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Mindcrime – Checkmate The King

Mindcrime
Checkmate The King
by Dan Mailer at 16 October 2014, 12:17 PM

Italian heavy metal band MINDCRIME took their roots from being a QUEENSRYCHE covers band, and "Checkmate The King" is their debut release. Do they make the transition from covers to originals well, however?

Opening up with “Stormchild” we are introduced to the band with some nice clean guitar chords before slamming into some cool distorted power chords that build up with a very QUEENSRYCHE style main riff with a bit of a power metal tinge in places. The vocals actually don’t sound that much like Geoff Tate, which is a pleasant thing really as if they had decided to sound exactly like their namesake here it would have been a bit of a pointless exercise really. There are some Tate style moments here, especially in some harmonies but it doesn’t overpower the singer’s own style really. This song overall is a pretty solid opener to the album.

“Betrayed Him Again” follows this up with some hefty riffage and a nice groove to the rhythm section.  This is a nice mid-paced song with some cool guitar moments and a nice chorus. “Flying In The Wind” has a nice speed to it and feels really 80s on the whole, with some great guitar playing and an energetic feel overall.

The album offers a fair amount of good quality material, with tunes like “Life On The Run” providing some speedier headbanging moments and “Once Upon A Day” giving us more of a ballad with some nice acoustic guitars. “We Were Dreaming” is also quite a noteworthy track, with some more progressive metal moments with some interesting guitar chords meeting some nice songwriting.

The album ends on “You Always Believed In Me” which has lots of interesting dynamic moments in quite a well written song that ends the album well.

The production is probably the weak point for the album. Whilst it’s not actually bad, the guitars sound a little sharp and digital in places, with drums lacking in power and vocals that could have done with a little more work perhaps. The band’s performance shines through but it would be nice to hear it presented in a bit more of a polished format, especially if they hope to touch on material like that of their namesake.

"Checkmate The King" is a solid album, with some great guitar playing and a good sense of melody throughout.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Stormchild
2. Betrayed Him Again
3. Flying In The Wind
4. Until The Twilight Comes
5. Once Upon A Day
6. Life On The Run
7. Spell You’re Under
8. War In The Name Of Peace
9. Paths Paved With Gold
10. We Were Dreaming
11. You Always Believed In Me
Lineup:
Bruno Baudo – Vocals
Maurizio Taccioli - Guitar
Michele Serra - Guitar
Adriano "Renegadrian" Cilenti - Bass
Dario Cali' - Drums
Record Label: Red Cat Records
     


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