Mandragora Scream - Volturna review
|Release date:||November 2009|
02. I'm Goin' Alone
03. The Circus
05. Breaking Dawn
06. Killin' Game
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]
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.
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