Mandragora Scream - Volturna

15 songs
60:08 minutes
***** ****


Mandragora Scream are a gothic dark metal band from the Tuscany with more than ten years of activity on their backs. Although I haven’t heard of the Italians before, Volturna is already their fourth album, and they even released a DVD two years ago. Although the band partially use typical elements of their chosen genre, they still manage to insert a welcome amount of suspense into their music.

After the too long two minute intro, Mandragora Scream instantly show off their strengths. They smartly combine gothic, dark rock, pop and a hint of drama into something streamlined enough to appeal to their target audience. Nonetheless the band dares from time to time to think outside their box and makes excursions into different musical territories like industrial and electronic music. Furthermore they offer with Cher’s Bang Bang and Visage’s Fade To Grey two excellent cover versions that add to the album’s entertainment value. The kitsch factor is guaranteed on Blindness with acoustic guitar accompaniment. Using male and female vocals is also nothing new, but the arrangements work in every possible way. Some tracks have turned out to be darker, why others are in a lighter mood adorned with catchy melodies that bury themselves in your head. The final track Nails starts quite hyperactively before it ends the album on a sad note.

Volturna is a strong album full of different moods. Even on the darker moments, Mandragora Scream never feel depressive, but is full of boundless dynamics that always point straight ahead. Listening to Volturna is a truly enjoyable experience.

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