Spiritually aligned Mamiffer, Pyramids made cosmic, stimulating noise on split

I look forward and equally don’t look forward to this week. It’s Thanksgiving week in the States, and while that’s fun for copious amounts of food, hours of football, and days of relaxation, there’s also that issue of hectic travel, listening to arguments, and getting annoyed. The good with the bad.

So some serenity and tranquility are most welcome, and come Friday, only alcohol will make me feel better. Or so I’m guessing. I also realize how ridiculous and misguided these complaints are, because there are far more serious and aggravating things going on elsewhere. Like, people are still under water in some places. Nonetheless, it’s not like some of you aren’t going to be annoyed too.

Lots of times I’ll retreat to hateful black metal or bludgeoning doom to absorb all the negativity, but that’s not always the best place to go. Being able to close your eyes and sit back also has plenty of merit, and some would argue that’s the healthier option. That being the case, I’m getting ready to have the new Mamiffer/Pyramids split release fired up so that I’m not boiling over. After all, it’s a holiday that only comes once a year, it’s a chance to reflect and think about the things you cherish, and someone like me could do well to be a little less negative.

So we have this new three-track, 35-minute, limited-edition effort from Hydra Head who, in case you haven’t heard, won’t be releasing new music anymore after the year. There’s something to be sad about. But we have a couple more releases from the label, and this is one of them, a collection that matches two like-minded outfits that make some of the more mentally stimulating music out there. As you probably know, Mamiffer is made up primarily of Aaron Turner (ISIS, Old Man Gloom, Split Cranium) and Faith Coloccia (Everlovely Lightningheart), and they have a few releases to their credit, most recently “Mare Decendrii.” Pyramids hail from Denton, Texas, and they have a self-titled album from 2008, as well as an excellent split effort with Canadian dream droners Nadja.Also, member R. Loren runs the killer Handmade Birds label.

So while Mamiffer and Pyramids don’t sound the same and do have different approaches, they share the same mind space and sound right together on a shared effort. The three songs on this release are varied atmospherically and philosophically, but if you start with, say, Pyramids’ side of the exchange, once Mamiffer hits, you’ll still be able to relax and reach out. You’ll just notice your thought patterns change. It’s a pretty neat experience.

Mamiffer have two songs on the effort, both of which are pretty calm, often beautifully dreamy, and spiritually ascending. “Sophia” sets a woodsy trance, an atmospheric hush, and some drizzling piano that sets a scene like a misty wooded area. There’s some noise, yes, and it has ghostly feelings, but it set me at ease every time I heard it. “Ticha Noc” opens with chanting, wooshes, and cosmic serenity, before Turner and Coloccia’s chants can be heard behind all the ambiance. The songs are some of Mamiffer’s most gentle and easy flowing, but they’re also great at arresting your heart and capturing your mind.

Pyramids’ track “This Is One for Everyone” begins with whirring that’s met by programmed beats, and eventually static fills the air and washed-out vocals spill into the picture. The noise is picked up by a wind and begins circling in the air, and once it settles, random sounds can be heard chipping away. Clean vocals drip in, the vortex of dust picks up again in tornadic intensity, and the song burns out in a haze of static. It’s a song that certainly works wonderfully with the rest of Pyramids’ catalog but also adds some new colors to their presentation. Pretty great piece.

So when assholes like me are having a meltdown over the holidays because they’ve endured one too many stupid comments made about an election that’s been over for three weeks, slip one of those angry souls a copy of this Mamiffer/Pyramids split. See if the person’s mood doesn’t change appreciably. I know I’ll be going back, probably somewhere around 2 p.m. Thursday.

For more on Mamiffer, go here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mamiffer/110768695615501

For more on Pyramids, go here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pyramids/199484580063400

To buy the album, go here: http://www.bluecollardistro.com/hydrahead/product_info.php?products_id=7607&cPath=4_137&store=

For more on the label, go here: http://www.hydrahead.com/