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Mind Key - Pulse For A Graveheart (CD)

Mind Key
Pulse For A Graveheart
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 11 July 2009, 3:24 PM

I think that the metalheads have -in some degree- lost their interest for the Progressive Metal scene. I also think that this is partly DREAM THEATER's fault who started over-working their music making them sound too complicated and hard-to-swallow even for the die-hard fans of this genre. By following this path, some of the bands started playing/writing music for the shake of just sounding complicated frequently tiring and eventually boring the hell out of the average (like myself) listener. But bands like MIND KEY still stay on-track and this is a light at the end of the tunnel. But let me explain myself.
MIND KEY then began the recording of the second album Pulse for a Graveheart, simplifying their songwriting. This statement comes from label's promo sheet -that I have to admit- brought a 'cunning' smile on my face since this is a saying that I was waiting to hear for a long time. The opening riff of Sunset Highway reveals some latest and heavy SYMPHONY X influences while early DREAM THEATER influences in the keyboard work show up. With this album the band introduces the new singer Elio Fierro Jr. who replaced Giorgio Adamo who left the lineup after the release of the live recorded DVD Habemus Poland. Fierro's voice fits the Progressive Metal sound like a glove having the right pitch that is not too high for my personal taste. His performance made me think of Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X) and Jorn Lande in the aggressive and the melodic parts, respectively. As it usually happens with the Frontiers Records releases Pulse For A Graveheart comes with an excellent sound production (the mixing was done Dennis Ward) that especially shines through the keyboard work. This work comprises nice melodies that often stick in your mind and keep a safe distance from the hard-to-follow and understand Progressive Metal structure.
The album becomes even more tempting due the guest appearances; Derek Sherinian adds a keyboard solo in Citizen of Greed while Reb Beach lays a guitar one in Now Until Forever. But the appearance that I enjoyed the most is EVERGREY's Tom Englund in Graveheart; this track literally explodes with this vocal duet and gains additional points towards the overall heaviness. I really love the guitar riff/solo that closes this song. Actually, the guitars are responsible for simplifying MIND KEY's songwriting. The guitar leads and fills and generally straightforward and often catchy making the music appealing to the unversed in the secrets of the die-hard Progressive Metal scene. Well, those guys can enjoy the nine minutes of the Satriani influenced song Now Until Forever that kicks in with guitar/piano Bluesy melodies, killer vocals and the fitting Jazz break near the end.
I am really happy that I liked this album because I kind of proved to myself that I do not hold any grudge against the Progressive Metal sound. The band is currently searching for a bass player so if you are interested pay a visit at the band's official MySpace page where you can also listen to tracks of the album in question.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Sunset Highway
The Seventh Seal
Citizen Of Greed
Crusted Memories
Dead Fame Hunter
Ventotene (The Island)
Graveheart
Eye Of A Stranger
Now Until Forever
A New Generation
Lineup:
Elio Fierro Jr.- Vocals
Dario de Cicco - Keyboards
Emanuele Colella - Guitars
Andrea Stipa - Drums
Raffaele Castaldo - Bass
Record Label: Frontiers Records
     


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