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Mandragora Thuringia – Rex Silvarum

Mandragora Thuringia
Rex Silvarum
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 01 December 2022, 6:00 AM

From their EPK, “Rex Silvarum" offers everything the Folk Metal heart desires: hard guitar sounds paired with folk instruments create an intoxicating atmosphere between brute, metallic parts and danceable, driving bagpipe and accordion melodies. The whole thing is rounded off with epic keyboards, choirs or strings, which carry the emotions of the songs and spread goosebumps. The album contains 13 varied songs that tell stories of old days, tell of battles or invite you to drink.”

“Frühling” is a short instrumental introducing the album to the listener. Bright recorder notes combine with marching drums and vocals, leading to “Ausbruch.” It begins with powerful and regal tones, and harsh vocals, and those bagpipes really help to round out the sound nicely. The backing vocals sound a bit like SABATON to me. “Falkenflug” opens with a familiar Power Metal romp, with energetic riffing and harmonized vocals. Keys provide support in the background. “Sunufatarungo” features light instrumentation, like clean guitars, recorder and soft vocals, in the opening, and develops from there with meaty bass notes and edgy harmonized vocals.

The title track is the longest on the album, opening with more soft and fragile tones and some melodies from the guitar work. From there, a more powerful sound comes, with harsh vocals and thick backing elements. The vocals in the chorus give the sound an anthemic quality. “Amygdala” features Dom R. Crey. Delicate tones open the sound with ominous marching right around the corner. There are also some vocal harmonies in the chorus, but at this point, many of the songs have a similar sound to them. “Grunes Meer” is another song with a charming opening sequence, but you know the power is coming, and come it does. “Trollmelodie” reminds me of comrades drinking and toasting each other, celebrating a victory. If you listen carefully, you can hear their raised voices.

“Linde” features Robse Dahn. The vocals are punishing in this otherwise light and delicate sound, full with keys and other backing elements. The bagpipes are present just enough to notice them. The pretty and solemn “Herbst” closes the album, with piano notes and some backing vocals. It’s a very pretty and regal sound, and a nice closer. Overall, I very much enjoyed the rigorous sound of the album. The band are talented, and know how to fill in the gaps with enriched backing elements. My only critique is that many of the songs has a similar sound to them. Perhaps a few less tracks, or working to diversify their sound might help.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Frühling
2. Ausbruch
3. Falkenflug
4. Kreaturen der Nacht
5. Sunufatarungo
6. Rex Silvarum
7. Waldgeflüster
8. Amygdala (feat. Dom R. Crey)
9. Grünes Meer
10. Kriegerbarden
11. Trollmelodie
12. Linde (feat. Robert "Robse" Dahn)
13. Herbst
Andor Koppelin – Vocals
Erik Schröter – Guitars
Moritz Engler – Guitars
Julian Styles – Bass
Robert Grüning – Keyboards
Konrad Bogsch – Drums
Carlo Reiter – Bagpipes
Record Label: MDD Records


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