Mandrake - Calm The Seas review


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Band: Mandrake
Album: Calm The Seas
Release date: November 2003

01. Soaked Through The Skylight
02. Shine
03. The Reason Is Not Far To Seek
04. Entwine
05. Memorabilia
06. Essential Trifles
07. Insomnia
08. Droning Maud Land
09. Blue Hours Decade
10. Distant Shores
11. Drifting Apart
12. Delivering Oblivion
13. Calm The Seas

Here's a late comer in the whole "beauty-and-the-beast" explosion that took place at the end of last century, for those who doesn't know what the hell I'm talking of, beauty-and-the-beast style is when you got a Gothic Metal band using growls versus angelic female vocals, some of the first exponents of this type of Metal were Theatre Of Tragedy and Tristania.

Enough with the Metal classes, I must set for the record first, that this band doesn't sound like Theatre Of Tragedy or Tristania at all, the sound that Mandrake has developed is more on the melancholic side, rather than the symphonic one that the aftermentioned bands use.

The first song "Soaked Through The Skyklight" does nothing for me, really, plain riffs, some growls and angelic female vocals, I've heard this a thousand time before. Is the second song that hooks me up, "Shine" contains creative songwriting and catchy parts, not to mention that the B&B duet gets better in this song, giving each vox their space.
In "The Reason If Not far To Seek" female vocals take control and help to create this dreamy Gothic song, and by dreamy I don't mean mellow or nothing like that, it has a lot of aggressive moments. Some eighties influences can be noticed in "Entwine" and "Essential Trifles"

As for the production, I can't say I have any complain, the album sounds good, and it also looks good, the cover art is beautiful, yet haunting.
At the end, Mandrake deserves a listen, because the album has some great tunes, but they need to find a more peculiar sound, so they can stand out of the crowd, but that only comes with the time, best of lucks to Mandrake then.

Written by Undercraft | 28.05.2004


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