Live Review: Sumac + Sun Kil Moon + Mamiffer

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Sumac + Sun Kil Moon + Mamiffer // Hard Club, Porto
 Words by Tiago Moreira & Photo by Andreia Alves

It was a fine Summer evening and everything seemed perfect for a great night of concerts. Opening the festivities was the experimental duo Mamiffer (Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner) presenting their latest studio effort, The World Unseen. With a sound that revolves around Turner’s distorted guitars and Coloccia’s beautiful piano and voice, the duo was unable to replicate live the staggering beauty of their album and with the exception of a handful of undeniable astounding moments the concert was borderline-dull sometimes even going as far as being unbearable. A certain lack of purpose and structure in their ambient meets drone wanderings.

But not even the disappointment of Mamiffer’s performance could undermine the pure
brilliancy of Sun Kil Moon’s show. Mark Kozelek, accompanied by America’s Most Wanted, delivered a spontaneously brilliant 90-minute run, where everything seemed possible. From a witty humor to frightening introspective moments, the experience was of an
admirable and almost unreal roller coast of great emotional depth. Kozelek proved once and for all why he’s one of the few able to match Bruce Springsteen genius in the highly revered Nebraska era. Playing songs from his collaborative album with Jesu (Justin K. Broadrick), the acclaimed Benji album, and the most recent Universal Themes, the biggest highlight was the unreleased song, “Me? We!”, inspired by the great Muhammad Ali about the Orlando shootings, the problem with gun control, and all the madness going on the world. Pure magic.

To close the night, Sumac. The trio Aaron Turner (ex-Isis and Old Man Gloom), Brian Cook (ex-Botch and These Arms Are Snakes), and Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists), presented their latest album, What One Becomes, and delivered an extremely savage and violent assault of metal with unhealthy extreme and abrasive tendencies. Monstrous riff after monstrous riff, the night closed with a performance of a band that actually is better on stage that off stage.

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