|Review: Mandator - Initial Velocity|
Label: Disaster Records
Year released: 1988
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: March 31, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 4.1/5 (82%) (10 Votes)
Well I'll be damned... It's been a good week for me in discovering some old thrash gems. After SDI, here's another band I had no idea existed and, once again, I wish I had run into their stuff sooner. Mandator hail (well, hailed) from The Netherlands and "Initial Velocity" is made-up of a lot of the 80s thrash titans' influences, namely Kreator, Megadeth and Metallica (although in this case, it's more from their speed metal period - RTL/MOP), along with more straightforward "classic" heavy metal sounds. Somehow Mandator managed to take all this stuff and mix it into something coherent and extremely enjoyable. There are some melodic "quiet" moments, not unlike those found on "Ride The Lightning" and "Master Of Puppets", and like in those two landmark albums, they are pretty well used to set the proper mood for the overall dark and aggressive atmosphere of the album. I could say that the most memorable riffs are reminiscent of early Megadeth and early Metallica, but isn't that like simply saying that it seems Dave Mustaine was a great influence on Mandator's guitarists? :) I sure got my "riff fix" with this album, going from speedy, razorblade-like take-no-prisoner riffs to more intricate, more melodious guitar work - and let's not forget some very entertaining solos. Frankly, after several listens I still don't get bored, and have not found what I could consider even a remotely boring track. This is just one album of great music.
The singer is a better vocalist than those of any of the aforementioned bands - he's not a guitarist who sings because they couldn't find a proper singer. While he does sing some parts in a thrashy style like "the other guys" and sometimes the influence is unmistakable, he does show more "real singer"-like abilities - be it in the more melodic parts or in the very surprising moment on the six track (Evil Dead) where he does an OK imitation of... King Diamond! :) Couple that with a good number of thrash intonations and this guy comes out as pretty versatile.
All in all, quite a fine piece of speed/thrash that gathers some of the best elements of the time. A nice addition to any metalhead's collection.
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