CD Review

Mandrel – “The Terrible”

By Marcus Pan

The TerriblePrior to this submission, I hadn't realized I was a "prisoner of a blanched society," but that's cool I guess. I also learn that this CD, which seems to be called The Terrible by Mandrel...or maybe Mandrel the Terrible by somebady else...is quite infamous which is also interesting. The artist himself claims little musical background. Into horror movies "that make ya think," The Terrible was created on a philosophical bent. Dark ambient, minimal but interesting, there's more thought put into this than some of the add-tons-of-bleeps brigade.

The evil laughter in the background of the slow moving keyboard dirge Death evokes much fright and certainly can scare some people more than the most blatant attempts of on-screen gore just from the illusions it creates alone. For a basement recording it has a surprising fidelity and professional feel. Reading further on the press kit we come to see that this is the next installment of Forbidden To Know's(1) work. During that review you read how some of the Obscurity release contained "personal stuff that I assume is interesting to Forbidden..." and probably not to most because it only involved his head. This time...he's trying to get into ours, and has done quite well.

Emid continues the darkness for nearly ten minutes. The voices are garbled to a point where they're almost discernible – and you sometimes think you have figured it out, none of it pleasant, but you're never sure so you draw your own conclusions in your own head at least until you read through the well made press kit. The Terrible gets darker as you move along...keyboards getting more surreal, voices getting doomier and the elevator to Hell out of which this Muzak of the damned plays takes you lower. By the longest 15-minute plus Forests, I get a Blair Witch feeling and the CD takes a definite soundtrack style vying for Halloween placement with Midnight Syndicate(2).

Definitely creepy and discernibly dark. The deep rumbling and garbled voices make this CD what it is...a nightmare of sorts, while leaving you wondering what kind. It's nice to see Forbidden To Know, or Mandrel, or whatever name comes next has turned his hand towards making the sounds spilling out of his(er) head more meaningful to us rather than just oblique references in his own mind. It's nice when someone with a mind this creative has as much panache to attack our own as well. Makes for an interesting piece of music.

Contact Information:
Philip E.Veins
Post: PO Box 81, Hampton, CT, 06247, USA
Web: www.geocities.com/forbbidentoknow
(1) Forbidden to Know’s Obscurity CD was reviewed in Legends #149.
(2) The latest from these Halloween masters, The 13th Hour, was just released and the review hasn’t run yet.