Mamiffer – The Brilliant Tabernacle

Posted: 2 November 2019 in Albums
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Sige Records – 1st November 2019

Mellow… melodic. Mammifer’s The Brilliant Tabernacle is, well, is the title suggests, brilliant. And yet its brilliance is largely hard to define. It’s an album that drifts by almost inconsequentially, and not just on first or second listen.

‘All that is Beautiful’ introduces the album with a rolling drum beat and lilting piano that provides the accompaniment to faith Coloccia’s airy, ethereal vocal. But somewhere along the way, currents of noise build, and by the final bars, the music itself has been drowned in swelling swirl of feedback. You’re left agape, wondering ‘how did this happen’? It’s a slow and delicate swell, and it characterises the subtlety that pervades The Brilliant Tabernacle.

The album as a whole is a lot more delicate, with rolling piano and little else backing the most magnificently absorbing singing. And it’s so soft, easy, it drifts and lulls the listener. While a long way off being ambient, instead drawing on elements of folk, indie and retro pop to forge mellifluous magic. The Brilliant Tabernacle is calm and calming, and encourages a state of mental relaxation. ‘River of Light’ weaves rippling waves of sonic intangibles, while woodwind and piano ebb and flow in and out and hover in the space between post-rock and shoegaze.

Yet, in places, darker currents run below the surface, and with the complex, urgent, flickering rhythms there are hints of latter-day Swans in evidence. The ten-minute ‘Hymn of Eros’ is a vast expanse of semi-ambience, while ‘To Be Seen’ is pure 60s psychedelic folk, both musically and lyrically.

There is something both vintage and timeless about The Brilliant Tabernacle. There is also a sense of incredible equilibrium, and a cosmic hue radiates like a halo from every note: The Brilliant Tabernacle is otherworldly, but also somehow earthy in a paganistic, celebratory sense. Truly special.

AA

Mamiffer – The Brilliant Tabernacle

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