The latest album from Martin Bowes’ Attrition is a conceptual work that is a brilliant mix of sound, instruments, and a poisonous draught of insanity. Based on the legend of Mary Ann Cotton, who is perhaps Britain’s most prolific female serial killer, All Mine Enemys Whispers explores the darkness that led Mary Ann Cotton to systematically slaughter around 21 of her own children, lovers, and former husbands over a series of years by administration of various poisons. A telling of this story from an ambient perspective would be quite an undertaking for any musician but not so for Martin Bowes, whose previous works is no stranger to blended music and disturbances of the psyche.
In the album’s six imaginative compositions, there is a thread of an unraveling mind, conjuring evil intentions and carrying them out to grisly results. With voices, sound effects, a classical element (a hallmark of Attrition), and violin, even the use of strings to create the sound of a fly in “What Shall I Sing?,” this album is as eerie as music can possibly get.
All Mine Enemys Whispers may be Martin Bowes’ masterpiece. It also serves to show that the musical importance of Attrition is still at full strength, even after nearly 30 years.