I have only heard of the name of this individual not the music or any photos of what Mandy looked like. From the front cover of the CD, you can tell that he enjoys being mysterious. He has the black hat covering half of his face and a trench coat that drags to the floor. Just who is this man? All I can say is that he is a vocalist from hell. “Rise“ is a straight up Metal track that comes off sounding a little bit like CATHEDRAL with the low tuned guitars that are juiced up to the max and has the groove of a BLACK LABEL SOCIETY track. The drums are heavy and get slammed mercilessly. Now, mix that with Mandy's gritty vocals sounding like Chris Boltendahl from GRAVE DIGGER and a little bit like Lee Dorian from CATHEDRAL. Wow! What a mix if you ask me. The track is dark, but catchy like a virus and the guitar solo also rocks out as well.
We lose the British Doom vibe on “Walk With Me“ and go for more Metal mixed with Blues. It works here despite the song being dark. The song is packed with plenty of memorable groovy riffs and you can shake your head to it as well. Mandy's dark and evil ways combined with plenty of screaming continue with “The Last Days Of The Empire Of Ignorance.“ The grooves are still there, but the track is a slower paced on “Let The Flesh Rule The Mind.“ It's not as catchy as the first few tracks, but it's still heavy. You could skip this track because it slows things down way too much. This is a monkey wrench if you ask me. Things pick up once again with “Fighting For The Earth“, but it takes a little while with an opening sounding like a closing track. You have to hear it. It's odd the way that the track was composed. But soon after, the grooves and heaviness are back on track in a simple 4/4 beat. This mid-paced track is raw, evil and heavy. There is plenty of low-end bass and guitar solos that will melt your ears.
Once again, things kind of come to grinding halt with this slow, sluggish and boring ballad “Garden Of Stone”. There is some groove and bite to it, but that is really only during the chorus. The track literally drags on way too long and it's boring. Stick to the faster paced songs packed with groove and catchy riffs. I have always said this and will continue to say it again. To write a good that is memorable is hard to do. Not everyone is able to do it. Some of my favourite bands fall flat on their ass like EDGUY when it comes to producing one. Mandy Lion is no exception. Leave the ballads alone and stick to the heavy shit. We get into Power Metal mode toward the end of the disc with “Lord Of This World.“ The gritty vocals work with the double bass drumming and tough as nails guitar riffs. The song still has a certain catch to it, but isn't as groovy as the other half of the disc. This is more straight up Metal, German style.
The title track rounds out the CD. It's slow, but one of the better slower tracks. It's very moody, slow and evil, but works much better than the other two slow tracks on the CD. If you would like to call them bonus tracks, you get “Walk With Me“ and “Let The Flesh Rule The Mind“ remixed with electronic elements. These remixes suck and should have been left out of the disc. This CD isn't bad, but it seems to get a little repetitive after a while. I would have rated this Cd higher, but the two so called ballads knocked it down considerably. I guess that's what the skip button is for. I do like the production on here because it has more of a raw feel and it works perfect with Mandy's voice and music. If you are looking for evil music that isn't Black Metal or Death Metal, then you may want to sink your teeth into this one. (Online July 23, 2004)