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Mandragora - Waves of Steel

Waves of Steel
by Bradley Karr at 19 January 2018, 7:46 AM

MANDRAGORA is a traditional heavy metal band from Peru/South America. The band was formed back in 2007 by bassist Jorge Mandragora, and the rest of the band soon followed. The band has put out a demo, an EP, and compilation album, “Waves of Steel” is the band’s first full length album. The band describes their music as Old-School Heavy Metal in the vein of SAXON, IRON MAIDEN, & ACCEPT. “Waves of Steel” the title track of the album begins very atmospheric with storm sound effects overlaid over an omniscient guitar riff, with minimal drums. Fatima’s voice comes in spoken word style. It is a very interesting start to the album, unlike anything other song that follows. This track isn’t very long a nice teaser to get you started with the album.

“Siren” kicks in with a good cadence of guitars and drums. When the vocals come in you get a sense of the sound this band is trying to convey. The traditional feel is there, and it does harken back to bands like IRON MAIDEN. Unfortunately, there are times when the vocals don’t seem to come over as nice as the music. Several times when Fatima is singing it seems like the recording doesn’t capture her voice correctly and distorts. This happens several times during this track. “Hell Night” kicks in with that traditional flair of the other songs. However, the music arrangement is varied enough that it doesn’t become stale. The vocals don’t distort out as bad in this song, but the volume and intensity are more subdued. MANDRAGORA offers up a nice guitar solo to split the song up and it shows you what this band is capable of musically.

By the time I get to “Abraxier” I am really digging the bands sound. The traditional sound with female vocals isn’t done that much in the genre so it is refreshing. This song is easily my favorite on the album the vocals and the music meld great together, the song is more subdued but still hits with the guitar riffs. The song does experience some of the same problems vocally as the rest of the album, but it isn’t as noticeable. “Abraxier” gives you a taste of what this band’s sound will be if they up their production value just a little. The band ends with the track “Someone”  that gives you a taste of the pipes Fatima has. The scream that opens the song is a nice traditional metal scream, that doesn’t distort out. The song overall is a very solid close to a very descent album.

Overall, I enjoyed the album “Waves of Steel”, but I could tell that the production was lacking in places. Most notably with the vocals, which is sad because I think Fatima has a lot to offer. Many times, in the songs the vocals distorted out, and didn’t meld as nicely with the music. There were many shining moments in the album as I discussed before. I think this band will be a driving force in South American metal, and I am anxious to see their next outing with a little more production value put towards their album.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Waves of Steel
2.Dead Souls
3. Siren
4. Hell Night
5. Demon Owl
6. Abraxier
7. Planet of the Silver Crown
8. Steel Metal
9. Someone
Fatima Natthammer – Vocals
Jorge Mandragora – Bass
Herman Roll – Guitars
Paulo Roquet – Bass
Abel Rios – Drums
Record Label: Inferno Records


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