EP Review: Malacoda – The Strain

Until recently, I wasn’t familiar with the works of MALACODA. I was originally intrigued with their genre label of Goth Power Metal as I hadn’t really heard that being done before. Naturally, I was curious to find out what that sounded like. Their latest EP The Strain was an intriguing EP that allowed me to find out more about the band and their sound.  

It gets off to a promising start with the title track. It was one of the more interesting openers I have come across. From the moment it starts, you never quite know what you’re getting, and this kept me on my toes. This doesn’t happen too much where you are left baffled which is great. It happens the perfect amount so you need to make sure you’re vigilant at all times when experiencing this EP. I know it’s a given cliché to say the first track sets the tone for the rest of the EP, in this case however this is correct.

I haven’t seen the film or read the book Crimson Peak but I do know what the plot revolves around, For those who don’t know, the plot revolves around Edith who has just married Sir Thomas Sharpe and moves into his gothic mansion. His sister Lady Lucille also lives there, and she is the protector of her family’s dark secrets. Edith can communicate with the dead and uses this gift to uncover the mystery. Having this knowledge in mind, I can hear this track captures the dark yet alluring tones of the story remarkably well from beginning to end.

Tim Burton films have proven things can be dark and spooky whilst being playful at the same time. Where Shadows Play is further proof of this. Given what the EP has offered up so far, this is the straight to the point track where you know what you’re getting. Even those keeping us on our toes need a break, they are saving their energy ready for when they spook us next.

Mind Flyer is the last track of the EP and this one has many unexpected twists and turns. I won’t go into too much detail on what those are as you need to listen to the EP to find out what those are. What I will say is that MALACODA keep us guessing right until the last moment.

The Strain is a well-crafted EP. It gets the balance of aggressive and tender exactly right within the musical arrangements. It has done enough to make me want to check out the rest of MALACODA’s discography. Be sure to stay alert when listening to The Strain, you want to be ready for those twists and turns.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

The Strain is out now.

Find MALACODA on Facebook.

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