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Maledia - Your Angels Cry
CD Reviews
Written by Doctor T.   
Thursday, 05 July 2012
Maledia - CD Review
Your Angels Cry
Maledia - Your Angels Cry

 

CD Info

2012
Ravenheart Music / UK

7 Tracks

Mostly English Lyrics

 

These days there are a lot of sub genres to the Gothic musical style. At one time, we could point to some rather distinct categories, we could point to the operatic, we could point to the symphonic, we could point to the B & B. Well, as things progress, there seems to be a movement towards cross referencing these categories, probably a logical progression, as is the case with many things in the human experience. You take what works, and work to include it in your sound. Gives you just that much more to work with. Well, Maledia, an Italian band from Rome, seems to have captured that capability pretty well. There’s clearly an operatic capability, the symphonic seems to be in evidence, and we get some death metal vocals, although not all the male vocals meet that criteria, they go in multiple directions. But this is interesting music; this is what Gothic is all about. The Italians seem to understand this, and they send some serious vocalists to make sure we remember it. Our principle vocalist is the sultry Italian Luana Imperatore, or Loo, and she can go in multiple musical directions. Most of them demonstrate a classical element, a number of them reach the formal operatic, the ultimate in this form of music. And they can break glass with ease, keep your kitchen cabinets closed, it could cost you money.

Now I must confess, this may be my favorite form of music. And, even though I grew up with Elvis and the Everly Brothers, I have moved forward, much to the chagrin of many of my contemporaries. And, the opera style of music, being a serious part of my childhood, has always influenced my listening tastes. Of course, the Beatles, and the Stones didn’t do much of it. And, even bands I hung with in my younger years, like the Skynyrd boys, only paid passing interest in the sound, using background vocals that paid homage to that musical direction. But, you didn’t want to cross them on that interest, not unless you were really tough, and heavily armed, which they usually were. The boys talked about that aspect of their lives in several songs and most of them were based on significant personal experience. Bad is bad, and the Skynyrd boys knew bad.

Well, these Italians probably didn’t have that experience, but clearly they had influences that took them in different directions, both musically and lyrically. What we get here is generally in the direction of the classical interpretation of the symphonic, operatic Gothic musical format, however you define that category. Of course, for most of us, that category is heavily influenced by the lyrical content. Musically, you can go in some rather standard directions. You can expect a metal framework, you can expect some form of symphonic, either keyboard developed or using alternatives; the full symphony orchestra or the computer generated options. And, you can expect a classically trained operatic vocal. With the Italians, that classically trained opera vocal seems to be the standard, and Maledia doesn’t disappoint. Finally, the lyrical content takes us in that dark direction that makes us understand where Gothic is intended to go.

The CD only includes 7 tracks but they’re nearly all in the 5 – 6 minute range. And, as they say, it’s all killer, no filler. About 40 minutes of killer in fact. The music starts out with By the Light of the Moon which pretty much introduces the sound. There are both male and female vocals here, we get the symphonics and there’s sufficient metal around to make sure you understand this will be a Gothic direction. The production is adequate, most of it works with the female vocal, some overlaying, that sort of thing. But, what you appreciate early on is how the music is structured. There are some classical structures that allow the music to flow around the lyrics. Those vocals, the male vocals, are of the clean variety and are OK, I personally prefer the harsher variety but with this particular interpretation of the music I guess this style is appropriate for the material.

‘Till Death Doth Us Unite takes us in a more Gothic direction lyrically. Although even this is a bit less dark than the truly dark we get in some instances. Again, the vocals are produced using both a clean male vocal and the operatic female approach to things. There’s some duet work, both vocalists working together, other times we break the female up into several individual components, than place them against one another, not bad at all. But, the lyrics do tend to better match the delivery on this track:

Would you save me from darkness, even far from our home
Will you listen in silence, to my lonely song?
And when my time here is done, will I be far from your heart?
Swear to me that forever, will endure this bond.
And when my time here is done
Gilded mirror, of brief joys and hopes
This life’s a prison, and you born and die alone
Is it enough living knowing this?

OK, maybe more on the level of an existential communication than a typical Gothic theme, but let’s recognize there is some serious overlay of the two concepts. And Jean Paul Sartre didn’t have the same voice, at least not the best of my knowledge.

Fireflies is a little more metal than some of the tracks, more drums, more direct guitar work. And the vocals tend to be more classical, Loo really takes it in a more classical soprano direction here. Now, you either like this sound or you don’t. However, it’s certainly difficult not to appreciate the preparation a singer requires to achieve the ability to do this type of vocal. The track begins like a children’s song, but quickly moves to a base guitar driven metal sound before the vocals join in to move the song in that more classical direction. Again, the lyrics take that existential / Gothic message format, but in a vocal that would make an Italian opera lover smile:

Here I am, lost in darkness, I cross the Nightmare, That burned my fairytales
Here I am, No time more wasted, To watch my old footsteps
Look inside my mirror, Tell me what you see
Night embraced me as much as, To be no longer me

On this one we get the harsh male vocal, an improvement to my way of thinking. When I want to discuss my existential loneliness, my hopelessness and despair, that’s more the sound I want to hear voicing it.

The title track, Your Angels Cry takes us to another rocker, again with that strong operatic vocal to drive the sound. Again, it’s not a short track, about 6 minutes, with lots of soaring vocals over that solid symphonic metal instrumental component and driven by a pounding drum. You get some male vocal, not a lot. We save that for another track, Obscura, where the male death vocal par excellance is delivered by a guest vocalist, Agonia Blackvomit, yea, really. Here we get the REAL B & B, as only a true Death Metal vocalist can do it, again positioned against the pure operatic vocals of Loo, maybe the best track on the CD, assuming you go for this style.

The final track is Venom heart and here we return to the more traditional heavily female oriented vocal. And, it sends us on our way with a smile, strong symphonic, operatic Gothic from a country that knows a little about the art form. If you value this approach, this will be truly satisfying music. These folks know the business.

9.5 / 10

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