WHAT/WHO IS MALEDICTIS?
- Maledictis is a recording project with music and lyrics written by John Marszalkowski.
- The debut EP features over 30 musicians, engineers, and artists. To see a list of who sang or played what on the EP, click here.
- Maledictis has a new single (coming soon) titled Delica. It features some of the same musicians as well as new ones. Click here to see a list of who preformed on Delicta.
- Maledictis is not a touring band. It was born and raised in the solitude of quarantine.
WHAT STYLE OF MUSIC is this?
SHORT ANSWER: GOTHIC CHAMBER METAL.
- I am not pretentiously saying "Maledictis is super unique and doesn't sound like anything else out there." However, it is going to sound like I'm saying that.
- Fans of various symphonic genres would say that Maledictis is not symphonic. Maledictis does feature strings, brass, woodwinds, and a choir, but not by a large orchestral ensemble. Maledictis often only has one musician per instrument, which is better defined as "Chamber," (small ensemble). "Chamber" appears to be able to substitute the term "Symphonic" in almost any symphonic genre, such as Symphonic Power Metal, Symphonic Death Metal, and Symphonic Gothic Metal. And while "Chamber" is a great descriptive substitute for "Symphonic," there are not a ton of bands calling their style "Chamber" ...yet!
- As for the gothic part, it features haunting cathedral pipe organ and church-like choir parts. Also, the singer of Tristania is featured on multiple songs. Gothic means different things to different people. For Maledictis, gothic is the architecture we record acoustic instruments inside of. It's the faint smell of frankincense that lingers there along with the light shining in through stained glass.
- Is it as heavy as most modern metal bands? Not at all.
- In a recent Twitter poll, a large portion of the participants described Maledictis as "Gothic Chamber Metal." That sub-genre doesn't exactly exist, but it is a good description.
- I'd be interested to hear your interpretation of what genre best describes Maledictis.
What does all the latin Mean?
Where can I listen?
- The debut EP has been available since December 22nd, 2020, and is available pretty much everywhere that music can be streamed and digital music can be purchased.
- There is an extremely limited number of EP vinyl records and CD's in circulation. Posters, guitar picks, stickers, and other random merch can be found here.
- The Delicta single is coming soon to streaming services and sites that sell digital music.
Where Are You?
- For the EP, all songs were written, mixed, and published in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Many parts were recorded there, too. Some other parts were recorded in other parts of Wisconsin. Other states include Illinois, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Other countries include Canada, England, Portugal, Poland, Macedonia, Italy, Uruguay, Sweden, and Switzerland. All of the recordings were mastered in New York. 🇺🇸🇨🇦🏴🇵🇹🇵🇱🇲🇰🇮🇹🇺🇾🇸🇪🇨🇭
- For songs released after the debut EP, recordings are more focused on local Milwaukee musicians, but still include out-of-state and international talents.
What is "real" and what is "fake?"
Sort Answer: Almost everything is real.
- When the music for the EP was written, it was just guitar, bass, vocals, and A LOT of synthesized (programmed MIDI) instruments. It sounded like 16-bit video game music, so musicians were recruited to replace everything. Even the 11-person choir is real, except each person recorded themselves individually.
- For the EP, the only thing that wasn't preformed by a human on an instrument was some of the drums.
- For songs after the EP, a human drummer is tracked.
Wait, tell me more about that choir!
- With the EP, we had a unique situation in that we didn't have a large group of people singing together in a room, but we were able to record parts in a different way. For example, the ending of the song Dolorem has a choir part sung in 4-part harmony. However, rather than dividing 11 people into 4 parts with only 2 or 3 people per part, we had all 11 people sing each part. Higher voices sang an octave above the lower voices. Once all the tracks were layered on top of each other, it sounds like a 44-person choir singing 8-part harmony.
- We did a virtual choir again for Delicta; smaller this time. We hoped to have an in-person choir, but COVID concerns were still an issue in 2021. However, it was a great opportunity to work with some great new remote musicians.
Wait, tell me more about the drums!
- One of the songs (Somnium) was actually preformed and recorded on acoustic drums by Matthew Kopf in 2008, but the recorded audio files were unfortunately lost. An unusable reference track allowed John to program the parts in MIDI exactly how they were originally preformed.
- For Delicta, Matt used an electronic-drum set to record his parts. We intend to continue this method for most songs going forward.
- Drums are mixed using Steven Slate Drum samples.
Why is the artwork so good?
Both the EP cover and the Delicta cover were created by Kenneth Uzquiano. He studied at Ringling College of Art and Design.
- When discussing cover ideas for the EP, Gustave Doré was brought up. That lead to Kenneth focusing on extremely detailed line work, much like Doré's.
- For Delicta, Kenneth was inspired by deco relief sculptures at St Adalbert's cemetery in Milwaukee.
Are the lyrics radio-friendly?
Yes. There is no profanity. Lyrical themes touch on death, inequity, depression, inaptitude, torment, and meaninglessness. It does not promote self-harm, violence, or hate.
Is this RELIGIOUS music?
No, but it's understandable if you reached that conclusion after seeing the angel artwork, the Latin titles, and hearing cathedral pipe organ and a choir. Music and lyrics are often inspired by classical sacred music, too. It is definitely "churchy" sounding on purpose. However, the lyrics are 100% secular.
Did you say there are some well-known musicians on these songs?
Depending on what music you listen to, you may have heard of some of the musicians on the Maledictis EP. Almost all of the musicians are (or have been) involved in musical projects.
- Mariangela Demurtas is the lead singer of Tristania (Napalm Records), a Norwegian band that pioneered the Gothic Metal genre. Mariangela has been their singer since 2007. She more recently formed the band Ardours (Frontiers Records).
- Brian Koenig is the lead guitarist of Lords of the Trident, and formerly of Luna Mortis (Century Media Records).
- J. Jacques is in the Vermont band QuaranTEAM.
- Diane Lee is in the Swiss band, Lost Journey.
- Stephanie Young is in Nine Worlds Ensemble.
- Janalynn Rose, Brett Benka, and Shane Olivo are members of Meltwater Pulse.
- The Tyson Brothers (John and Tim Tyson) are in Widacre, and previously Constant Haymakers.
- Jerry Bakkus is in All Very Tall, and previously The Everyday Motive.
- Matt Kopf was in Orphonic Orchestra.
- Maria Cantarelli Voermans was in Orphonic Orchestra.
- Ian Wasserman was the the Principal Cellist at the University Of Wisconsin Milwaukee Orchestra.
- John Marszalkowski was in Orphonic Orchestra, The Everyday Motive, and Constant Haymakers.
How did 30 people record an EP while QUARANTINED?
John wrote the songs using synthesized MIDI parts in place of the instruments he couldn't play himself. He tracked guitar and bass "direct in." He then emailed sheet music to the musicians. They recorded their parts themselves (using a metronome in their headphones) and emailed the recordings back. Some musicians had recording equipment while others recorded their parts with just their phones. All of the files were sent to Shane Olivo Audio, where it was mixed. Shane also chose drum samples as well as virtual amps and cabs. Once mixed, the files were sent to Alan Douches for mastering at West West Side in New York. The mastered tracks were sent out for production and distribution.
What influenced Maledictis?
- Tristania's Darkest White (2013)
- Devin Townsend's Ziltoid The Omniscient (2007)
- Nightwish's Wishmaster (2000)
- Metallica's S&M (1999)
- Silverchair's Neon Ballroom (1999)
- Allegri, Bach, and Mozart (17th-18th century)
What comes after the EP?
Several songs are in the works, so expect to see singles released periodically. The newest single is Delicta!