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Mandragora Scream - Nothing But The Best

Mandragora Scream
Nothing But The Best
by Laura Glover at 18 November 2021, 1:13 AM

Born way back in 1997 in Lucca, Italy, MANDRAGORA SCREAM is not new to the scene of gothic metal. In 1999 lead singer Morgan Lacroix recorded a demo album with four songs and thus began their journey. Eight albums later and we have their recent release, “Nothing but the Best”. This album comes in at over an hour long and has 17 tracks. Plenty enough to keep one busy. The Italian influences marry well with the deep gothic nature of this album. This album is reminiscent of old LACUNA COIL with its dark vampiric sound. I have seen MANDRAGORA SCREAM listed as Gothic Metal, but I hear Rock in there as well. From dark keyboards, to muddled guitar, and haunting vocals; this is a multi-faceted album in its entirety.

Nightwish” - Starting out with those Rock vibes, and vocals that remind me a little of JOAN JETT only more haunting, slightly harder, and more occult like in tone. Featuring fantastical keyboards to lift the mood, and drawn-out chords on guitar. “Tree of Spells” - A witchy song, woven with soft female vocals; followed by heavier guitar. A thought invoking beat to lull you into a trance of melancholy. In many places trees do hold spells, whether that be trees that are inlaid with coins left by well-wishers. To literal spell jars left in nooks and crannies within trees. Trees are very intrinsic to spell work in general and this title gives notice to that. “Cryin’Clouds” - Keyboards lead in with a lighter tune, deceptively like a child's music box. But don’t be fooled, this song carries all the gothic hardness it can. Clean vocals meet metal musical notes. For an altogether gothic effect.

Rainbow Seeker” - The keyboards throughout this album remind me a lot of 80’s and 90’s music, which was heavily reliant on the keyboards. Clean vocals in this album add to the Rock aftertaste, despite the more Metal undertones. “The Devil Owns My Heart” - Sung in a deep Italian accent, “Never give up on you, the time has come, never give up on you and me”. It comes through like a love song, one you could Dance Macabre to; the dance of dead lovers. “Baby Blue” - With a slight Jazz beat, this song is loneliness and longing defined. Aching and hellish, it leaves us longing for that ONE person. You know who that is, I don’t have to mention a name. Somewhere up there in the big “Baby Blue” is my ONE person. Where’s yours?

Nothing but the Best” is an album for those who are heavily into that Gothic sound. This is also an album that grows on you with each listen. MARDRAGORA SCREAM delivers well in this album. Talented and artistic in creation.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Nightwish
2. Jeanne D’Arc
3. The Tree of Spells
4. Cryin’Clouds
5. Rainbow Seeker
6. Dark Lantern
7. Ghost of Swan
8. Blight Thrills
9. The Circus
10. Breakin’ Down
11. Lamia
12. Hekate En Erebos Phos
13. Medusa
14. The Devils Owns My Heart
15. In the Dark
16. Baby Blue
17. Spiritual Leadin’
Morgan  Lacroix – Vocals
Terry Horn – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Max Rivers – Bass
Furyo – Drums
Record Label: Music For The Masses


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Edited 23 March 2023

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