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Mirabilis – “Here and Hereafter” Review

Songs from the Sirens

In the singing sirens genre as I’ve come to call it, you have bands like the electro-paganfolk Qntal and you’ll have the more traditional Mediaeval Babes – now we have Mirabilis – a band that straddles the two.

“Here and Hereafter” is a otherwordly mix of female vocals that merge their voices into a real power. The voice makes up the main force of the track and then around it is often placed neoclassical elements like droning synths, dramatic tom drums and a dulcimer or chime. It’s quite difficult to split the album into songs because some are pure voice enchantress but there’s some real stand outs in the mix. Opener “Hara” conveys an ethereal spirit whilst “The City” has a brass and percussive overtone and reminds me of classic Dead Can Dance mixed with early Faun. The lyrics and words change language several times. The title track is suitably dark and has plenty of whispers and spoken word echoes. “By the Waters of Babylon” is frankly eerie as the hymn like vocals lament about crying endlessly in such a sweet yet slightly mechanical way. The harpsichord joins in for a real classical “Can She Excuse My Wrongs” which is millennia away from “Sanctuary of Mind” which is more tribal and brooding with its off kilter tuned percussion going nuts behind the vocals. “Today is the Day” is a near eight minute classical epic with string synths and warbling vocals and after a round the world language detour through several tracks “Permafrost” and two remixes bring back electronica elements to round out a crazy album.

I have to say though, Mirabilis utterly works. As someone who is growing increasingly frustrated with some of the leaders of the female siren singers going towards more abstract hazy tracks with rhythm or structure, Mirabilis manages to weave the beauty of voice with the ability to write a track between 2 and 4 minutes long that has hooks and emotion. I am a big new fan and will be eating up the back catalogue!

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