“Power Metal Tribute: Judicator’s Electrifying Spin on Barry Manilow’s ‘Mandy’”

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Review by Paul Brown

American power metal maestros Judicator have unveiled a bold rendition of Barry Manilow’s classic “Mandy,” accompanied by a striking crimson-hued music video. This captivating track, recorded alongside their recent album “The Majesty of Decay” (Prosthetic Records), stands as a grand farewell to departed band members Balmore Lemus and drummer Jordy Elcess, both prominently featured in the video.

Vocalist John Yelland offers insights into the essence of “Mandy,” merging the heartfelt tones of Manilow’s 1978 hit with the haunting atmosphere from Panos Cosmatos’ 2018 film of the same name. Yelland draws parallels between the song’s sentiment and the relationship depicted between Red (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) in the movie, finding emotional resonance despite differing lyrical contexts.

While Judicator is renowned for its historical themes across seven albums since its 2012 inception, spanning topics from Napoleon Bonaparte to Byzantine general Belisarius and delving into weighty subjects like cancer, relationships, and mortality, “Mandy” seamlessly aligns with their signature heavy metal style. Its ability to both comfort and stir listeners into a sing-along frenzy showcases the band’s musical prowess.

The single’s artwork takes a departure from their usual high-definition visuals, opting for a more raw and low-fi approach. Captured during the music video’s filming, thematic snapshots reminiscent of the film “Mandy” embellish the final product, featuring iconic elements like a chainsaw and a pyramid of Cheddar Goblin mac & cheese boxes.

Whether a newcomer to Judicator’s sonic realm or a seasoned fan, their brand of experimental power metal is bound to captivate. Drawing comparisons to bands such as Blind Guardian, Scanner, and Iron Savior, Judicator crafts an immersive experience tailored for aficionados of the genre.

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