|Review: Mandrake - Mary Celeste|
Label: Grau Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Gothic Metal
Review online: January 28, 2008
Reviewed by: Pagan Shadow
Rated 4/5 (80%) (1 Vote)
This quintet is a female fronted Gothic Metal ensemble that has on board two guitar players. Those are very prominent throughout the album and the heavy/crunchy guitar work associated with this genre is well represented. Harmonious female vocals, although not operatic or "princess"- like, suit the musical direction very well while being able to show a certain dramatic/intense side when the mood calls for it. Some vocal samplings and laughers give the composition a nice theatrical/narrative aspect but, with a title like "Mary Celeste", one would have expected something more epic. These good moments can be found in the first two songs ("Mary Celeste" and "Crystals of Forgiveness") and in a couple of other spots. Most of this album is aiming towards the generic Gothic style which includes keyboard passages (played by the drummer), male and female duet, sad/intense parts, and mid-fast paces. Tracks like "Masquerade", "Sweet Desolution" and "Paralyzed" are even catchy/radio friendly. On the other hand, "Breathe" ventures into much darker corners by using distorted arpeggios and those doom/crushing type of riffs.
Overall, a nice Gothic album but lacking a bit of an epic spice.
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