Malacoda – Restless Dreams

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Malacoda – Restless Dreams
Label: Rockshots
Released: 2018
Reviewed: December, 2018
Rating:  3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

The Kings of Kanadian Karnage!- The Frozen North Rides Forth!

This feature is so good, I had to name it twice!   About once a year I indulge my patriotism and review a bunch of Canadian Metal releases.  There has been a whole pile of albums recently released in the past few months and I want to help bring some exposure to these bands. There are bands of all styles and all genres from across the country in this feature. The bands covered in this feature are… (listed alphabetically)

Anvil (Toronto, ON)

Apprentice (Vancouver, BC)

Arctic Circle (Brandon, Manitoba)

Assault (Vancouver, BC)

Black Rat (Calgary, AB)

Cauldron (Toronto, ON)

Codex:Factoria (Vancouver, BC)

Dethgod (Calgary, AB)

Fractal Cypher (Montreal,Quebec)

Haiduk (Calgary, AB)

Iomair (Scarborough, ON)

Ice War (Ottawa, ON)

Leah (Vancouver, BC)

Lee Aaron (Vancouver, BC)

Malacoda (Oakville, ON)

Mongol (Edmonton, AB)

Ominous Eclipse (Ottawa, ON)

Skullfist (Toronto, ON)

Solborn (Edmonton, AB)

Thor (Vancouver, BC)

Trollwar (Alma, PQ)

Untimely Demise (Saskatoon, SK)

W.M.D (Calgary, AB)

Ye Goat-Herd Gods (Calgary, AB)

Please enjoy all the albums in this feature and check out all the talent Canada has to offer!

A couple of years ago I got the RITUALIS AETERNA EP  and it kind of blew by my, without making an impression.  I should have listened a little closer or a little more often because their newest offering RESTLESS DREAMS is very decent.

Oakville, Ontario, in my mind, is known as more of a hockey town than a place thriving with Metal bands but Malacoda have put down their hockey stick and traded them in for guitars. Actually, I’m just making that up, maybe they do play hockey too, but either way, they have released an intriguing hour-long slab of gothic Metal. I was curious what the band name meant, I felt they were too cerebral to just make up and word and I was correct. Malacoda is the name of a demon, who is the leader of a group of twelve demons, who guard the entrance to the eight circle of hell in Dante’s inferno. I think that is a very fine name for a Metal band!

The band has been around for a few years, this is their second album and the quartet are on the Rockshots label.  They have graced us with some nice cover zombie girl art, slightly similar to Annihilator’s self-titled album from 2010.   I’ve read the term ‘gothic’ used to describe these guys, but there is a bit more to that.  ‘Dark Metal’, might be too generic of a description but it applies. I don’t see them as traditionally gothic as in red wine and black roses, but more mysterious, atmospheric, and creepy.  There is a very nice, ambient soundtrack element to aspects of their music, the opening segment, ‘The Fog Of Memory’ or the brief instrumental bridge track ‘ In Static’.   There are any number of cool vocal effects employed by Lucas Di Mascio and guest vocalist, Mohammad Maki.   There are also a few choirs scattered about, there is a lot going on in terms of voices.

Comparing what I’m enjoying on RESTLESS DREAMS I hear slight influences of mid-era Moonspell, later-era Dark Tranquility, Katatonia and other more European styled bands.  There are some modern synthesized elements for additional impact and overall the pace is slower on the songs.  The production is warm and full and they band don’t forget the fact that their roots are Metal so there is some great guitar work sand some excellent drumming as well, bringing a bit more needed aggression to some of the songs such as ‘Mannequin Heart’.   The album closes with a tour-de-force, a 12-minute track called ‘Our Special Place’ that showcases all of the aforementioned musical elements, acoustic piano, grand atmosphere and epic musicscapes with a solid Metal framework.

It is neat to hear because very few Canadian Metal bands play this style of Metal.   I can certainly see them getting more appreciation in Europe than in Canada.  RESTLESS DREAMS is unsettling and beautiful at the same time.

Track Listing:

1. The Fog of Memory
2. I  Got a Letter
3. Wrapped in Laments
4. In Static
5. Knives
6. Mannequin Heart
7. Youth Is Innocence
8. Doppleganger
9. Darkness Leads the Way
10. The Labyrinth Within
11. Dominance
12. Abstract Care
13. The Symbol of Pain
14. Our Special Place

Line Up: 

Cooper Sheldon-Bass, Guitar
Lucas Di Masco-Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Michael Farina-Drums
Daniel Alonzo-Guitar