|Mandrake - The Balance Of Blue
14 March 2005
01. The Necklace
02. Ode To The Outside World
03. Crawling Waves
04. The Field Of The Sacred Flowers
05. Silent Tears
06. Balance Of Blue
07. Infant Sorrow
08. Turn The Page
09. Falling Away
10. Crowned With Leaves
11. It Never Ends
12. The Final Chapter
Disc II [limited edition]
01. A Poet's Serenade [1997 demo]
02. Who's That Girl [Eurythmics cover]
03. Pictures Of You [The Cure cover]
04. Stay [Shakespeare's Sister cover]
05. Fade To Black [Metallica cover]
Mandrake comes from Germany and like a lot of bands nowadays, they play a kind of Gothic/Power Metal with a female singer in opposition of a male singer who sings with some Death Metal vocals. I'm sure that some of you are already saying, "hoo no Jesus, one more of this band", and I understand you, but luckily Mandrake have something more in its music, and it will certainly save their destiny in our cruel Metal world.
In the form I can't say that Mandrake is an original band, one more time we have a Gothic Metal with some powerful guitars riffs, a female singer and a male singer with his grunts, but in the heart that's really different. This difference comes from the music itself which is really complex, near to be something that we can call Progressive. A lot of keyboards in background, some chords with Cellos and Violins and some really complex melodies are the ingredients of the album. If the tempo is in general a bit fast like for Power bands (not the more "extreme" however) we can have also some insistent breaks really well done and these parts in the songs give a really special touching ambiance.
Birgit, the singer is also a really nice surprise for me, in fact and that's a great thing, she don't try to copy anybody, she sings with her "own" voice, that's really enjoyable especially when the singer is good. And that's her case, some of her very high intonations for example remember me Bjork, some other times her voice remembers me the singer of The Cranberries but all that is very nice and personal and I believe in her great potentiality.
Before all, this is the keyboard which is the guide of the music of Mandrake, I mean that this instrument drives all the melodies in an electronic or classical way. The twelve songs of the albums are nice, some of its are maybe a bit better than some others, that's a bit unbalanced but in general the majority of the tracks of the albums are catchy and this release is at the end (if you can forget the "form" of this band), a little jewel of an uncommon Gothic Metal which don't lack of any originality. That's maybe not perfect but I like it and I think that the band did a good choose to follow this informal way.
All the ones who like Gothic metal and who aren't afraid of electronic sonorities and Progressive music, will have to check this band from Germany which deserves to be know. That's maybe not a pure revolution but I feel some great things in the music of the band then I suppose that it should be the same for you. A nice release for an original Gothic music…
written by Jeff | 26.02.2005
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