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Malacoda – Crawling Chaos

Malacoda
Crawling Chaos
by Max Elias at 14 March 2021, 6:50 PM

MALACODA are a self-described Gothic Metal band (like MARILYN MANSON?); and I would say this is accurate based on the first rack on their new EP, “Crawling Chaos”. The ominous, suspenseful buildup is reminiscent of an anime soundtrack, and once the guitars and heavier riffs start, the band keeps its orchestral elements intact, using them to add color throughout. They also stick to pristine, clean and clear vocals more typical of Symphonic or Power Metal acts. The riffs are driving but not very heavy, technical, or especially unexpected; most of the lifting is done by the keyboards and vocals.

The vocals get harsher (in places) and the music gets more urgent on “Deadlights”, although the melodies are still keyboard oriented, expect for the short guitar solo. The tempo is a bit faster and it feels very neoclassically inspired. The riffs are simple and uninteresting here as with “Crawling Chaos” and as with “From The Depths”—though at least the latter song is more riff-driven—and it feels like they were written to provide a canvas for the orchestral elements. The vocals are soaring and powerful, filling the room with ease.

The last song on this very short EP is “The Harsh Law”, which true to the label of Gothic Metal creates a frightful sense in the air with its legato intro. The opening verses are more aggressively delivered than the rest of the lyrics, both because of the vocalist’s style and because of the comparative backseat the keyboards take to grittier-sounding instruments. Once again, the chorus is a big, sweeping affair, dominated by eerie orchestration, and the song fades out amid ringing chords and a static staccato riff.

MALACODA are a band for people that like metal on the softer, more atmospheric end of the spectrum. If you’re expecting cutting, powerful guitars and powerhouse drumming to be the focal points of your music, then stay away from this EP (and I would imagine from Gothic Metal in general); on the other hand, fans of orchestral work and keyboards will find something to like about Crawling Chaos. If you don’t understand that the goal of the music is textural in nature—or like metal that is focused on atmosphere and nothing else—you won’t like this release. I found it falling flat on many occasions for partly this reason, although some of the more active melodies made me wonder why the band wasn’t this creative on all the songs.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 5
Originality: 7
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Crawling Chaos
2. Deadlights
3. From the Depths
4. The Harsh Law
Lineup:
Lukas di Mascio – Vocals
Zak – Bass
Wes MacDonald – Guitars
Victor Boechat – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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