EP Review: Malacoda – The Strain (Self Released)

Gothic/cinematic metal band, Malacoda announces their second release of the year, The Strain, out on July 16th, 2021. This follows April’s Crawling Chaos release.

Frontman Lucas Di Mascio states:

There really is a balance of dark aggression and beauty in these songs. That’s been the consistent tone with these four tracks- keeping it dark but letting some tender spots poke through.

It’s a really interesting start with the title track. As the energetic and peppy pace is exciting but it still has that strong gothic and symphonic flavour. It’s just harder and harsher sounding. Some layered effects and a powered up slow-down section adds even more legitimacy to a strong opener.

Both Crimson Peak and Where Shadows Play have gothic rock splendour and both showcase Malacoda’s unique ability to make every moment feel grander than it should. Again, both have a prettiness but the latter’s choppier guitar rhythm and layered female vocals helps make it standout more.

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Finally, Mind Flayer comes to invade. The early mellow sound has that familiar cinematic flair but certainly scaled back. In fact, the vocals are pulling all the weight at first and they sound amazing. It’s a very attractive song and then it gets darker and heavier. The crashing of instruments and added growl on the vocals really ups the ante. The final minute has the band getting a bit death metal like.

Malacoda – The Strain Full Track Listing:

1. The Strain
2. Crimson Peak
3. Where Shadows Play
4. Mind Flayer


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Malacoda - The Strain (Self Released)
  • The Final Score - 7/10
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