Canadian horror inspired Malacoda will be unleashing their new album Mannequin Heart (via Rockshots Records) on October 19th (North America) and October 26 (Europe). Featuring a blend of genres to match the journey of a man searching for his wife (the band pulled inspiration for the concept from the video game Silent Hill 2), the band has cultivated an intriguing album.
To set the scene, Malacoda penned the instrumental track “The Fog of Memory.” Featuring eerie guitar work and a drum rhythm when listened to with headphones on, it really does feel like the intro to a thrilling horror movie. The anticipation that the track builds helps the listener be mindful of the tone that the entire album will be taking. Following “The Fog of Memory,” is “I Got A Letter.” With the intro track being cut instead of allowing a flow into this song broke the illusion of a horror film. The track itself while having interesting content, feels too short and that it should really be blended with “The Fog of Memory” to really stand out a bit better in comparison to the rest of the album. The third track of the album, “Wrapped in Laments, “is really where the fun begins. Opening with some ethereal fry vocals, the band sets the melancholic scene of the track. Once the band truly begins the vocals it details the emotional depravity and strife that the other tracks will attempt to deal with. Next up is “In Static,” which is another instrumental. On one hand, while the album helps to set up the subsequent track, on the other hand, it doesn’t add anything else to the overall structure to the album.
Following “In Static,” is the thunderous “Mannequin Heart.” Featuring powerful vocals and guitar work that envelops you in the emotional despair. When the track ends, it leaves a feeling of confusion and wonders at where the time listening went. This is not a bad thing at all, rather, It speaks to the emotional and attentive captivity that the song traps one in. Half way through the album at this point, song number seven “Youth Is Innocence,” revitalizes the energy of the album. The track initially gives off the vibe of being a straight rock track, however seeping through the cracks are some industrial elements as the track carries on. While the energy jolt from “Youth is Innocence” is refreshing, the cold jolt of the subsequent eighth track “Doppelganger,” establishes the melancholic vibe of the album. However, this is clearly a façade, as the band tears into a heavy rock vibe towards the end of the track. This surprise blends well with the lyrical content on the song, as it details the mistaken identity that the main character of the album has with a corpse whom looks eerily similar to his wife. Following this was another instrumental track, “Darkness Leads the Way.” It features a creepier vibe than it’s predecessors but fails to bring any elements that truly add to the album overall. With “The Labyrinth Within,” the track makes it obvious of the dilemma that the main character that the album is following is struggling with. Featuring a perfect blend of gloom and true metal, it is one of the more compelling songs on the album.
As with the previous track, “Dominance” stands out as well, with its gritty vocals and heavy riffing. “Dominance” captures the aggression and fright that the main character of the album is facing. The track is fast paced, aggressive and adds an exciting element and captures fear quite well. Following “Dominance,” continues the descent into darkness with “Abstract Care.” Featuring slow but harsh guitar work, the track pulls you a descriptive build up to the final two tracks. For the second to last track, “Symbol of Pain” carries on with the chugging and gritty guitar work found within the previous two tracks. The layering of these tracks together creates an epic build up to the finale of the album. However, “Symbol of Pain” is another standout, as it does not solely rely upon heavy guitar work to entrance the listener. Rather it blends the heaviness with a unique and solemn piano solo that allows for separation before thrusting one back into a rock-operatic ending. For the final track, the band opted to give it a lengthy and all-encompassing finale. At 12minutes and 10 seconds, “Our Special Place” is a true example of the band’s ability to blend and make any genre they are interested in to fit their theme. The operatic rock vibe continues to press on, as the band continually builds and layers, pulling from other songs aspects to create a truly epic song that ends their album off on a strong note.
While there are some hopes within the darkness that is Restless Dreams, like its namesake the bands is unsteady at certain points. Despite this, the album deserves a chance especially if you’re a horror or silent hill fan. The As an early Halloween treat, the band will be playing Ottawa on October 26th at Cafe Deckuf (Doors 7:30). If you’re in the area and want to see the show, you can purchase tickets by following the link below!