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Mindfar – Prophet of the Astral Gods

Mindfar
Prophet of the Astral Gods
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 13 March 2021, 10:19 AM

MINDFAR is the metal opera project from the composer and guitarist Armando De Angelis, whose goal is to combine his love for music, literature and cinema to create a place where every sound has a story and every story has a sound. “Prophet of the Astral Gods” is their second album. It’s an original story between sci-fi and historical fiction about evolution of humanity with an amazing international cast of vocalists. The album contains twelve tracks.

“Civilization Gift” leads off the album. It’s a two-minute, somber affair with Symphonic elements, and an air of something regal. Twin guitars bring on the harmonies. “Keeper of your Destiny” begins with a Power Metal type sound. The vocals are backed with thick harmonies, but the production is just a bit on the thin side. Better production could really elevate the sound here. “The Eye of Ra” is over seven-minutes in length. It begins with an Eastern instrument that I am unfamiliar with. I feel bad for saying anything constructive about the album because as you can see, a lot went into the making of the album. But so far, it is fairly flat for me.

“Heroes and Wonders” opens with some keyboards and organ notes. From there, more of that Power Metal sound comes into play, with galloping drums and guitars. Soft, charming melodies develop in the chorus, along with rich vocal harmonies. The album is getting a little better for me. “One Prophet” is a 13-minute opus, that begins with some bass guitar notes, some brass and light drumming. Lead guitars take over, then some emotional vocals come into play, with charming piano notes. Around the half-way mark, it turns a different direction. Coming back around to a new melody line, the changes are just a bit hard to follow for me.

“Sent from the Stars” begins with chugging bass and guitars, with Symphonic elements in support. I hate to say it, but some of the tracks blend together with a similar sound. It straddles the fence between hope and despair. “Walls” begins with clean, somber vocals, and a different vocalist? His baritone voice is quite warm and alluring. In comes the guitars and vocal harmonies. Some poignant moments also develop. “Beyond the Edge of the World” is a short, well done acoustical song, with expressive vocals. A little more of this sound would really make me happy.

“Revolution” opens with an operatic female voice, with backing male vocals. This is an example of what I am talking about…talented musicians but odd chord progressions, and there is this “cheesy” aspect to the songwriting that is hard not to comment on. “Rhapsodia” begins with strings that are very well done. A lot of thought went into this little number. “Spirits of War” opens with slow moving guitar harmonies and then settles into a groove, with symphonic elements. The vocals are full on here, in upper ranges and with plenty of burly melodies. “Ascended to Divinity” closes the album. It begins with sad, but hopeful vocals. Another mid-tempo song however muddies the album as a whole. Before the half-way mark, a new sound comes in, and female leads carry the latter half of the song.

Let’s start with the positives here. The band and all supporting members are quite talented. You can tell that they poured their blood, sweat and tears into the album here. What the album lacks mostly however is dynamism, and some rather raw sounding production. Good Progressive music should leave an indelible mark on the listener, with strong, full choruses that linger in your memory for some time. This album just didn’t do that for me. I hold a lot of respect for the band and the cast they put together, but the album just didn’t tickle my fancy in the way that I had hoped for.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Civilization Gift
2. Keeper of your Destiny
3. The Eye of Ra
4. Heroes and Wonders
5. One Prophet
6. Sent from the Stars
7. Walls
8. Beyond the Edge of the World
9. Revolution
10. Rapsodia
11. Spirits of War
12. Ascended to Divinity
Lineup:
Armando De Angelis – All Instruments
Vincenzo Mottola – Lyrics

Guest Musicians:

Alex Mele – Guitars
Alessandro Battini – Keyboards
Manuele Di Ascenzo – Drums
Andrea De Paoli – Keyboards
Gianluca Carlini – Guitars
Micael Branno – Bass
Ignacio Rodriguez – Vocals
Claudia Beltrame – Vocals
Anders Sköld – Vocals
Guido Macaione – Vocals
Tom-Vidar Salangli – Vocals
Record Label: Underground Symphony Records
     


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