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Mindless Sinner - Poltergeist Award winner

Mindless Sinner
Poltergeist
by Rachel Montgomery at 21 January 2020, 3:40 AM

MINDLESS SINNER is a Swedish metal band debuting their sixth album, “Poltergiest”. All five band members have been playing together since the 1980s, and they certainly bring that style into their music. However, they also add in thematic and progressive elements, keeping their music fresh. While I prefer the second half of the album, the entire album is solid as a whole.

The opening track, “Poltergeist”, employs early 80s styling and an uplifting melody. The ambiance is reminiscent of the early 80s films of the same name, especially the static TV. From there, we’re rocketed into a galloping, high-pitched riff with choir elements and the full band. The singing is stylized, but shows the singer is skilled at staying on pitch and projecting. The chorus has a good hook that stays with you after the song has ended, playing through to the end to accomplish this.

The album as a whole is very 1980s and honestly, the album stands out thematically and progressively as the album goes on. There are a few notable songs in the beginning, but most them sound like every other traditional Heavy Metal band. There are even a few flaws; on “World Of Madness”, I heard some straining in the singer’s upper register. It wasn’t too noticeable and it was only there in a couple parts (it’s a common problem among singers). The song itself is solid, it’s just very traditional and doesn’t stand out from the rest of its genre.

“Valkyrie”, the third track, breaks away from the first couple tracks’ overtly traditional style by bringing lyrical theming in. It opens with some high-pitched arpeggio chords which are traditional sounding, but it employs a unique waltz tempo that’s really apparent in the chorus. It’s still one of the earlier tracks, which are solid, but don’t break away from the traditional format too much. The ballad, “Road To Nowhere”, is steady, beginning with some soft, broken chords. The vocals shine here. Again, the chorus is a hook that stays with you after the song ends. As the song goes on, it becomes more bombastic, employing intense harmonies and a cutting riff from the guitar and the bass. The vocals soar. The guitar solo has a unique composition that stands out and also carries a unique melody during the final chorus and the outro.

After the ballad, the tracks become more unique and heavier, utilizing lower notes and grittier riffs. In “The Rise And The Fall”, the soaring vocals juxtapose the lower melody from the guitars beautifully. The solo has its own composition and again, soars above the lower melody and stands on its own. “Altar Of The King” is another thematic album with an anthemic, pounding drums and a rocking beat that’s amazing to bang your head to. The harmonies between the riff and the vocal track make the song soar. The vocals are at their most operatic on this track, and they sound spot-on throughout. Closing track, “Roll The Dice”, brings the album back to its traditional sound, but preserves the lower riffs and galloping, thematic elements. As a closer, it’s an energetic song that leaves you where it began: on an upbeat note that brings the album full circle.

The album as a whole blends thematic elements with traditional stylings. They get better as the songs progress, but overall, it’s a solid album that shows great musicianship and production. If you’re a fan of traditional metal with some swashbuckling viking flavors thrown in, this is the perfect album for you.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Poltergeist
2. Heavy Metal Mayhem
3. Valkyrie
4. World Of Madness
5. Road To Nowhere
6. Rewind Future
7. The Rise And The Fall
8. Hammer Of Thor
9. Altar Of Kings
10. Roll The Dice
Lineup:
Christer Göransson – Vocals
Magnus Danneblad – Guitars
Jerker Edman – Guitars
Christer Carlson – Bass
Tommy Viktorsson – Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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