If the art of combining heavy metal with flamenco already existed before the band Malcura, we apologise but as it stands, they are getting the credit and that’s that. It’s one of those things that has always been staring you in the face – the nimble-fingered plucking of the classical guitarist and the dextrous metal shredder, they’re obvious bedfellows and yet the combination of the two seems to have been strangely denied us. We hasten to point out, the latest album by Malcura, the cunningly-entitled Malcura II, is neither a gimmick nor garishly metal – it is a beautifully judged and reverential nod to not just metal and classical guitarist but trailblazers like The Shadows and Dick Dale, whilst also bringing onboard the 70s concept album and video games. In terms of target market, most living humans are in the mix.
It’s reasonable to point out that several million people got here before us, with videos of them busking on the streets of their native Melbourne attracting viewing numbers in the millions. However, Malcura II is a fascinating beast, both utterly modern yet steeped in tradition and celebrating the real art of playing a musical instrument. There’s something delightfully primal about it (probably why all of a sudden gypsy guitar playing seems so redolent of metal guitar) and yet with the album employing both video game-esque graphics and a storyline which follows a lost astronaut discovering new worlds, it does not take itself seriously. This is grown-up music with a childlike curiosity for what entertains us. Out very soon on, naturally, double vinyl, it’s an absolute breath of fresh air.