Mind Over Body

Written by: PP on 14/08/2007 18:57:56

One issue that's rarely paid enough attention to in today's era of digital music is packaging. When a reviewer receives more than just a mere plastic cover where the CD and the promo information has been slid in, it instantly raises the the chances of a good review, especially if it's by a band of which you have no previous knowledge. Bands take note here, Mindflow's new album "Mind Over Body" is packaged so well that upon just looking at the cover I'm ready to give this album a ten. It's packed into a beautiful box holder, which slides out a CD case that opens both left and right, completing the astonishing light-blue artwork on all sides, including on the actual disc. As if that wasn't good enough, inside you'll find a 23-page lyrics booklet filled with futuristic images and beautiful photography, as well as another 24-page photographic booklet which, according to the promo sheet (which is an A3-sized poster, by the way), captures the essence of each song through the artist's interpretation of the music. Did I mention it's astonishingly beautiful?

With a promotional copy as in-depth as this, you immediately have certain expectations to the album. It comes as no surprise that we are dealing with progressive rock here, as the artistic expression is in such big focus on the artwork. The same applies to the music as well. The average song length lies somewhere around the ten minute mark, so needless to say, epicism is central to the instrumentation on the album. The longest tracks are coincidentally also the best. The level of artistic expression is high enough to warrant comparisons to Pain Of Salvation, as the band floats from passage to passage effortlessly. The piano adds wonderful texture to the background, and the guitar craftsmanship is mind blowing to say the least. To contrast the symphonic passages, the band often uses heavy riffing and drumming to make things a bit more interesting.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the shorter songs, which more often than not are quiet ballads lead by the acoustic guitar. They are okay to listen to a few times, but somehow they feel slightly tame compared to the grandeur of a 15 minute monster like "Follow Your Instict". They just don't have the same level of individual musicianship nor as creative transitions.

Needless to say "Mind Over Body" has been a difficult album to review. It engages the listener fully into a complicated concept, and figuring it all out and understanding the various nuances of their sound is a task likely to keep the you interested for a long period of time. However, it still does not compare to classics by a band like Dream Theater. Why? It's hard to pinpoint a single issue, but what draws me to Dream Theater is their at times impossibly complex instrumental mastery, which has yet been finetuned to a friendly level to the listener. "Mind Over Body" lacks these moments, where you can stand in awe-inspiration over the instruments, while at the same time be impressed over the urgency of the composition. That's not to say Mindflow isn't capable of writing such passages, they just aren't as frequent as you might wish. Nevertheless, it's a monumental album, and if you're into progressive rock you shouldn't give it a miss.


Download: Upload-Spirit, Hellbitat
For the fans of: Pain Of Salvation, Dream Theater
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.07.2007
Nightmare Records / Heavencross
Provided by Gordeon Music

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