Review/Interview: Heráldica de Mandrake – Esto también pasará 8.7

  • Heráldica de Mandrake
  • Esto también pasará
  • Stoner Doom
  • Chile
  • October 18, 2019
  • 8.7/10

Bandcamp / Spotify / Facebook / Instagram / Metallum

This is one of those scenarios where you don’t understand Spanish but can identify enough words capable of setting a tone. Get ready for some psychedelic action from this Chilean doom trio that’s wet with distortion, I may have even heard an amp blow at some point – unless it’s a drum they’ve down tuned or a pedal effect. There’s a strange aspect to it that a lot of people would describe as “not music”, bordering on noise doom, but it works organically into the overall sound. It’s an interesting release made ever more so by its distinguishable album art created by the frontman Francisco Rivera (who offered some insight to the story behind their art as well as their anti-fascist stance, included at the end).

This will be a new sound to a lot of westerners and to up the ante even more, accompanying these dissonant and doomy sounds are lyrics focused around biblical and occulty lyrics. I’ve read some of it translated and it’s pretty ominous sounding stuff, definitely a trip. “Once you leave, far from here, everyone will call you mad, but when you cross the hills, their tongues will fall to pieces. Oh no, memento mori.” For one example conveniently translated for me in the promo package. Even though it’s 21-minute EP, it’s easy to talk about because it’s just interesting. Exotic perhaps.

The logo used by the band on social media, representing the albums lore and real life anti-fascism simultaneously.

The bass can be really pop-rocky at unexpected points, at one point it sounded like a System Of A Down song being played on bass while everything else churns chaotically. There’s plenty of accentuation to keep the momentum going – from pick scrapes to distinct hollow drum tones. The vocals are clean stoner vocals but taken just a bit further into doom than many vocalists would be comfortable with or capable of. The vocalist also holds back quite often, showing some respect to the composition itself.

Normally I would use “discourse” negatively, but I find myself enjoying every tangent this album goes on with its various little solos spread throughout including an engaging drum solo. Considering the short length, they manage to get a lot out of it. Overall this a worthy EP rivalling many of the albums I’ve heard from that general part of the globe this year. They have had a tape release for a prior album and it sold out, so I’m hoping they’ll have a tape run lined up for this release too.

Definitely don’t sleep on this intriguing bit of doom. A lot of creativity went into it and we should all be supporting more independent bands with this level of craftsmanship.

8.7

No hay caminos cortos a la libertad (No shortcuts to freedom), 2017
Esto también pasará (This too shall pass), releases October 18, 2019

Mini interview with Francisco Rivera (Guitar/Vocals/Artwork/Lyrics)

Carcassbomb: I see it’s the same or similar character from the previous release with the lizards on the cover. What inspirations and methods are behind these artworks?

Yes, there’s a direct relation between the artwork from “No hay caminos cortos a la libertad” (No shortcuts to freedom) and our recent work “Esto también pasará” (This too shall pass). As you may know, both albums are related through the chronicles of the lands of Mandrake. In our first album, Rumiyay (she who becomes stone) is manipulated by the race of snakes, the people that raised her, and when she realize that she’s just a puppet in the throne of the reign of Mandrake, she abandoned everything to wander far beyond the desert. The artwork for this album is Rumiyay in the center and three serpents around her. Each one of the serpents symbolizes the different faces that used to control Rumiyay: The Savior (when they rescued her from her curse) The Tempter (once they offered to her the throne of Mandrake) and The Betrayer (the real intentions that they had.) In the new EP, Rumiyay finds a small town and raises a child (Layqa) doomed by the rest of the people that fear him for his mental abilities. The kid grew strong but when he’s tortured by a crowd, he defends himself and kill some of them. He gets caught and is locked and tortured. So, the artwork this time shows Rumiyay suffering by the wounds that the inquisitors made on Layqa. This time  there are no serpents but there’s also three characters as a reminder of the “evil that people can do”. Also there’s a message of hope in this scene and it’s the name of the EP. This work is called “esto también pasará”, which means “this too shall pass”. if anyone is interested, please read the whole story behind this new material!

Francisco Rivera – Oct 10, 2019 via Email

CB: What is “Anti Imperium” referring to exactly and why do you use it instead of a conventional band logo?

Anti imperium means “against the government” and it’s referred to the kingdom of Mandrake when Kharasiri ruled with blood  and eventually how Rumiyay also did the same but, obviously, it’s a call to all the people that listens to our music to stay strong and say NO to any kind of oppression.

Francisco Rivera – Oct 10, 2019 via Email

Very eloquent responses. Anyone who wants a PDF with lyrics and other context giving information, they can be found in the Bandcamp zip files or ask me or the band for it directly.

Esto también pasará will be released on Friday October 18, 2019 via Bandcamp and Spotify.

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