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Maledictis – Breathing in Vain

Breathing in Vain
by Fred “Cage” Bonanno at 20 March 2023, 1:34 PM

This will either be the shortest review I have written so far, or the most complex. There are only two songs on this album but a boat load of musicians. This is an intricate orchestration of woodwinds, brass, strings and a full choir, working together with secular melodic melodies.  MALEDICTIS are a  Milwaukee-based gothic metal collective that takes its name from the Latin term confutatis maledictis, meaning “doomed”. The brain child behind this volcanic exploration of neoclassical vibrations is John Marszalkowski, who, besides playing guitar, also wrote all the music and lyrics. With diverse musical influences ranging from METALLICA, NIGHTWISH, SILVERCHAIR, BACH and MOZART, I think we’re in for a topsy-turvy ride as we jump into the release of “Breathing in Vain”, available on all digital platforms  (Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify and Amazon) as well as Bandcamp since March 3, 2023.

I might use up all my clever adjectives in my arsenal trying to describe the non-orchestral track “Breathing in Vain”. First, it’s an escape into another world in this episodic tail of musical expression The closest comparisons I can make are; orchestra meets heavy metal meets sitcom soundtrack meets gothic, and in the end, meets death metal. It’s haunting, and playful and ethereal. Enhanced by the mystical vocals of Kara Melodic which are powerful and sophisticated at times  and yet simultaneously delicate. The title suggests “fear of losing control”, which is appropriate because that is exactly how the listener will feel. The second track, which is a second helping of  “Breathing in Vain”, is an entirely instrumental orchestral mix, which is rather mundane, blander, generic version of what we just heard, and honestly adds nothing noteworthy.

This is the part of the review where I wrap everything up and give my final appraisal, I could say MALEDICTIS is unique, unorthodox and like nothing you’ve ever heard before, but in this case, I’ll leave it  plain and simple, check it out and make your own conclusion on this riotous, carousel ride of corkscrew twists and turns.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production : 8

3 Star Rating

1. Breathing in Vain
2. Breathing in Vain (Orchestral Mix)
Bassoon - Christina Feigel Garrett
Flute - Emelia Rudd
Tuba - Nathan Marshall
Trumpet - Charlotte Marszalkowski
Violin & Viola - Katherine Messer
Cello - Ian Wasserman
Bass - Desiree Marszalkowski
Guitar - Johnny Marszalkowski
Drums & Pipe Organ - Matthew Kopf
Vibraphone & Glockenspiel: Mike Neumeyer
Marching Snare: Brian Marshall
Lead Vocals - Kara Melodic
Choir - Ally Hart, John Tyson, Andy Orlowski, Irma Doreing, Valarie Doreing
Record Label: Independent


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