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Mentalist – Empires Falling

Empires Falling
by Fred “Cage” Bonanno at 13 September 2022, 10:28 PM

Following the success of their debut album “Freedom of Speech” in 2020 and their chart-topping sophomore effort in 2021 “Journey into the Unknown”, the German/Swedish melodic metal band MENTALIST has their newest album set for release on September 16, 2022, on Pride and Joy records on CD as a 2-LP limited box set which will include an exclusive MENTALIST mascot plush toy and a tee-shirt. Can’t get that in your typical “happy meal”. With their sights set on continuing their impressive musical start in releasing these 13 tracks, energy driven, emulation of mid-80’s heavy metal era with dual guitars and brazen vocals. The band compares themselves to IRON MAIDEN, BLIND GUARDIAN, SYMPHONY X and HELLOWEEN. So, with my MENTALIST plush toy mascot snuggled at my side, let’s take a trip to the 80’s.

With a fairly generic opening sound, “Solution Revolution” starts with basic riffs and vocals that eventually deliver a nice smooth guitar solo that picks up the pace and tempo and turns out rather heavy. Very melodic intro of “Signs of Ragusa” before aggressive, pulsating guitar riffs and searing vocals, give an IRON MAIDEN feel and sound. The title track “Empires Falling” is an ambient start with symphonic hooks and deeper vocals paint a journey back in time adding pretty powerful dual guitar solos that bring a smoky sashay finish. Old school, classic 80’s metal sound with clean, rocking vocals and swift paced riffs and solos, this one had me thinking STYX, only problem was that the song lingered on causing it to lose steam and meander. Coming in with another IRON MAIDEN oriented feel with “Heavy Metal Leia”, speedy tempo with raw duo guitar riffs and cut-loose solos paired with precise harmonizing. On the bonus track, “Forbidden Fruits”, a somber sound, I guess I would classify as “hard/ballad” nice mixture of stinging guitar work, both riffs and solos, matched with silky smooth vocals, again, felt like STYX, but thank goodness, not Mr. Roboto era.

With Ex-BLIND GUARDIAN Thomen Stauch hitting the skins, and his trademark, thrashing double kick approach, we were destined to a mainline, predicable straight down 80’s metal sound and personality throughout the album, very nice classic metal riffs, and searing solos blended with cathartic vocals adding some traditional but tasty songwriting and pretty sharp album artwork.  There are several metal band comparisons spewed in this review, and that’s not a bad thing, take that as a back handed compliment. This is a good, hard rocking album that I will add to my playlist as I head bang with my new bestie, the plush toy mascot which I named “Rocky”.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability:  8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Solution Revolution
2. Stairs of Ragusa
3. Tears Within a Paradise
4. Empires Falling
5. If You Really Want
6. Columbus
7. Noah’s Ark
8. Generation’s Legacy
9. Heavy Metal Leia
10. Out of The Dark
11. Years of Slavery
12. Forbidden Fruits (Bonus track)
13. Bumblebee (Bonus track)
Peter Moog – guitars
Thomen Stauch – drums
Kai Stringer - guitars
Rob Lundgren – lead vocals
Florian Gertel – bass
Guest Musicians:
Oliver Palotal – keyboards
Mike LePond - bass
Record Label: Pride & Joy Music


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Edited 03 February 2023

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