts and worlds as varied as the sounds taking them there, to each viewer something unique and for all an intrusion for the inspired.
A conspiring league between the two bands was always going to be unpredictable and surprising; the merger of Locrian’s blackened weighty sounds and the piano-based explorations of Mamiffer offering a creation which was hard to envisage the outcome of. What has emerged is an album which lies between the two sounds of its creators but a sound which also ventures into new shadows and deeper emotions. The release invades with shadows and light, waking and challenging dreams and nightmares to come share their leech like dark and distilled torches of light. It at times is not an easy listen, testing endurance, faith, and sheer strength to look at one’s dark corners but it is never less than thought provoking and image conjuring. Each journey through its graceful and disturbed sounds is a unique experience which leaves one on the cusp of pleasure or distrust, but always “Bless Those That Curse You” leaves one with questions, emotions, and thoughts that inspire and wake up dormant shadows within.
The album awakens with the impressive “In Fulminic Blaze”, its peaceful melodic blooms accompanied by a shamanic energy punctuated by rays of warmth from the piano. The track sweeps one up into a flowing expansive weave which enlightens the senses whilst offering a darker sense of awareness beneath. The closing crescendo is a climactic unleashing of these shadows to stir up passion and energy lying in wait since the first crystalline note of the piece. It sets the tone for the rest of the album where light and dark combine and challenge each other for control of the senses ensuring there is not a moment of true peace at any point.
The title track expands on the opener’s darker intent giving rein to the distorted undercurrent, allowing it to permeate every pore like an awakening fog of discord. This is tempered by the following piano led cold solemn “Corpus Luteum”, which plays with emotions and feelings of solitude as ominous drone inspired fingers manipulate behind. Within three tracks the album has twisted in on itself numerous times and taken the listeners into avenues and corners they may have been reluctant to visit. The likes of “Second Burial” with its distorted static hidden depths, “Lechatelierite” with a funereal melancholic piano tug on the emotions, and the closing epic “Metis/Amaranthine/The Emperor” which uses every sense and emotion possible to take the listener to extremes of heart and safety, all add wonderfully to the impressive experience of “Bless Those That Curse You”.
As mentioned it is not always the easiest listen especially in a complete sitting though split into individual bites one does lose the immensity of the journey it offers. Is “Bless Those That Curse You” an enjoyable experience, well without doubt very much so though that is countered by the thoughts and shadows it releases, but all part of the fun right?