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Mindwars - Sworn To Secrecy

Sworn To Secrecy
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 29 October 2016, 3:25 AM

Old School Thrash Metal is a dying breed and the metal scene could definitely use more of it.  MINDWARS' second album “Sworn To Secrecy” is an above average thrash album that fails to achieve greatness but it sure has fun trying. The opening title track fires right out of the gate and gives a nice slab of thrash.  However, much like most of the album, it is so straight forward in its dedication to its own sound that it gets very monotonous. A lot of the songs just sound the same and when they try to change it up, it brings the flow to a hard stop.  The aforementioned song features a great riff…and it never stops. For three and a half minutes we are treated to the same riff over and over again.  It does feature an excellent guitar solo about half way through, so fast that it would make SLAYER take notice but it just isn't enough glue to hold the song together.

The album continues the same way until the third track “LIES”, that has thrashy parts but it also has some mid paced moments that just don't quite fit. This song ruins the flow of the album very early on, especially when the very next song is right back to the thrash attack. “HELPLESS” is another good track that is killed by an awkward introduction that, again, kills the flow. The production is really bad as well.  I get wanting an old-school vibe but there are some weird static noises on some of the tracks and it really pulls you out of the songs.  The heavy-handed production also really drowns out of the vocals of Mike, which aren't great but I think could had benefited to being up front in the mix more.  Half the appeal of thrash is the barely competent vocalist just shouting and it is hard to hear this.  He sounds a little like Chuck Billy from TESTAMENT but without the range or random death growls.  However, he is very energetic and I, daresay, catchy.

The drums and bass are standouts, by Roby and Danny respectively,  providing a good low end that actually works with the production, giving the songs more heft than they would otherwise.  When the guitars really start to groove, the bass really holds up, providing a battering ram of power.  Roby is very powerful behind the kit, as any thrash drummer should be.  If you like snare and cymbals you'll really have a smile as you listen to him hammer in your skull like a champ. Mike really shines as a guitarist; he can go from Thrash to Groove in no time and his solos are fast, furious and to the point.    All in all, it is a good Thrash album that harkens back to the golden days of the genre but the bad production and annoying flow of some of the songs really bring it down. Once this band finds a balance between playing thrash and also introducing new elements, they will definitely deliver that thrasherpiece.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Sworn To Secrecy
2. Cradle To Grave
3. Lies
4. Twisted
5. Helpless
6. Scalp Bouny
7. Rest Now (For Tomorrow Comes)
8. No Voice
9. Prophecy
10. Release Me
11. Transporting
Mike Alvord – Guitar/Vocals
Roby Vitari – Drums
Danny “Z” Pizzi - Bass
Record Label: Punishment 18 Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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