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Malediction EP

Listenable (2012)
Rating: 6.5/10

Malediction is the latest release from longtime Cradle of Filth alumnus Sarah Jezebel Deva. It comes on the heels of The Corruption Of Mercy (2011), her sophomore full-length under her own moniker. It features three songs with guest appearances by Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth) and Björn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork).

The EP opens with ‘This is My Curse’, a crushingly haunting number that brings to mind major label era Cradle of Filth, so much that one has to wonder if it could possibly be an unused song?

Deva sounds great here and takes on the majority of the vocal work, but Filth’s presence takes too much precedence and it’s hard to focus on her as opposed to him. Perhaps it’s simply a subconscious thing given their history together. It’s good but it certainly is something we have heard many times before.

‘Lies Define Us’, featuring Björn Strid, is up next and takes a slightly less malicious tone that is led by some wonderful piano work. Deva’s voice really takes off here, setting fire to any thoughts that she can’t step outside of the gothic backing vocals her history has given us so much of. Her vocal work is varied well on this song and Strid steps in in all the right places to give it just enough extra kick that you could imagine this really taking over heavy music airwaves worldwide. This is the highlight of the EP’s trio of songs in my opinion.

‘When ‘It’ Catches Up With You’ is a bit of a blend of the other two tunes, offering a more eerie approach but an overall brighter sound and a much poppier vocal (at least “poppier” for Deva).

Overall, I think this is a much more interesting listen than either The Corruption of Mercy or the Angtoria album (2006’s God Has A Plan For Us All) were. I’m interested to see where Deva travels next as the Malediction EP comes off very much like a test drive. I think Deva can travel far outside the norms of extreme metal and two of Malediction’s three songs seem to be interested in travelling to new places.

Mark Fisher

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