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Mindless Hope - Mental Truancy

Mindless Hope
Mental Truancy
by Andrew Harvey at 06 December 2022, 5:39 AM

These progressive metal musicians are called MINDLESS HOPE as they hail from the city of Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania. There are currently five members in the band as it stands with; MARK DAVID on the front with vocals, MATT GROSSE on lead guitars, ROB COVELLO on rhythm/lead guitar, FRANK NEILL on bass guitar and on drums is TRAVIS EBNER. They began with their origins going back to 2009 as their debut album titled VERBATIM in 2013 with a different lineup but featured MATT GROSSE on all instrumentation released in 2016. Their EP titled SPEECHLESS came in the next year of 2017 and had the same lineup as featured on their debut album. Now they embark on their next chapter in their musical expedition with their third album MENTAL TRUANCY with all the production credits going to MATT GROSSE as he plays all guitar/bass parts.

Vocals were sung by MARK DAVID and drums arranged by TRAVIS EBNER as he also co-produced the album with MARK DAVID. The album picks up with intro track “A Bleak Scenario” as revving guitar comes into the fore with drums punching through. Vocals are aggressive and electric guitar going wild yet hysterical. Let there be mayhem and chaos as all band unison lets it rip as we can hear hints of speed metal as well. The contrast of electric guitar picking it’s moment to reach higher notation against the rumbling accompaniment of drums, vocals and bass guitar. “F.Y.I” comes with the joys of blissful guitar riffs and dynamic vocals as we hear indications of a band who may sound similar to progressive bands like TOOLS or DREAM THEATER.

Subtle guitar picking and progressive drumming create the path to drums playing a slow crescendo on cymbals “Paradigm” was opening with similar ideas on guitar and vocals following each other. It’s sheer conviction as the track isn’t loud to begin with as there is much to like about this track, gripping sections with boomy drums plus glorious guitar and vocals. “Detachments” has acoustic guitar picking toned down instrumentation like a slow metal ballad. Then there is a jump back into business as usual as the progressive sound bursts in as demonic vocals prosper but cleaner vocals do appear also. A gradual crescendo on drums and guitar points back to the abomination of dirty vocals as we hear essences of the quieter parts of the intro repeating.

“Eugenics” has a short spoken word intro then marching drums and threatening drums as well as calm guitar riffs played through so far, drums bouncing on the usual double kick movements and vocals do vary in tempo. Electric guitar is its own time to show what it can do and other instruments also have their own space to blend together for a big showdown. Vocals has it’s opportunity to literally scream and portray feelings of anguish and pain but not physical more of a metaphor perhaps. Electric guitar is so angelic and then drums does certainly act as the time keeper, even bass guitar gets to have some recognition as drums do play more snappy patterns. Accented drum patterns do follow and then the track which lasts an amazing 17 minutes comes to a close.

“Passive Defiance” is a more denser track as far as drums are concerned as this 1 minute track is short enough and expresses the dynamics of electric guitar as we go into “The Blind Bleeding The Blind” as we hear more stunning notation from electric guitar. Drums does well to guide the track along the tempo it sets and then pulsates when it must be told, as other instrumentation also accompanies the drums. Vocals are of course so wise and on the right track of leading such a careful and planned out approach becoming flexible as it screams and whispers in a more nasal sounding tone. “Infinite Blue” is another 5 minute track starting with a sort of symphonic intro as drums cue the guitar and bass in as vocals create a more settled and less heavier passage of play, although the drums do quicken somewhat, the track remains pulled back and exposed for all instruments to show their true self.

“Close Proximity” also merely begins as the previous track did and then vocals rise up to offer us more heavier and deadly marks of disgust and dismay. The drums also compliments the rhythm of vocals as it accents uses it’s dynamics and control to pull this track onto much more enthusiastic tonal quality. Electric guitar also takes it’s turn in leading the colorisation of the track and accenting certain key moments in the track as it also goes up to 5 minutes like the previous track. “Suffer The Pain” as guitar picks it’s notes and has more of a experimental sound and tone is just superb as we also hear the second guitar coming in to the field of play. Drums treads lightly with snare and cymbals giving the track more confidence and certainly that vocals deliver such beauty as it’s notation is clear as day.

“Void” has a similar sound to the previous track more exposed and accurate as drums and guitar are very much the leading narrative of the track but then as before vocals hits the roof with intensive notation leaps. Drums again takes the experimental road as it flows nicely hitting all the different parts of the kits, as it seems improvise on the same rhythm. The contrast in vocals as it leads the transitions in tempo change and dynamic differences, even electric guitar becomes more dirtier and meaner too. Drums certainly supports this and vocals even has more of an echo and harmony or reverb effect to give this track fluidity. The track ends with those changes in tone as vocals do lead this and into the next track too which is also short enough. “Closing July” is a one and a half minute track where guitar and possibly keyboard accompaniment combine to bring drums into a more classic and old school rock sound that is more relaxed and chilled out.

The album ends on this note and well I am just surprised and I can safely say this isn’t your average progressive metal band, there are so much influences that come to mind which I mentioned already like bands including TOOL and DREAM THEATER do come to my mind. There are possibly jazz influences and maybe classic rock and operatic hints that do work out well and they are very played, the production side is very well done. I do want to hear more of this band and I will certainly be keeping an eye on these guys for what they come up with next.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. A Bleak Scenario
2. F.Y.I
3. Paradigm
4. Detachments
5. Eugenics
6. Passive Defiance
7. The Blind Bleeding The Blind
8. Infinite Blue
9. Close Proximity
10. Suffer The Pain
11. Void
12. Closing July
Lineup:
Mark David - Vocals
Matt Grosse - Lead Guitar
Rob Covello - Rhythm/Lead Guitar
Frank Neill - Bass Guitar
Travis Ebner - Drums
Record Label: Sliptrick Records
     


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