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Mindsplit - Charred Human Art Of Existence Award winner

Charred Human Art Of Existence
by Mike Novak at 07 October 2010, 7:10 PM

I cannot tell whether it is because I am getting older and more experienced with the Metal genre, or whether there is a genuine and substantial drop in quality, but either way I find that I am discovering fewer and fewer “new” bands in any of my favorite genres that I really enjoy. As far as Thrash goes, there are maybe several good bands out of the dozens of retro-thrash bands that have been popping up. Doom bands have been leaning more towards the Stoner side of the spectrum as opposed to the likes of CANDLEMASS. And I would not even have to talk about how bad modern progressive metal has been, except that the band that I am currently reviewing considers themselves prog-Metal, and rightly so.

MINDSPLIT came together in 2010, although vocalist H.B. Anderson and guitarist Mathias Holm have supposedly been writing together for this album since 2003. The concept behind this album is actually pretty interesting, being based off of the writings of Anderson’s great-great-grandfather about the therapy sessions he conducted in the early 1800’s. This is the Swedish band’s first album together, but it does not appear to be a one-off collaboration.

Charred Human Art of Existence” (or C.H.A.O.S. for short) is a bipolar album that on one side is made up of complex Prog epics and on the other has shorter, more laid back tracks that are mostly acoustic that, while functioning almost as interludes, can act as standalone songs. The two creative minds behind this project (Anderson and Holm) also service as the focal points throughout. Both have a unique style despite this being the first I have heard from either.

Anderson admittedly does not have the accessibility that the greats like Jorn or Russell Allen have, but he does a solid job, and strangely enough, for the second half of the album I think he sounds a tad like Tom Englund of EVERGREY. Holm is an absolute beast, whether it is playing technical rhythm parts or shredding mind-bending solos. His guitar work is the main ingredient that justifies the sometimes seemingly excessive song lengths.

One of my favorites is the 12:30-long “Silhouettes,” along with the best example of progressive metal done right: “Presence of Time.” “Inside the Heart of Silence” starts out with a deceptively calm beginning before it builds up to a satisfying conclusion. Granted, the bipolar nature (short quiet songs mixed with heavy, complex epics) will be a lot of some to handle. This, along with the hour-and-fifteen-minute run-time, makes for an album that is sometimes difficult to listen to in one sitting. Even though many of the songs, especially the longer ones, hold up well on their own, this is an album that is meant to be listened to as a whole.

“C.H.A.O.S.” is an album that is certainly not for everyone. The complexity and length will certainly scare off those looking for a quick musical fix. However, for those who appreciate their music deep, well-thought out and intricate, MINDSPLIT has created an album for you. A true diamond in the rough.

4 Star Rating

  1. Prologue - The Awakening
  2. Silhouettes
  3. The Traveller
  4. Presence Of Time
  5. …elsewhere?
  6. Inside The Heart Of Silence
  7. Battle Of The Mind
  8. Visual Minds - The Eternal Flame
  9. NMe - Myself & I
  10. Through The Eyes Of A Child
  11. A Room With Thousand Doors
  12. A Purpose Of Circumstance
  13. Abandoned Echoes
  14. Epilogue - The Imaginary End
H.B. Anderson – Vocals
Mathias Holm – Guitar
Conny Payne – Bass
Jon Skäre – Drums
Jonas Lidström – Keyboards
Record Label: Lion Music


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Edited 26 November 2022

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