Japan has some of the best music in the world and this release is a prime example of it. Malikliya is the brainchild of Shuhei (Imperial Circus Dead Decadence) and beautifully mixes atmospheric black metal, symphonic black metal, gothic metal, 90’s visual kei, coldwave and just a bit of everything. It is no surprise if you are familiar with Shuhei’s work that you will hear a lot of his signature sound in Malikliya but also some differences from anything else he has been a part of. What stands out especially here is Okaki’s singing on this album if you have never heard any of Malikliya’s previous releases. Her voice has a very calming, serene and almost poppy sound to it but fits so beautifully on this album.
誄: Condolence was released New Year’s Eve and is a beautifully written album to say the least. There are a lot of moments where you will hear dark and atmospheric black metal style structures that will bleed into haunting melodies with hypnotic vocals provided by Okaki. The instrumentation on this album is just phenomenal as each instrument has a chance to shine through every track from the distant guitars to the synchronized drum patterns to the otherworldly keyboard melodies that intertwine behind the voice of Okaki. Tracks like Burial and Wraith are unique in the sense that they sound like they could be written as black metal tracks but feature the serene sounds of female vocals only dancing over the tremolo riffs and blast beats. On the other end of the spectrum is the track Swampman which is emotionally moving and lighter in sound with equally slower paced instrumentals.
Overall, this album is perfectly paced and excellently written from beginning to end. Each track is different in sound, completely refreshing and will keep the listener fixated. Not often can you hear a mix of so many sounds come together and fit so well. If you are a fan of Imperial Circus Dead Decadence, visual kei, symphonic, coldwave, dungeon synth, atmospheric and gothic styled black metal or just a fan of a unique take on extreme metal that is the embodiment of musical Beauty and the Beast, then this album is definitely something to check out.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Neil Andersen