Mamaleek – Via Dolorosa
There isn’t much information on the band that I am sharing my humble thoughts about, only that their name, Mamaleek, or مماليك, plural of mamluk, مملوك, is an Arabic designation for slaves. Yes, I got this on Metal-Archives. And there isn’t a recent photo of this band other than one of the two brothers that are members of this band when they were children. The band has stated in an interview that: I suppose the most honest answer is that 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. I began collecting aged songbooks of a particular nature and rearranging them in Portastudio recordings without any particular course or intention to take it further than some songs. Home recording has served as a practical solution for a complete lack of modern music-making machinery as well as a trusted, familiar aesthetic. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. (theinarguable.com).
I guess this is a good way to start talking about this Experimental Metal band, which features elements of Black Metal, Lounge, Jazz (some of their influences is Polish Jazz musicians such as Krzysztof Komeda) and, my dear friends, all of this diversity results into a masterpiece. I experienced eargasms while listening to “Nothing But Loss”, simply to mention one. What are those guitars tunes? Blended with the anguished vocals and the drumbeats… I mean, I have no words to express how amazingly perfect it is.
Concerning this release itself, “Via Dolorosa”, Mamaleek has issued the following statement: “It is at once, a solicitation and renunciation of the genres that are blended together to create something other…Traditional music turned against itself, in treasonous alliance with the barbarians at the gate whom it once hoped to keep out. May the acoustic ruin here documented compel you to turn to your lord. You may take these songs to your judgment day as a protest against the filthy oil pumping in your veins.”
The music is indeed perplexing and so rich that it really amazes me. Of course, I should mention that it is not the kind of compositions that is meant for everybody. Unfortunately not. You must be willing to let yourself be drawn into this peculiar, but yet remarkable trip of minimalistic, obscure and still highly imaginative creation. “Via Dolorosa” requires you to pay attention to every single little details that were crafted by Mamaleek. It is hypnotic, ritualistic, dark and nothing of this at the same time. As I have said, there are so many different elements, moods and atmospheres that it is impossible to point each one of them. I can only say that if you’re looking for something truly unique, passionate and deeply experimental, you should give “Via Dolorosa” a listen. For me, it was an exceptional experience.
As for the production, well, I believe that there is nothing wrong with it; the lo-fi sound perfectly fits the purpose of Mamaleek’s music. But, as I always like to state, no, this isn’t one of those lo-fi productions that you can’t distinguish anything. Far from that. So, my cherished readers, please, if this is your cup of tea, I urge you all to give this band a chance. And, as usual, if you enjoy these amazing creations, I beg of you, support them. To finish this interview, I shall quote the always pertinent words of Steel for Brains: The album ascends into a beautifully rendered question – a gorgeous nothingness and void that at its most palpable, creates an experience as damn near to spiritual as it gets in the realm of musical anomalies.
Until next time.
Album: Via Dolorosa (2015)
Label: The Flenser Records
- Nothing But Loss
- Pain As Providence
- This Garden’s Agony (1st Instrumental)
- Already There
- Ain’t No Thief
- What’s Left?
- Tiberiéum (2nd Instrumental)
- Ain’t Got No Fight
- Χριστός Latmiya
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mamaleek/140113912721719
Official The Flenser Records Bandcamp: https://theflenser.bandcamp.com
All photos belong to their rightful owners.May 29, 2015