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Monster Magnet – Mastermind

Monster Magnet
by Maria Voutiriadou at 23 October 2010, 11:10 PM

Finally, the mighty “Bullgod” put on his silver uniform and returned! Yeah baby, Dave and ‘his bros’ are here, so away from the grave and so close to our hungry hearts that we are ready to groove with them once again. Three years were enough after the dark, foreboding and ‘numb’ “4-Way Diablo” release and it was about time for a ‘mastermind’ to be created. I know that many malign mouths spoke so soon already, connoting that MONSTER MAGNET have lost a lot of their past’s glow, but I can surely tell you that’s b-u-l-l-s-h-i-t! The enormous MAGNET is alive and spits one more time hallucinogen riffs from the earlier days of the band, but with a more mature vision, you could say.

“Mastermind” is a classic MONSTER MAGNET album. It’s not their best work though, but still remains true and faithful to their main beliefs. I would be a damn ass if I expected a brand new “Dopes To Infinity” or a supernaturally groovier “Powertrip”, instead of the continue from the point that they ‘abandoned the ship’ (or took a break from ‘the party’, if you prefer), rating “4-Way Diablo” as a rehabilitation-album. On “Mastermind” you’ll find a much more aggressive sound that is a huge welcoming throwback to the earlier days of the band. “Hallucination Bomb” is the appropriate opener for the die-hard MONSTER MAGNET fans with Wyndorf’s vocals being rabid and powerful, while the guitars lay the groove down, reminding me a lot of “Dopes To Infinity”. Next, you’re gonna find the party-animal mood of “Bored With Sorcery” (so MM track) and the space-y “Dig That Hole” with that characteristic, blast off bass line (that we are used to) and the incredible Dave’s reading. The upcoming “Gods And Punks” comes to calm down a little our stiff necks and the first 16 minutes of the albums are successfully placed in history.

So far, so good folks. But what we have next? Well, the dream-like intro of “The Titan Who Cried Like A Baby” opens the second chapter of “Mastermind”, reminding us “Baby Götterdämmerung” from the past, but the evolution is here and waiting for you to listen closely; the low and heavy bass strings give flesh and bones to the silver, by this time “Bullgod” who passed through iron and fire and became stronger and lofty. The self-titled track of the album is next and I could say this is the lost track of “Superjudge” in a way, having all that wicked massiveness inside, due to the solid guitars. “100 Million Miles” and “Perish In Fire” are not something you haven’t listened to before; these two fit perfectly to the entire groovy mood of the album, till “Time Machine” comes right after them, able to disturb the placidity of your mind with the catchy guitar main theme. Now, I’m wondering what it would be like if the album ended right here. I guess that’s something will never know…

“When The Plane Falls From The Sky” carries a heavy rock vibe and again, Wyndorf makes his magic with his vocals that seem to fit like a glove with the song title and that is about falling. “Ghost Story” is another one trippy, space rock experience, based to MONSTER MAGNET’s past, but unfortunately, has a weak refrain that doesn’t fit at all. I can’t imagine why they have chosen to include this one and ruin the perfection of the finishing line. Unluckily, the same happens with “All Outta Nothing”, too; while this one seems to get back to MONSTER MAGNET’s roots, something doesn’t feel right. All I have to do now is spin the entire album from the beginning one more time, skipping the last two weak spots that I’m sure will be the main reason of misjudging “Mastermind”.

I have to admit that I loved “Mastermind” for the very first listening, accepting the weaknesses too, even if it’s not MONSTER MAGNET’s greatest release. I’m so happy that their tough moments belong to the past and I must reveal that I have still in my closet locked the previous and mediocre (in my opinion) “4-Way Diablo”, trying so hard to forget it, pretending it never existed. If that one deserved the label of the ‘month’s choice’ as a recommended come-back from many die-hard fans (took a ‘6’ from me), “Mastermind” deserves much more, making a step forward.

3 Star Rating

  1. Hallucination Bomb
  2. Bored With Sorcery
  3. Dig That Hole
  4. Gods and Punks
  5. The Titan Who Cried Like A Baby
  6. Mastermind
  7. 100 Million Miles
  8. Perish In Fire
  9. Time Machine
  10. When The Plane Falls From The Sky
  11. Ghost Story
  12. All Outta Nothin
Dave Wyndorf - Vocals, Guitar
Ed Mundell - Lead Guitar
Phil Caivano - Guitar
Jim Baglino - Bass
Bob Pantella - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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Edited 02 December 2022

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