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Mental Care Foundation - III

Mental Care Foundation
by Andrew Harvey at 02 August 2022, 5:50 AM

A four man band from the west coast city of Kokkola in Finland as they were very much inspired by the likes of PANTERA, SLAYER and TESTAMENT. So of course this four piece band known as MENTAL CARE FOUNDATION took on a combined thrash/groove metal as they came together in 2003. They began a demo release titled PROMO including four tracks but then two years later they would release their debut full length album titled ALCOHOL ANTHEMS in 2005. Followed up by their second consecutive album next year titled HAIR OF THE DOG. Another demo release came that same year titled THE HOLY BASTARDS including six tracks but then the band became less active for a few years.

The lineup in this band actually hasn’t changed as we have; LANCE LAWRENCE THRUSTER on vocals, ANTTI HOKKALA on guitars, PASI KAUPPINEN on bass guitar and finally drummer LAURI BEXAR. The singer and bassist come from bands like KLINGENBERG SYNDROME, SILENT VOICES, SONATA ARCTICA and both are ex-members of REQUIEM. Whereas the guitarist and drummer are from WINTERBORN nevertheless they have their third album III released in May earlier this year. This opens with “Zombie” as thunder claps, sirens and sound effects are heard before vicious guitar swiftly moves to the beating heart of thrashing drums.

Vocals grunt and grind with lyrical content as guitar bends with vibrato and thrills us with glowing harmonics. Fast paced drums as guitar shoots quick beats alongside to take us into “Watch The Water Rise” is off with glam rock guitar as drums stamp down with bass support. This track, well certainly with vocals is very much the thrash classic signature that thrash fans want to hear. Electric guitar gives off firing notation as vocals emphasises the track title before the next track drums near. “Burn It Down” has a gradual crescendo of instrumental intuition as drums come and go before a breakdown with a full band unison. Vocals do have the higher authority and guitar has the drive of leading the other instruments into battle as drums take a quick solo. Guitar also does the same we’re now into the next track which is “Escape” bouncing off drum patterns.

There is more precision here and the bass guitar has its chance to become more present in the mix. Drum patterns vary along the way but then keep a steady tempo as its more consistent further along the projection is clear. Vocals contribute when the time is right as the backbeat remains strong. The next track is “The Vengeance” which features a guest appearance by Finnish guitarist ELIAS VILJANEN who has a solo project but played also in SONATA ARCTICA and KLINGENBERG SYNDROME. The tracks are more carefully thought out and each instrument has their spot, as electric guitar and bass guitar join forces with drums to build a nice intro.

Vocals come in halfway as other instruments submit themselves to the fury as the track which is “Until The End”. Slowing down now with electric guitar as it leads the vocals to the fore with a more grunge and psychedelic rock feel in drums and guitar. Electric guitar has its moment but now going into the next track which is “Hate Youraelf”. Back to basics of heavy bass lines as vocals set the bar high with drums in the back. Vocals are on the defense and stab through like a sharp knife, a straight pause gives guitar a moment for solo work. Into the next track “Shot & Beer” with great vocal lines to start with a garage rock guitar and intro almost styled like a typical LED ZEPPELIN track.

Switching between vocals and other instruments then altogether but vocals is reserved to allow guitar or drums to become more prominent “Blind” with that thrash sound even though the track is more settled back with tempo however guitar and drums make it sound better. “Aiming For You” featuring TIMO KAUPPINEN is actually a quick and firey track with pelting drums and pulsating guitars that are throbbing as well. This ends the album on a high and well a very good album too I feel this thrash/groove metal sound is very impressive. The band certainly drew inspiration from the all time great thrash bands and it has paid off.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Zombie
2. Watch The Water Rise
3. Burn It Down
4. Escape
5. The Vengeance (ft. Elias Viljanen)
6. Until The End
7. Hate Yourself
8. Shot & Beer
9. Blind
10. Aiming For You
Lance Lawrence Thruster - Vocals
Antti Hokokala - Guitars
Pasi Kauppinen - Bass Guitars
Lauri Bexar - Drums
Record Label: Reaper Entertainment


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