MIKAELA is a metalcore band spliced heavily with deathcore and progressive elements all the way through the debut album “Nocturne In Red”. The album was released in late 2020, on October 28 and it not only featured horror, blood, dark and a constant blasts of energy but it showcases what a girl from an island can alternatively do.
The band is founded by Mikaela Attard, who is the composer, lyric writer, producer, vocalist, keyboardist, mixing engineer, and the creator of all artistic content and she hails from the island of Malta. She is a graduate from Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, USA after completing her BA in Music Production with Summa Cum Laude and also earlier studied Vocal Performance earlier on at the same music institution. The music writing for the album started along the year of 2018 in between touring and finalized in 2019 where the official recordings started on January 1, 2020. Marco Minnemann plays drums and features exclusively on the 10-track album in its entirety. Kyle Farrugia also features on the album in its entirety and features on guitars and bass for all tracks. The album is mixed and mastered by the well respected producer and engineer Tue Madsen in Denmark. The debut album features the well received ‘Bring Me Blood’ as the first single released from the project and ‘Chaotic Mind’ as the second single which songs and music videos that were created for them received worldwide attention, love and support.
Mikaela is a classically trained vocalist and pianist in fact that is the first genre in which she started practice in, in between to listening the rock and metal classics at the age of 8. Later on she took pop, rock, blues vocal techniques courses constantly. The early music years looked a lot like auditions and competitions which did not only serve as a beneficial tool to young Mikaela but also helped her score greater opportunities at such a young age like performing overseas, recording at Sarm Studios London, winning the Pop Idol, an already getting a good sense of the music world hands on. She even started starting and collaborating with other musicians and being parts of bands until she started fronting her own at 16. Attard released singles ‘Away He Goes’ round the same time, followed by ‘Condescending’, ‘Fall Apart’ and ‘Hear Me Out’ under a different format. The EP ‘Hear Me Out’ was released right after, which received great recognition and awarded her several awards upon launching, apart from several other nominations such as led her to winning the Best New Artist in 2010 award, Best Female Artist award, Malta’s Export Artist in 2011 award, Vodafone Upcoming Artist award and Berklee College Singer-Songwriter award and Best Metal Band award in 2019. The songs also featured in movies and were also showcased live in her UK acoustic tour and through several shows around the island. Mikaela also performed at prestigious events such as for 7 years at Rockestra and other world heritage locations such as Manoel Theatre, The Mediterranean Conference Center, Verdala Palace. Mikaela had also been part of several collaborations such as Xirka Rock Band and Martyrium. She also collaborated with the legendary multi-instrumentalist Marco Minnemann and such collaborations feature on the album ‘My Sister’ by Marco Minnemann, on the songs ‘My Sister’ and ‘A Working Town’.
SHOWS & TOURS
Mikaela has performed internationally on tours and shows several times. The band was on the Female Metal Voices Tour in 2018 with well-renowned Butcher Babies all the way from California USA and Kobra and the Lotus from Canada with live shows all over the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, and also toured with Abigail Williams all over the UK namely London, Sheffield, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, Stoke, London, Peterborough. Other tours and shows led her to perform several times in Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Slovakia, Croatia, Poland, Ukraine and the popular music festival Exit Festival in Serbia supporting a well-respected band in the scene Whitechapel. Mikaela has also performed the USA, several times in Boston and also in Los Angeles, California, on Sunset Strip! Attard has also been part of several other projects and bands performing ample of times on the biggest stages of the island such as Rockestra concert with Malta Philharmonic Orchestra for consecutive times as well as other concerts organized by Malta’s Presidencies.
The band’s album features the internationally well-renowned musician and drummer Marco Minnemann exclusively on drums on all the tracks of the album in its entirety. Minnemann is part of several collaborations and bands such as The Artistocrats, Kreator, Necrophagist, Levin Minnemann Rudess, The Sea Within, The Mute Gods and was also a finalist in the Dream Theatre’s search for their exclusive drummer.
The project also features the guitarist Kyle Farrugia, who has also been part of and wrote all the music for Align The Tide as the vocalist and main guitarist before his departure from the band in early 2020. Kyle toured all over the United States of America supporting the popular band MushroomHead, in the states of Arizona, California, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Minneapolis, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and West Virginia. Kyle has now his own project called GRUJ brewing new music in the likes of Metalcore, Nu Metal and Deathcore elements amongst other influences and is also the main and sole guitarist of the metal outfit MIKAELA. Farrugia performs all guitars and bass on all the tracks on Nocturne In Red. Mikaela Attard recorded and produced the album Nocturne In Red herself and the legendary producer Tue Madsen has mixed and mastered the album. Madsen has mixed the most popular album ever of Suicide Silence’s The Cleansing, Rob Halford, Meshuggah, In This Moment, Madball, Moonspell, Sick of it All, August Burns Red and much more making him one of the most popular producers in the metal scene.
NOCTURNE IN RED ALBUM
The album hones a fresh sonic value, even to the Metal world, a new outlook leaning towards a progressive kind of Metalcore and Deathcore intertwined with Black and Death metal, Classic Heavy Metal and Rock. Lyrically conceptual but also musically, dynamically vast and entertains a myriad of interests from every edge of the rock and metal world. Collectively, the album speaks about states of the mind, different episodes placed in different songs; how we are all unique but still relate to each other differently in the same ways. The songs were written at and inspired by the night hence a ‘Nocturne’, elaborating and mainly surrounding horror, blood, darkness, chaos, hell and all that get to experience from the eyes of Mikaela. The color red is used to not only to symbolize the writer but also as a whole vibe to the album, mainly written around the key of A, which in synesthesia terms, also represents red.
PRESS & REVIEWS
“Bring me blood” is a piece with a clear metalcore / deathcore profile(which at times reminds me of In This Moment ) in which the singer shows a great display of power and versatility, with the use of a throaty that humbles more than one, talent resulting from years of technique and training in lyrical singing .”
– Poly Saiyan, Metal Addiction
“Mikaela is heard in different styles of growling and screaming throughout the song, as well as a bridge including of clean vocals as she showcases her many talents.”
“Mikaela Attard launched solo with the video / single “Bring Me Blood” , a death / modern metal theme that presents an attitude of shock.”
– Diogo Ferreira, Metal Hammer Portugal
“The loud cheers from the audience whenever Muscat was referred to or when a photo of his twins flashed up on stage gave the entire concert an uncomfortable leader adoration vibe. Yet this was easily swept away by the brilliance of the songs singers themselves, particularly (in my opinion) rock singer Mikaela Attard’s powerful rendition of ‘Meravigliosa Creatura’. ” – When Mikaela sang for the Prime Minister of Malta.
– Tim Diacono, Lovin Malta
“Meet Mikaela Attard, the Maltese singing sensation and tatted-up babe who is in the running for Inked’s cover girl post.”
– Jilian Mallia, GuideMeMalta
” Covered in blood and with a determination to dominate the world, one of Malta’s most talented metal singers has released her first single from her debut album, Nocturne In Red. Bring Me Blood is the first glimpse of what is shaping up to be a gigantic debut release from Mikaela as she begins her venture into a solo career. The hard-hitting metal vocalist has elevated the metal scene to a whole new level with a production quality like never before, both sonically and visually, with a music video directed by none other than the renowned and highly-popular director Steven Levi Vella. With the artistic mind of Mikaela and the direction of Levi Vella, Bring Me Blood encapsulates everything you’d expect and want in a metal music video; headbanging, chaos, blood and torture, in a beautifully dark but enticing visual performance. The end product is a polished, well-crafted debut album that will send ripples into the music scene not just in Malta, but worldwide.”
– Jean Paul Azzopardi, Lovin Malta
“One of Malta’s raciest metal singers”
– Jonathan Cilia, Lovin Malta
“… hard work pays off, and Mikaela’s talents landed her a guest spot on drumming legend Marco Minnemann’s new album, ‘My Sister’.
An achievement like this definitely warrants a lot of praise especially for someone who, time and time again, proves that despite our geographical limitations, Maltese musicians have what it takes to make a name for themselves internationally.
Well done Mikaela!”
– Jean Paul Azzopardi, Lovin Malta
“Malta’s heavy metal heroine Mikaela Attard has kicked off 2020 with all guns blazing after she revealed that she’s recording her first-ever solo album featuring a star-studded lineup, including none other than drumming legend Marco Minnemann.
Minnemann is known primarily as being the drummer for The Aristocrats, but his out-of-this-world drumming capabilities have landed him gigs with the likes of Joe Satriani and even an audition for the legendary prog band Dream Theater back in 2010.
The album may still be in its early stages, but it’s already looking like it will be a killer release by one of the most fierce vocalists around. And one thing is for sure: it’s going to be h-h-h-heavy.”
– Jean Paul Azzopardi, Lovin Malta
“One of Malta’s leading metal vocalists recently graduated from one of the most acclaimed music schools around – and her peers are some of the biggest names in global pop music.The singer and recent LMA winner attended the Berklee College of Music on campus in Boston, Massachusetts, where she undertook the Vocal Performance course a few years ago – but she wanted to continue her musical studies at one of the best music institutions worldwide. “
– Jonathan Cilia, Lovin Malta
“Malta’s metal goddess Mikaela Attard unveils her debut solo album “Nocturne In Red”. For the most part written at night, the pivotal concept of the album speaks about different states of the mind and our perception. The album is a mixture of nu-metalcore, deathcore, progressive and even black and death metal. Mikaela also spices up the carefully-crafted collection of ten tracks with her native language, Maltese. You can stream the album featuring singles “Bring Me Blood” and “Chaotic Mind” below.”
– VV, Metal Goddesses
“She’s a Metal rebel. She’s a talented musician and a brilliant artist. She’s an influencer that people await to see her posts and interact with. She’s a Metal Goddess. She is Mikaela Attard.
We’ve known Mikaela at FemMetal as an Extreme Metal vocalist.”
“The local and international live music industry is in shambles due to Covid-19. However, this didn’t stop a lot of local artists from starting new projects and releasing numerous excellent singles and full-length albums during the last couple of months of this apocalyptic year. One such artist is Malta’s very own metal queen Mikaela, who stunned audiences with her gory music video – Bring Me Blood. ‘
– Janelle Borg
“MIKAELA is bursting into the scene in a class all her own with her debut album Nocturne In Red”
Nocturne In Red is blooming with charisma and originality from the drop. With instrumentalist Marco Minnemann on drums, Kyle Farrugia on guitar and bass, MIKAELA writing and producing, and Tue Madsen mixing and mastering her debut album, what has transpired is something brimming with fearless confidence and a work of art that is progressively beautiful.
Moments like raging single, “Bring Me Blood” immediately show us from the beginning where this record is going to go, with MIKAELA’s guttural and assailing vocal talents that pepper the entire track to the infectious technical drives from the guitar and drums that really offsets the vocals nicely, “Bring Me Blood” is a terrific start to the record and brings the momentum where it needs to be for the rest of Nocturne In Red.
Other frenetic and urgent junctures such as “Disenthralled” show off MIKAELA’S multi-layered vocal control is pulled off in the best of ways. With a killer instrumental solo that is sure to please any heavy metal fans audio senses, this is sure to make anyone take a second look at this artist’s newest release just from the instrumentals alone. “Disenthralled” is oozing with abstruse guitar lines and percussive genius. Something for the technical musicians to appreciate, but melodic enough for regular music fans to enjoy.
“Nightmare” had to be the golden egg of the album for many reasons. Not just because MIKAELA can be looked at as a prodigious solo metal vocalist impressively by the third track, but because of how she seamlessly can craft lyrically some of the most hauntingly beautiful yet destructive pieces of music in the current heavy scene. The respect she has curated by the time you reach this track is spell-binding, from her vocals to the instrumental prowess associated with it. The song is just gorgeous from start to finish, and many will agree by the time they listen to this track.
Lastly, is the esoteric and stunning number “Abyss.” A slower and denuded track compared to the others on the record, it’s a welcomed edition nonetheless. Again MIKAELA’s hidden vocal talents come crawling through, almost enveloping the entire track as the haunting melodic instrumentals almost go in the pocket to showcase her Lady Gaga’esque vocals. It almost feels like you are swathed in an obscure canorous dream you don’t want to let go of, and in this way, it’s performed well. It atmospherically stays with you long after it’s finished.
There are many songs on Nocturne in Red that show that this debut album is an absolute masterpiece. From beginning to end, the soundscapes of the album are crisp, clean, and take you to places musically and lyrically in ways that only MIKAELA can. The way she has handled such gravid and forthright material yet has managed to make it digestibly heavy, ariose, and addicting to listen to is something to applaud. If MIKAELA continues to make such incredible records such as this, she is bound to be a household name within the heavy scene within the next few years.”
– Samantha Andujar
“An explosive rain falls on our heads and echoes in our ears, loud enough to make them bleed! It ‘s Mikaela ‘s “Nocturne In Red” !
The Maltese singer has released a crazy album! He manages to give a unique boost to the songs that follow one another incessant and pounding, for a pyrotechnic tracklist!
Red is the color of passion, of blood and in fact this album is passionate and sanguine, the Intro opens the hellish doors of “Bring Me Blood” , the single we talked about on our Facebook page (we recommend you follow it so as not to get lost videos and singles!), a detonating start to the sound of distorted riffs and growls to shake the walls of the house, all seasoned with melodic parts and a short guitar solo, which contribute to an excellent musical construction.
The turn of “Chaotic Mind” arrives on tiptoe and then makes a clean sweep with disarming power; Mikaela’s voice ranges very well between melodic and a cross between scream and growl giving uniqueness to this piece of true Metal.
“Disanthralled”it’s spectacular, syncopated rhythms, crazy riffs and a commanding voice do everything to make you scapocate in a musical madhouse that leaves you stunned.
“Nightmare” concludes the first half of the album with great impact.
We are facing a great Metal album, perhaps the best of its kind of this last period, to make the most successful stars on the international scene pale.
It starts with “Death Dance” and starts where we left the album, with the same energy and appeal.
Great voice work “Abyss” where Mikaela , momentarily setting aside the guttural vocal role for us to enjoy with the melody. A fantastic surprise that leaves you speechless.
“Enthalpy Rage” starts off like a bomb, taking up the energetic vein that leaves no breath, as well as “Ophidian’s Whisper” , in which you feel immersed in a horror film with no escape, a claustrophobic atmosphere.
It all ends with “Room Hell”, which opens with a melodic line that touches not indifferent emotional chords to expand like wildfire, in a chaotic whirlwind with no escape, a descent into hell with no return.’
– Marco Cesaro, Una Pinta di Metal
“Entering the subject of an album that brings great enthusiasm embodied in ten tracks that promise to be impressive, we have to begin the song, »Into A New Hell», a horror film tune with the voice in a calm and calm tone warns us of what comes over with the beating of a heart between serene choirs;
“Bring Me Blood” ,, the first single from the album is powerful in all its musical display, the guitar riffs in a distortion in the style of Death Metal spruced up with Nu Metal, with some chords that are mixed between serene moments of keyboards with Ms Attard displaying all his vocal versatility which is what enriches all the cuts, without forgetting the rest of the instruments that skillfully maneuver;
“Chaotic Mind”, all the meat on the grill, without leaving anything we have a cut that extends in the power with a lyrical babble that instills dread together with the shock of the percussions that Mr. Minnemann unravels , together with some sounds of sharp pulsations well interwoven with the intense sonority of an imposing chord;
“Disenthralled”, with the defined style of the album, continues the syncopated and rhythmic chords linked in the unlikely combination of the singer who is a marvel at the height of other extreme metal females;
«Nightmare», the stopping intervals of the rhythms is something that MIKAELA , in its entirety, does in a good way, slows down a bit and the crowding of strident sounds, to give them in this cut of an artistic form of a supremacy very advantageous, reaching the middle of the album is acceptable so far and more than because of the multiplicity of melodies that is presenting;
“Death Dance”, Ms. Attard makes it clear that she is an expert in vocal tones, she combines them competently and with a technique that only leaves me wondering about seeing her in a live performance and I think she will not disappoint me, pay attention to the accompaniment of the instruments that sound superb, while the siren of Malta enchants us with her song;
«Abyss», instrumental in its entirety, the drums and keyboards are the ones that dominate this track, along with a guitar solo by Mr. Farrugia that gives a touch of delicacy and divinity, like a tornado that envelops and leaves you dizzy but taste;
“Enthalpy Rage”, we resume the energy with the low notes of the bass to reach the final part of “Nocturne In Red” , the parsimonious rhythm gives way to the bellows of our redhead frontman who then calms down but only in an apparent way to stop again shake us mercilessly, an excellent example of Mr. Minnemann’s mastery of the patches in a progressive tinted finish; “Ophidian’s Whisper”, with the imitation of the previous riffs, we have for what precedes the final cuts giving everything making MIKAELA gain an opportunity to be accepted by the followers of Extreme Metal
«Room Hell», the final cut is one of tranquility and placidity, a keyboard and the voice of the diva, to unleash a final, fast, powerful and fulminating cut, a debut with quite firmness and solidity in all aspects.
It is indisputable the comparisons that can be made with other international divas such as Maria Brink from IN THIS MOMENT or Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey from BUTCHER BABIES , due to their image and sounds, but let’s accept that you can challenge and measure yourself in a good way, MIKAELA is a rival henchman to the female Extreme Metal scene, backed by her academically and stage-acquired baggage.
Hence these statements by the frontwoman serve as a conclusion to “Nocturne In Red” :
“When people try to change us for who we are, and we overcome it with inner strength, we become stronger than ever. There has been blood that was wanted on us but we won and won. Purpose becomes not only stronger but more focused in every endeavor I make. Dark times surround us, but by staying real, we are our own free will.
From Malta we also have good proposals in Metal, like other places on the planet.”
Pepe Cortes, Rock and Blog