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New Forces update / Tact's new tune / Muzika Muzika 2024 / "Intimate Żfin"

Malta joins the Wacken Metal Battle

As mentioned briefly in the first part of the New Forces article, which was posted on Tuesday 18th, and with the second part following on Wednesday, it was announced just a few hours before the doors opened that the winners would represent Malta at the Wacken Metal Battle as well apart from Metaldays New Forces. This unexpected news has taken many by surprise, including us at, so an update is appropriate.

The Wacken Metal Battle, initiated in 2004, is a global band competition aimed at uncovering fresh talent and bolstering the metal scene worldwide. The inaugural victors were the German Thrash Metal ensemble Reckless Tide. This event offers a platform for up-and-coming artists on an international scale, providing both resources and stages for their advancement.

Since its inception, the Metal Battle has expanded to encompass over 60 countries, each hosting national heats to determine representatives for the Wacken finals. A panel of international judges evaluates performances, with winning groups receiving financial backing from the Wacken Foundation, as well as instruments and equipment from Metal Battle's partners. Moreover, participants gain valuable networking opportunities within the global music industry.

Over the years, the competition has propelled numerous bands to prominence, including Drone, Torture Squad, Battle Beast, and Hammercult, among others.

This year, Malta joined the ranks, with Morsrot earning their ticket to Wacken 2025.

"Catharsis" new single from Tact

Tact on Il-Medda Tal-Hoss

Since its formation in November 2009 by bandleader Franco Tartaglia, Tact (Tartaglia's Act) has been crafting music that resonates with every mood and season. Their style, rooted in introspective music, blends influence from Classical, Jazz, Rock, and Soundtrack genres. Initially driven by Tartaglia's compositions, Tact's sound evolves through collaborative efforts, with each band member adding their own creative touch. The lineup includes Charles Cassar on bass guitars, Paul Torpiano on piano and vocals, and Carl Matthew Camilleri on drums and percussion. Tact's journey has been marked by milestones, including the release of their debut album "Brushworks" in 2015 and a music video for the track "All Is True" in 2017. In 2019, they recorded three compositions at the Church of St Ubaldeska, which were released as music videos. The band has also showcased their talent through various performances and collaborations, including supporting acts and multimedia projects. In 2023, Tact recorded tracks at Temple Studios, with the first release "Catharsis" accompanied by a video in March 2024 and can be viewed here.

When dance and song collide!

Alexandra Alden and her band recently collaborated with Żfin Malta for the celebrated production "Intimate Żfin", featured in 2024, held at the National Archaeology Museum in Valletta.

"Intimate Żfin" marks the convergence of music and dance in unconventional, intimate settings. This unique collaboration at the museum saw artists and dancers perform amidst an engaged audience, redefining traditional notions of choreography and dance within the museum's space.

Similar to their collaboration two years prior at Palazzo Parisio, Alexandra Alden and her band, including members from the Netherlands, delivered excerpts from her albums. The performance was complemented by choreography from Paolo Mangiola, the artistic director of Żfin Malta.

Exploring the theme of home and private spaces, the production delved into collective and individual satisfaction, as well as the resilience required to navigate life's challenges. Alden's renditions from her albums "Wild Honey" (2018) and "Leads to Love" (2021), along with previews from her forthcoming album, formed the musical backdrop for "Intimate Żfin."

The audience was treated to a captivating series of dances, where choreography, music, and the museum's iconic architecture engaged in a dynamic dialogue, captivating all in attendance.

Maxine Pace wins Muzika Muzika with "Mhux tal-Aħħar,"

The winning song at this year's "Mużika Mużika" Festival drew inspiration from the loss of two mothers, Maxine Pace’s , and the mother of songwriter Emil Calleja Bayliss, who collaborated with composer Cyprian Cassar on the song. Titled "Mhux tal-Aħħar", the song resonated deeply with both the jury and the public, earning 106 points through their combined votes. Maxine, reflecting on the song's emotional depth, expressed how it connected with her own experiences, making it a perfect fit for her. This marked Maxine's debut in the festival, where she made history by performing entirely in Maltese. Second place was awarded to the group with the song "Vjaġġ Sabiħ," earning 90 points, while third place went to Cliff Zammit Stevens with "Fil-Qrib," securing 83 votes. The tension during the announcement of results was palpable, with participants anxiously awaiting the outcome in the Green Room, positioned in front of the stage for the first time. Maxine recalled the intense week of preparations and rehearsals leading up to the event, filled with excitement and nerves. Despite the nerves, Maxine described the festival as prestigious, with an atmosphere that kept everyone on edge. After the event, Maxine chose to watch the recorded show with her family, free from the stress of the previous day's competition.

Maxine, aged 24, discovered her passion for singing at a young age. She honed her skills by participating in various singing competitions locally and internationally. At just 13, Maxine began collaborating with artists, composers, and writers, crafting music that gained recognition on Maltese radio. She also joined her Italian band for appearances on shows like Una Stella Sta Nascendo and Io Canto on Canale 5. Maxine made multiple appearances in the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2016, 2017, and 2023, before releasing her debut EP "Skin Deep" in 2021. The EP, comprising six tracks, saw four songs topping local charts and receiving nominations for prestigious awards. In 2022, Maxine teamed up with local artists Gaia, Destiny, and Michela Pace to collaborate on the "Skin Deep" album, unveiling a new single titled "Lie Lie" and captivating a crowd of 50,000 at the Isle of MTV.

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