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Mindless Sinner – Master of Evil

Mindless Sinner
Master of Evil
by Mark Machlay at 15 December 2020, 7:30 AM

Pure classic heavy metal band MINDLESS SINNER started way back in 1981 out of Linkoping, Sweden and is notable for having the only lineup change occur before releasing any material. After gaining reputation playing around their hometown, the band scored a record deal with Web Records/Fingerprint in 1983 that resulted in their 1984 EP “Master of Evil” and full-length album “Turn on the Power” in 1986. They changed their name to simply MINDLESS in 1987 after their label dropped them and teamed up with local record label Delta to release the album “Missin’ Pieces” in 1989 with lead single “Heaven Will Know” giving them enough clout to tour around Sweden to promote the album. Unfortunately, internal turmoil within the band was brewing and they broke up at the end of 1990.

The band reunited over a decade later to celebrate their 20th anniversary, playing a gig at a club in November 2001, earning them a spot at the Motala Metal Festival in 2002. While they did disband after the show, they re-released expanded versions of “Master of Evil”, “Turn on the Power” and “Missin’ Pieces” in 2003, making them available on CD for the first time. Another decade later, the band was asked to celebrate their 30th anniversary at the Swedish festival Muskelrock 2014 which gained them enough attention to go on a small European tour. This fueled their creative juices enough to create new music with 2015’s “The New Messiah” and 2020’s “Poltergeist”, still going to this day.

Now, closing in on their 40th anniversary as a band, the group is re-releasing “Master of Evil” once again to show how it all started. Originally, the EP only featured the first four tracks but five more demoes that were recorded back in 1983 were included in this package. The iconic cover features the first glimpses of what would become something of a mascot – dubbed by the band as “Mr. Evil Guy” – who is absent from their other 80s albums but returns with 2015’s “The New Messiah”. The record company actually made the cover for the album and the band was dismayed because they did not see the cover until it was released, initially thinking it looked awful. The band relates, “When we decided to get together again as a band, we thought this Mr. Evil-guy, as we call him, should be our mascot. You know, like “Eddie” is for IRON MAIDEN or “The Pumpkin is for HELLOWEEN. So yeah, in the end the whole thing turned out better than we first thought.”

Overall, the quality of the recording is the main thing I judge when a band re-releases a record. Back in the 80s, bands had access to a lot fewer resources than they do nowadays and that has to be factored in. That being said, it’s obvious the initial recordings were a bit rough. All the instruments seem to be mixed at the same volume which obstructs the vocals significantly, making it sound as if it was recorded in a garage. Aside from the quality, the band had some strong NWOBHM, American Heavy Metal, DIO and Scandinavian Metal vibes. Opener “Broken Freedom” is a strong NWOBHM with strong guitar hooks, followed by the faster “Key of Fortune” in which vocalist Christer Goransson would shine if he weren’t constantly buried by the production. The title track “Master of Evil” is the true diamond here, starting ominously but turns into a classic heavy metal banger with hooks galore. Of the demos, my favorite is “City Games” which, if released widely in the 80s, could have been an easy hit for the band. Honestly, I miss a lot about the music of 80s and wish more bands and music like this would get recognition, but I certainly don’t miss the garbage production and this re-release did just enough to pique my interest into checking out the rest of the band’s catalog.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Broken Freedom
2. Key of Fortune
3. Master of Evil
4. Screaming for Mercy
5. Mindless Sinner (Demo ‘83)
6. Higher and Higher (Demo ’83)
7. We All Go Back (Demo ’83)
8. Heavy Metal Never Die (Demo ’83)
9. City Games (Demo ’83)
Lineup:
Christer Goransson – Vocals
Magnus Danneblad – Lead Guitar
Jerker Edman – Lead Guitar
Anders Karlsson – Bass
Tommy Johansson – Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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