Mandrake - _The Balance of Blue_
(Greyfall, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (6.5 out of 10)
Upbeat, female-fronted melodic metal a la Within Temptation is what Mandrake offer on _The Balance of Blue_: angelic vocals, synth work, rhythm guitar and steady drumming. There's also the occasional touch of cello to give the whole thing some extra polish, and both clean and growled male vocals surface once in a while. The album is decently produced and the band are quite good at what they do. Their music comes across as quite enthusiastic and lively, and clearly there's a significant amount of work in each song. Having said that, there's nothing either particularly brilliant or mediocre going on; the whole thing comes across as well executed, but derivative. There clearly is some considerable skill in this band, so hopefully next time around they will be able to come up with a more distinctive effort. For the time being, _The Balance of Blue_ should be quite able to please avid fans of the genre, but not much else.

(article published 10/3/2005)

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