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The fifth album from Bay Area weirdos Mamaleek, Via Dolorosa is the duo’s darkest and most experimental release, incorporating black metal, psychedelia and electronic music. It is also the first Mamaleek record featuring live drums. At once harsh, frightening and beautiful, Via Dolorosa is like an evening at the darkest jazz club as it might appear in the depths of a child’s fever dream. Though the group’s two anonymous brothers hail from the San Francisco Bay Area and their work is rife with themes of death and nihilism, musically they stand apart from the city’s most well-known black metal exports (Weakling, Leviathan, et al.). Via Dolorosa features track titles inspired by traditional slave songs and incorporates melodic, Middle Eastern aesthetics. Bask in sorrow and reflect on your pitiful existence. “The duo—a pair of brothers who prefer to keep their identities a secret—mix Middle Eastern song structures and samples, atonal experimental and avant-garde accents, guttural black metal howls, accessible electronic breakbeats, sludgy doom metal guitar-work, nimble piano interludes, and plenty of pop panache to create an unrelenting, moving sound.” —Forbes “Mamaleek present a strong argument for being the next California black metal export worth following in the future.” —Sputnikmusic “This record is the best black metal I have heard in a long, long time. It’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time, period. An absolute must-listen.” —Dan Barrett (Have a Nice Life)