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Maladie - Symptoms II

Maladie
Symptoms II
by Cherie Wong at 05 November 2019, 4:38 AM

On November 15, 2019, the German band MALADIE will release their second EP titled “Symptoms II” via Apostasy Records. Since the band formed in 2009, they have released three full-length albums and one EP. The band calls their style “Plague Metal" because “maladie” is French for “sickness.” What exactly is “plague metal?” Well, it sounds like expressive black metal mixed with progressive elements like unique instruments and many transitions. While the style within a song can vary, the transitions don’t usually feel abrupt. It is a short EP, with only four tracks, although two of the tracks are over 10 minutes in length. What it lacks in length, it makes up for with emotion, leaning towards the depressing and dark.

The first track “Vulnus - Drowning in Lethal Wounds” begins with a death-doom style riff accompanied by the cello. The saxophone adds a jazzy feel to the sad melody. Each instrument is given its time to shine and come to the forefront of the mix. The drums help smooth the pace changes and lead instrument shifts. Only midway through the song do the vocals actually begin. The growling vocals offer an interesting contrast to the sparse jazzy background. After the calm, blackgaze style riffing ensues. Both the raspy growls from earlier and black metal shrieking intermingle at the end.

The next track “Abicere - Bleeding Scars” is an instrumental centered on a simple piano melody. The synth adds much needed ambiance and atmosphere. It does its job as a buffer between the intense first and third tracks.  “Discidium - The Return of Nothingness” starts with a growling vocal and clean vocal duet. The backing instruments are a trudging riff. While it is a little tedious after a few minutes, the saxophone adds a bit of dimension. In the latter half of the track, the song erupts again into black metal riffs and screaming. A spoken, turned into yelled, passage that almost sounds like rapping closes out the song.

On the last track “40 - rev. 1979,” Sophie Laporte of AFTER LIFE provides lovely clean vocals. Combined with the piano, saxophone, synths, and Black Metal riff, the song has a really unique sound. Overall, I recommend this EP because it is a well composed and unique album. Instruments that aren’t typically heard in metal, such as the saxophone, are getting used more frequently. I appreciate that the band didn’t just use the saxophone for a solo. Instead, it is used throughout the songs to add a layer of complexity to their music.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Vulnus - Drowning in Lethal Wounds
2. Abicere - Bleeding Scars
3. Discidium - The Return of Nothingness
4. 40 - rev. 1979
Lineup:
Björn Köppler – Guitars, Percussion, Synths, Piano, Cello, Organ, Bass, Drums
Mark Walther – Guitars
Kevin Olasz – Guitars
Alexander Wenz – Vocals
Déhà – Piano, Cello, Vocals
Hauke Peters – Saxophone
Record Label: Apostasy Records
     


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