It’s safe to say Malta is not exactly known as a hotbed of emerging musical talent. The island off the south of Italy is one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in the world with 450,000 people living in just 122 square miles, with perhaps its main claim to fame being that Valletta is the smallest capital city in the EU.
However, despite this lack of musical prominence, we think that in progressive metal band Decline The Fall we may well have unearthed a Maltese gem.
We speak to lead singer John Castiel this week, and first asked him to give us some insight into the state of music in Malta.
John said: “The music scene here is growing, especially recently. The only problem here is that we keep getting compared to bands outside our country – bands who are signed and do this for a full-time job, while we work 40+ hours a week and need to find time to actually meet in our garage that we pay for. The target is always getting fans outside and not just in our country.”
From what we’ve heard, we think music fans both in Malta, the UK and beyond should love this band. Decline The Fall have created a unique sounding brand of metal that at times conjures up shades of the likes of Mudvayne and Breaking Benjamin. Hugely enjoyable metal riffs, epic solos and smashing drums combine superbly with Castiel’s fantastic vocals to create an almost haunting sound.
This comes across perfectly in the intense Fall of Eden, in which the chorus features jabby vocals echoed by a similar guitar rhythm that breaks away into mini guitar solos. Castiel’s vocals are emotive and moving as the pace gradually builds into a dark metal musical interlude before a repetition of the chorus, which adds to the increasingly dark atmosphere which culminates in a blood-curdling scream and the six-minute epic ends in an awesome guitar solo. Check out the video below:
Equally good is Mortal Men, which opens with a great guitar solo in excess of a minute long. Driving guitar chords support the verse before a really cool rhythmic musical interlude, it’s heavy but engagingly melodic. It closes with a repetition of the guitar riff with some incredibly fast-paced drums to draw the track to a superb end.
With a brand new lead guitarist Matthew Mercecia in tow as of this week, the rest of the quintet is made up of Castiel, Kris Farrugia (rhythm guitar), Fabio Negro (bass) and Ehren Fenech (drums), who have been together since last year. But with their line-up completed the band is ready to make the next step and have plans in the work to get more music recorded.
“The backstory of the band, the reason our image is the way it is.. I think personally it’s a very interesting concept. When it comes to the music, we are very diverse and unique as a band, and getting the attention of different kinds of listeners. But when it comes to the topic, we’re trying to send a message. The album we’re writing right now is based on the darkness within this world and the bad things going on that most of us ignore.
“Since Matthew joined he brought different elements and influences within our music so we decided to start a totally new album with him. Matthew brings some unique ideas and new sounds to our music.”
Decline The Fall are currently the midst of writing a debut album and should have a new song out before the end of 2016. Oh, and did we mention they also wear really cool make-up?
We’d love to one day see them in the UK and who knows, maybe they can be the inspiration for a new generation of bands in Malta and across Europe to take on bands from other countries that get all the limelight. So give them a listen and let us, and the band, know what you think of it.