Attrition

All Mine Enemys Whispers: The Story of Mary Ann Cotton

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Martin Bowes' continuing work as Attrition has moved into some spare realms of late, with albums like Etude emphasizing a restrained fragility, but All Mine Enemies Whispers might be the most extreme he's gone in the realm of murky mood music as unsettled soundtrack for a horror film. Or in this case a docudrama, as the album is conceived as a remembrance -- not a happy one -- of Mary Ann Cotton, a mass murderer in Victorian times who an ancestor of Bowes knew and eventually arrested. Growing out of Attrition's long-established sonic history as it does, the album also suggests one of the prime moments of recent horror movie sound design, the sound of giggling children in the empty dark of night in The Blair Witch Project -- a not inappropriate comparison given the subject matter. Throughout, much of the core music consists of washes of gloomy electronics, the dour moods often emphasized or contrasted by a sole instrument or element -- a descending piano line on "What Shall I Sing?," the occasional violin from guest performer Emilie Autumn (who also provides the album's sole vocal on "The Gates of Eternity," inhabiting the character of Cotton in a disturbingly dreamlike sense). Almost as if in response to that song, the concluding "Heaven Is My Home" undercuts the entire album with its scraping crackle-distortion start after all the preternatural chill that has gone beforehand -- it's impressive; it's actually a surprise, a long looped bit of aural creepout that concludes the portrait of this disturbed soul on an appropriately unnerving note.

blue highlight denotes track pick