Album Review – Mikaela / Nocturne In Red (2020)

Succumb to the dark and personal fusion of Metalcore, Deathcore, Progressive and Nu Metal by one of the most prominent voices of the Maltese metal scene in her debut solo album.

A few months after leaving her previous band MartYrium due to personal issues with the other band members, Maltese metal goddess Mikaela Attard is unleashing upon humanity under her newborn Metalcore solo project Mikaela her debut opus entitled Nocturne In Red, featuring guitarist and bassist Kyle Farrugia (from Maltese Active Metal band Align the Tide) and drummer Marco Minnemann as her loyal henchmen throughout the entire album. Written and produced by Mikaela herself, and mixed and mastered by Tue Madsen at Antfarm Studio, the pivotal concept behind Nocturne In Red highlights subjects surrounding personal experiences and states of the mind, but according to Mikaela it is up to the listener and viewer to perceive them on how it’s relative to their lives. Not only that, the album also provides an incendiary mixture of Metalcore, Deathcore, Progressive and Nu Metal, and even nuances of Black and Death Metal, all spiced up by Miakela’s native language Maltese carefully added to some of the tracks from the album, being therefore recommended for fans of the music by Pantera, Godsmack, Mastodon and Lamb Of God, among several others.

The cinematic and creepy intro Into a New Hell opens the gates of the underworld for the she-demon Mikaela to stun us all in Bring Me Blood, showcasing darkly poetic lyrics declaimed by Mikaela (“I flew high on black wings when death looked me closer in the eye / I may have pushed up daisies before, I gasped and wanted more / Now, hell came to me to show you what I see / The blade won’t reign on me, you sick fuck, it ends when you can’t breathe”) embraced by the solid fusion of Metalcore and Deathcore blasted by Kyle and Marco. And her insanity in the form of music keeps flowing nonstop in the also heavy and groovy Chaotic Mind, once again presenting psychological lyrics growled by our talented diva (“A whisper of existence / A face wrapped in maleficent greed / Silence even grins at you / Delusion creeps in the lies let lose”), smashing drums by Marco and Groove Metal-inspired riffs and bass punches by Kyle; followed by Disenthralled, highly recommended for fans of the demented music by Slipknot and Jinjer, where Mikaela is on fire with both her violent roars and strident clean vocals, and with the riffage and solos by Kyle sounding even more piercing than before. Then it’s time to break your neck headbanging to the venomous Alternative Metal hymn Nightmare, with Mikaela’s growling ranging from deep guttural to hellish gnarls while Marco brings his dosage of heaviness with his progressive beats.

In Death Dance we face more of Kyle’s metallic, rumbling bass jabs accompanied by Marco’s smashing drums and the mesmerizing vocals by Mikaela, blending elements from Metalcore with Melodic Death and Groove Metal, albeit going on for a bit too long, though, whereas Abyss is a piano-infused dark ballad by Mikaela where the sharp guitars by Kyle walk hand in hand with her passionate vocal performance, sounding very personal, epic and obscure from start to finish and presenting a unique and captivating side of our banshee. Back to her beastly she-wolf mode, our dauntless diva of darkness and her henchmen will penetrate deep inside our psyche once again with the Metalcore extravaganza titled Enthalpy Rage, feeling like an electrifying fusion of the current music played by Arch Enemy with modern-day Deathcore, while Ophidian’s Whisper is another solid composition by the trio with Marco dictating the pace with his infernal and intricate drumming, and with Mikaela once again alternating between demonic screams and melodious clean lines. And lastly, we’re treated to a sinister atmosphere embellished by a melancholic piano and the gorgeous voice by Mikaela, morphing into one final metal attack titled Room Hell, with both Marco and Kyle being on absolute fire with their sonic weapons, providing all Mikaela needs to shine on vocals and, consequently, ending the album in a truly devilish way.

Mikaela’s musical journey to hell and back can be appreciated in its entirety on Spotify and on Deezer, but of course you should purchase a copy of such amazing album of modern-day Metalcore from her own webstore, from Apple Music or from Amazon, also showing your support to one of Malta’s most prominent names in metal music by following her on Facebook and on Instagram, and by subscribing to her YouTube channel for more of her darkly enchanting official videos. Nocturne In Red is a very personal album by Mikaela that will undoubtedly please all fans of Metalcore, Deathcore and all related styles, showing us all the darkest side of such talented artist while at the same time adding the charming Republic of Malta to the worldwide map of contemporary metal music.

Best moments of the album: Bring Me Blood, Disenthralled and Enthalpy Rage.

Worst moments of the album: Death Dance.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Into a New Hell – Intro 2:29
2. Bring Me Blood 4:25
3. Chaotic Mind 4:35
4. Disenthralled 5:44
5. Nightmare 6:37
6. Death Dance 6:20
7. Abyss 4:56
8. Enthalpy Rage 4:41
9. Ophidian’s Whisper 5:23
10. Room Hell 5:00

Band members
Mikaela Attard – vocals

Guest musicians
Kyle Farrugia – guitars, bass
Marco Minnemann – drums

1 thought on “Album Review – Mikaela / Nocturne In Red (2020)

  1. Pingback: Metal Chick of the Month – Mikaela Attard | THE HEADBANGING MOOSE

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