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Mariae Nascenti - Raise Your Paws To The Sky And Break The Truce

Compared to Morituri Te Salutant, their previous release on Final Muzik, Raise Your Paws... is much more atmospheric and varied. There's less reliance on post-industrial greyness and dark ambient opting this time for drones (and lots of 'em), dreamy lullabies and Larsen type rock music. Maybe that's down to the numerous friends including members of Larsen, Blind Cave Salamander, Northgate, DsorDne amongst others that assisted Angelo Visone here. The oblique lyrics that characterise their work are most often delivered as spoken word with a number of voices that match the varied output of Mariae Nascenti. Raise Your Paws... is fashioned from sound fragments, found recordings and only five tracks that conform to anything approaching song based material. The only thing that holds it together is the hauntingly surreal vision of Angelo Visone. Even his pen and ink drawings that illustrate each of the handwritten lyrics are charming in a kind of twisted way.

And what of those tracks. Well the pumping programmed electronics of 'These Giddy Memories Ruin Me And My Sleep or This Is A Letter I've Never Sent' and Italian accented voice of Angelo Visone leads into wailing angelic voices, throbbing industrial rhythms and queasy droning is kinda good. Slowdive's 'Dagger' is cut down to quiet droning, fragile piano notes and gentle synth sounds with the melody stripped down to a dreamy almost lullabyesque delivery from Angelo Visone. I'm not at all familiar with the original but this has a hazy and appealing allure. 'Everything Is Fine But Me or The Kindness of Your Touch' features the Heavy Lids Marc Manning's high-pitched vocal, reminiscent of Neil Young, surrounded by discordant slabs of textured sound and e-bow. 'Remember To Forget or O' Spanteco Dint O'Core' is almost poetry read unadorned, aside from the quiet floating synths, building up through fuzzy guitar wash which by the time the precision drumming kicks in matures into something which Larsen might produce. The final track, 'The Story of the Sad Bear, The Meek Hunter and The Pale Spark', carries on the absurd storytelling like 'A Dead Deer' that appeared on Morituri Te Salutant. With hanging electric piano notes and harmonium buzz Paul Beauchamp reads in his calm American tones, amidst whirring electronics, bell chime and heavyset male harmonies. Elsewhere there's numerous moments such as the fragments of drone that comprise 'Amavo Addormentarmi...' that, like many of the aforementioned tracks, could have been fleshed out more. I've got a lot of time for Mariae Nascenti, they manage to make the strange sound quite beguiling and enticing. I only wish there was more to it and more of it.

With a running time of just over 30 minutes and with short tracks consisting of a crying child, purloined recordings of street musicians in a Milan subway and one track consisting of a poorly recorded classical piano recital may be pushing it but on the whole it's an engaging release; a surreal sketch of ideas with a dreamy allure. Angelo Visone at least dares to dream, and fans of Larsen and associated groups really should take the time to catch up with Mariae Nascenti. For more information go to