Mandragora Scream is through its last release Volturna somehow showing originality with its strong - though not always as dark as it sounds like it craves to be - female vocals and its twisted mood.
To me, Volturna is in the direct continuity of their 2001 release Fairy Tales from Hell's Cave; as 3 albums separate these, it is easy to see the differences between their first album and Volturna as a focusing effort on a gothic level. This technoed vulture metal reeks of Cradle of Filth (Midian) and sometimes newer Satyricon, to draw some innocent analogies.
Mandragora Scream creates a lot of electronical artifacts that drape their auditive ground. Both the arrangements and the compositions are easy to catch one's attention; if not always perfectly performed yet, the band sounds very confident within their genre, which is a big achievement as many are the ones who never succeed at showing a credible face to their audience.
The cover of Cher's ''Bang Bang (My Baby shot me down)'', far better than Cher's, has an OK piano arrangement; still it didn't work here at all! Far too cold, far too sterile! It couldn't be easy when the standard for this song has been set by Nancy Sinatra, could it?
I am otherwise mediumly compelled by this genre, but can see the use of Mandragora Scream's music in some artistic contexts. The way I see it, had the band broadcasted their music at some alternative dance manifestations or used dancers in their videos, their expression could come forth stronger.