Gothic Chamber Metal Project MALEDICTIS Release New Single “Breathing In Vain”


Gothic chamber metal project MALEDICTIS, have unveiled their latest single “Breathing In Vain”. Featuring both a full version and an instrumental version, this unique undertaking centers around an often unappreciated and overlooked instrument, the bassoon. In a world of shredding guitars and blast beats, MALEDICTIS mastermind Johnny Marszalkowski approached Christina Feigel Carrett about writing a song for her to play that would center itself around a bassoon melody. After the loss of his mother, the mood of the track shifted dramatically and became a contrast of major and minor highs and lows. 

Stream the full version here:
And the orchestral version here:

The track was a cathartic experience, despite the tragedy in the lyrics and music. It features performances by Johnny’s daughter, wife, brother, and nephew. His 6-year-old daughter started trumpet lessons shortly after he started writing the song, and she was the first musician to record on it.  Johnny also got to play music with his wife again, who he had been in multiple bands with in the past. Playing bass on this song marked 20 years of musical collaboration.  He also recruited his brother and nephew to record marching snare and tuba.

“Breathing In Vain” also features MALEDICTIS’ first in-person choir recording. For what sometimes feels like a DIY recording project, it still reaps the rewards of an experienced audio engineer. Shane Olivo, who mixed and mastered the song, has been producing, tracking, and mixing for over a quarter-century.  

“Breathing In Vain” is an enchanting experience, delving into the powerful dynamics of orchestral instruments and adding a distinctive twist through unconventional recording techniques. It’s a thrilling celebration of heavy music with a delightfully Gothic focus.

MALEDICTIS is an unusual take on gothic rock, combining melodic vocals, orchestral instruments, and heavy guitars & drums.  Like a reimagined secular requiem, it offers hints of sacred influence, giving it a truly unique sound.

Founded by songwriter and guitarist John Marszalkowski (ORPHONIC ORCHESTRA, THE EVERYDAY MOTIVE, CONSTANT HAYMAKERS), the lineup has been fluid with each recording. Musicians who have been featured on multiple MALEDICITS releases include Mariangela Demurtas (TRISTANIA, ARDOURS), Brian Koenig (LORDS OF THE TRIDENT, LUNA MORTIS), Matthew Kopf (ORPHONIC ORCHESTRA), Emelia Rudd, Ian Wasserman (MEMPHIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA), Nathan Marshall (DCI), and The Tyson Brothers (WIDACRE, CONSTANT HAYMAKERS).



  • Bassoon: Christina Feigel Garrett
  • Flute: ​Emelia Rudd


  • Tuba: Nathan Marshall
  • Trumpet: Charlotte Marszalkowski


  • Violin & Viola: Katherine Messer
  • Cello: Ian Wasserman
  • Bass: Desiree Marszalkowski
  • Guitar: Johnny Marszalkowski


  • Drums & Pipe Organ: Matthew Kopf
  • Vibraphone & Glockenspiel: Mike Neumeyer
  • ​Marching Snare: Brian Marshall


  • Lead Vocals : Kara Melodic 
  • Choir: Ally Hart, John Tyson, Andy Orlowski, Irma Doreing, and Valarie Doreing 

Some parts recorded on location at the Polish Center of Wisconsin (Franklin, WI).
All parts written, recorded, and edited by John Marszalkowski, except lead vocals recorded by Shane Olivo at Shane Olivo Audio in Cudahy, WI.  
Mixed and mastered by Shane Olivo.


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