Mandragoria are a primarily Italian gothic metal band in the same vein as Theatres des Vampires and Mandragora Scream, that being heavily influenced by the vampire myth. Though the band's begun in Italy in 1990, they currently contain members from England and France. Primary vocalist and songwriter Lord Mandragoria also maintains a solo side-project, called Vampir Gospel, releasing a single album in 2008, The Hallowed Halls. Vampir Gospel take their name and inspiration from Lord Mandragoria's self-written lyric book, which depicts various stories involving vampires. He has confirmed via the project's page that a new album will arrive in the near future.
Formation and first album
Mandragoria, originally called BloodBride, were formed in 1990 by Francesco Valdieri, Isabella Candelini, Andreasi Badoia, Vincente Valtora, and Christiano Moriato in Venice, Italy. The band were originally black metal, with Francesco being the primary vocalist and Isabella playing keyboards. They released one demo, Black Vial, officially as BloodBride. However in late 1990 Francesco reportedly had a change of style, and decided to adopt a heavy vampiric influence to the band. He adopted the name Lord Mandragoria, and Isabella followed suit with Mina, becoming the female vocalist. The band, now of a more gothic metal sound, released their first demo in early 1991, titled Mandragore, which would become their first album released on June 5th 1991 via Candelbra Records, produced by Juliano Crescetti.
1993 saw the released of Mandragoria's second album on February 12th, Bloody Nights. Still grounded in the vampire theme, it saw more development in Isabella Candelini (Mina)'s vocals, along with spoken passages from Lord Mandragoria, read from the self-written Vampir Gospel, from which he draws many inspirations from, stating it as part of the Mandragoria image. The band played their first tour in Italy and Greece, aptly titled The Bloody Stage Tour. This was successful in garnering the band a following in both countries.
The Dark Blood Desire
After 1993's Bloody Nights, Mandragoria returned to the studio in late 1994 to record their third album. The result was 1995's The Dark Blood Desire, released on August 20th. The album was more romantic, none the less darker, and saw more inclusions of words from the Vampir Gospel, as in Bloody Nights. The band's first Central European tour followed shortly after, and they played to several eager crowds, further growing their fanbase in Europe.
Death Is Never Final
After a successful tour across Central Europe, Mandragoria had managed to garner a large fanbase over the course of four years. 1996 saw their return to the studio, on the last album to feature Vincente Valtora and Christiano Moriato. On December 18th 1997, less than two years after The Dark Blood Desire, the band released Death Is Never Final.
The Danse Macabre
After their fourth album, Death Is Never Final in 1997, Mandragoria played across majority of Europe on the GraveKeep Tour, from December 1997-April 1998. Following the tour's end, Mandragoria returned to the studio for their fifth album, the first to feature French bassist Jean Christei and drummer Julien Lestat, along with the introduction of keyboards and occasional violin from ex-Nuadhán member Abigáil Gáth. When the band entered the studio in April of 1998, Lord Mandragoria recalled that their was tension, specifically from Vinctene Valtora and Christiano Moriato. After consulting with guitarist Andreasi Badoia and female vocalist Isabella Candelini, Mandragoria promptly parted ways with Valtora and Moriato, much to their anger. They found quick replacements in French bassist Jean Christei and drummer Julien Lestat, friends of Badoia's, and also recruited a keyboardist/violinist in ex-Nuadhán member Abigáil Gáth. The new line-up returned to the studio shortly after, and wrapped up recording in October 1998. In an interview with Gothic Central magazine, Lord Mandragoria commented that the album would be the first to feature proper keyboard passages and also show the talents of Christei and Lestat. The Danse Macabre was released on February 15th 1999 to much critical acclaim and fan support. The band embarked on their first tour with Christei, Lestat, and Gáth, called the Macabral Concerto, playing for the first time in the UK. They were supported by Van Helsing and Black Widow.
The Gothique Trilogy: Gothique I, Gothique II, and Gothique III
The band has released two of their most well-known and popular albums in the last 10 years, what has become known as the Gothique Trilogy, Gothique (2001), Gothique II (2005), and Gothique III, to be released in 2010. The stories followed in the trilogy are based off the story of Dracula. Gothique followed 1999's The Danse Macabre, and followed a story from the Vampir Gospel, following Lord Mandragoria and his conquest over Eastern Europe, portraying him as a Dark Age baron, much like Dracula. Gothique II was a continuation, released between 2003's Vampyria and the original Gothique, arriving in 2005. The story followed Mandragoria's desperate attempt to return his beloved to life, having to eventually resort to transforming here into a vampire. Mina (Isabella Candelini) portrays the bride. The band announced in 2009, following Nosferatu Operetta, that 2010 would see the third and final chapter of the Gothique Trilogy. The band has released little on the album and its background, but confirmed it would arrive in August, along with Vampire Gospel's second album.
Following 2001's Gothique, Mandragoria released a statement that a second album, titled "Gothique II" would follow. However this claim was denied when the band hit the studio in early 2002 and released the name of the new album, Vampyria. Lord Mandragoria spoke out amongst the confusion that the album following from Vampyria would be Gothique II, stating "we need some time to breath before the Gothique story continues". Vampyria was released on September 18th 2003 and the band embarked on the Vampiric Cult Tour across Europe.
- (1991) Mandragore
- (1993) Bloody Nights
- (1995) The Dark Blood Desire
- (1997) Death Is Never Final
- (1999) The Danse Macabre
- (2001) Gothique
- (2003) Vampyria
- (2005) Gothique II
- (2007) Queen of the Damned
- (2009) Nosferatu Operetta
- (2010) Gothique III
- (1990) Black Vial (as BloodBride)
- Current members
- Lord Mandragoria (Francesco Valdieri) - vocals (1990-present)
- Mina (Isabella Candelini) - female vocals, keyboards (1990-present)
- Andreasi Badoia - guitars (1990-present)
- Jean Christei - bass (1999-present)
- Julien Lestat - drums (1999-present)
- Abigáil Gáth - violin, keyboards (1999-present, ex-Nuadhán)
- Former members
- Vincente Valtora - bass (1990-1999)
- Christiano Moriato - drums (1990-1999)