Rating:
8.6
Mandragora Scream - Volturna
21 November 2009


01. Lui
02. I'm Goin' Alone
03. The Circus
04. Deceiver
05. Breaking Dawn
06. Killin' Game
07. Blindness
08. Farewell
09. A Chance From Him
10. The Calling From Isaia
11. Bang Bang [Cher cover]
12. The Seagull's Creed
13. Fade To Grey [Visage cover]
14. Nails
15. Heartbound Eve


Italian gothic act Mandragora Scream have this winter emerged with a new lineup and a new album. Volturna is the fourth album and a more experimental one than the previous works. Although there are changes in the style the leading force, the two main vocalists, Terry and Morgan are with us and that is what keeps the special atmosphere of the band in the air.

Somehow this album of theirs has received significantly lower ratings than its predecessors, especially the first two albums. As someone who has been following the band from the beginning, I must admit that the process of getting into this album was different and bit harder than in previous cases because of the changes. First of all, Volturna has electronic features and a slightly industrial approach that were absent before. The harshness and extreme vocals that could first be noticed on Madhouse are an ordinary feature on Volturna. There are several riffs and melodies which remind me of the Swedish industrial band Deathstars.

On the other hand, the atmospheric, dreamy and gloomy side of the band can be heard very well. The vocals of Terry and Morgan form a unique blend and, on this album particularly, develop the richest variety of vocal techniques ever heard. The beginning and ending sequences of the album remind me of the atmosphere of the game "Silent Hill". Since the band is good at concept songs, this album is once again based on a vampire tale.

Volturna has a lot great and catchy or otherwise emotionally impressive songs. A very clever thing the band has managed to do is to create a high concentration of good riffs and melodies and place them in all songs making the album with very few actual "fillers". That is a vital aspect since the idea of creating a concept album is to maintain the suspense until the very end. The best songs of the album are "Deceiver", "Breaking Dawn", the essential emotional ballad "Blindness", a simply good song "Farewell", "A Chance From Him", "The Calling From Isaia", "The Seagull's Creed", "Nails" and "Heartbound Eve". The band maintains an especially good tension and atmosphere during the entire second half of the album. "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" is a cover of Cher's hit made into an expressive ballad.

This album may be difficult to follow but if one has listened to it thoroughly one will surely see this is a very diverse work by a special band. Mandragora Scream have never lost their edginess and their own atmosphere. It's admirable that no matter what experiments a band does on the musical field they will always remain themselves. This band has managed to do that once again.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: Mandragora Scream
Album: Volturna


 


written by Ernis | 21.12.2009



Comments

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annodomini - 22.12.2009 at 00:37  
I am also a fan of this band almost since the beggining, and this is their worst album. Its deffinetely not worth 10 for performance. I will rate it 7,5. There are few good songs, but this is not MS that i liked to.
LedTherion - 22.12.2009 at 00:46  
This album is absolut normal medium, my rate is max. 4,5-5... nothing special.
enumaelis - 22.12.2009 at 03:33  
I think you are a big fan of Mandragora Scream, Viggo. I have heard this just once and I think I wont do that again :/
Rupert - 22.12.2009 at 03:39  
Omg cd isnt best first listen???
Ag Fox - 22.12.2009 at 04:37  
Never seem to be able to get into this band. other than this album, i also tried the other most recent one =/
BudDa - 22.12.2009 at 10:15  
Written by Ag Fox on 22.12.2009 at 04:37

Never seem to be able to get into this band. other than this album, i also tried the other most recent one =/


Me too. I really tried to listen to this album but for some reason..It didnt appeal to me that way it should
Devilspeed - 22.12.2009 at 11:10  
Madhouse is still their best work.
annodomini - 22.12.2009 at 14:43  
A whisper of dew is the best, but Madhouse is pretty good too.
muska - 22.12.2009 at 19:46  
The first 3 albums all had something new to offer, but this last one just seems like all their previous work blended together to zero effect, there is not a single song in the album i would like to listen again and again, very disappointed overall being a fan since their first album
Ernis - 22.12.2009 at 20:04  
Well...it's not that ToT did when issued "Musique" and "Assembly" after albums of gold...but well...it's a matter of taste I guess....
Umideath - 26.12.2009 at 20:49  
Amateur cover art & Bad album for me !
ravendeath - 30.12.2009 at 15:44  
I was really dissapointed about this album, maybe I was expecting too much after the promissing "Madhouse". The only good things are the two cover songs.
Isserggie - 09.01.2010 at 01:03  
I love it. and that's absolutely false that it's "more the same", as lots of people say. It's very original. They mixed their old gothic metal/rock with some electrogoth sounds without losing their unique atmosphere. I'm Goin' Alone, Killin' Time or Farewell are some of their best songs ever. Blindness is a beautiful ballad. That two covers are amazing. And artwork is the most wonderful I've seen in a long, long time
Valaskjalf - 04.02.2010 at 22:28  
Static-X gone spooky! I love it its hilariously terrible.

Another 1/10
Slinky666 - 14.12.2011 at 05:25  
I really like how this music flirts with hit potential (catchy elements), but then it dumps the glory for the metal gory.

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