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Mindwork - Cortex Award winner

Mindwork
Cortex
by Patrick McMahon at 15 February 2021, 1:49 AM

MINDWORK were founded in Prague in 2007, releasing two albums before they disbanded in 2013. Fortunately for us all they are back in ’21 with this fantastic EP release that promises to be an inspiring album. In their words, and to put it simply, this is a take on the classic era tech-death from the 90s. Their aim is to play the music that they sorely miss in today’s heavy music.

Beyond the Cortex is the intro track to this 17-minute experience. Short, driven by ambient noise and the piano. I believe this track is a well-placed buffer to relieve listeners of their busy state of mind and prepare them for the sonic decimation to follow. The soft and easy listening is no match for Depersonalized but I believe that is rather the point. Following in to the space left by the former, Depersonalized is a roller coaster of style and sound in many directions. The lead guitar screams quickly over a well ground out rhythm in to the vocalist’s scream, and just as quickly the entire track is brought down a notch in to beautiful timing play. Softer and pensive clean vocals carry us through two segments equally deserving of note. The entirety brings TesseracT to mind, both with its well delivered cleans and its mindful guitar bounce. The song quickly picks up in to a guitar solo and jumps back in to the heavy delivery that it started in. Every piece of this song has a belonging to the others that grabs my attention. The band was in touch with Bobby Koelble, a former member of the band DEATH, to lay down a guest solo for this track. An overall fantastic leap in to the new music.

Last Lie Told is slightly more subdued at first, and a very 90s feel as promised leading in to the real metal grit. The lyrics are driven by a story of a desperate citizen that has decided to deal with a deeply hated politician in his own way, totally relatable content. There are a lot of wonderful elements to this track, including rich and unique vocal lines and a super fat sounding lead guitar that is pure musical envy. The shred delivered in the solo segment of this track is also a joy to listen to. I think one of my favorite parts of this album this far is the finished production you don’t usually find in a self-release.  The album ends on a somber note, and with a voice against toxic personalities and their destructive influence. Grinding the Edges has personal legitimately written all over it. The track is sweet and gentle before grinding in to their own blend of heavy and catchy bounce. Hot and heavy chords pick up towards 2:30, marking a change in the piece for the end. The guitar takes over in a seriously screaming lead that moves from aggression to flowing melody. MINDWORK lets it be known that the vocoder at the end of the track is meant to pay homage to the beloved band CYNIC, and the late great Sean Malone and Sean Reinert.

MINDWORK proves with this trip that they are back in the fold of this fantastic metal niche, and it is welcome. The energy and innovation of this EP are hard to match. I would listen to what are essentially these three tracks all day, any day. The real beautiful intricacies that are laid throughout this work, including the respect paid to our metal family lost, make this a must have for the metal head.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Beyond the Cortex
2. Depersonalized
3. Last Lie Told
4. Grinding the Edges
Lineup:
Martin Schuster – Guitar / Vocals
Filip Kittnar - Drums
Jiri Rambousek – Solo Guitar
Dominik Vozobule - Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 05 March 2021
 

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