Mindflow – With Bare Hands

Mindflow is a slick melodic metal band from Brazil that first caught my ear with ‘Mind Over Body’. Sounding close in sound to the band Pain of Salvation, the band may not have had the most original sound in progressive metal, but they executed the sound with passion and power all the same. As the band has gone on, their sound has certainly drifted increasingly towards a more accessible side of metal, and now at the point of their fifth studio album ‘With Bare Hands’, Mindflow has drifted almost completely to melodic, rather than progressive sounds in metal. This is not to say that the technicality has been completely abolished, but it is clear that the band is becoming deadset on a more conventional rock song format. ‘With Bare Hands’ may meet some unsteady ears from the progressive community as a result, but all things considered, the band offers some strong songwriting with this record. At the same time though, there are some issues which can make the album less powerful than it could have been.

As I thought originally with ‘Mind Over Body’, Mindflow takes quite a bit from the progressive metal giants Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation, possibly leaning a little more to the latter. Many bands are driven by the sounds of their influences in progressive metal, and Mindflow is no exception to this. It would have been nice to here a little more originality from the band though, and to a minor extent, Mindflow is developing a more steady sound for themselves. When compared to ‘Mind Over Body’ (arguably their best album still), the less proggy sound takes the band away from the Pain of Salvation comparisons, but does not make them any more original sounding. Instead, here the band sounds like quite a few modern hard rock bands, with the neoclassical Dream Theater riffs and Daniel Gildenlow- sounding voice to go along with it. Mindflow is still developing more of an identity for themselves however, although the more simple approach they take here is admittedly less impressive.

Although the songs are generally conventionally structured, they are well written. The vocalist here has a beautifully melodic voice that can also get aggressive when it needs to. There is not such a great variety to the music, but the songs all hold some memorable ideas going on for them. There is a dark vibe to these deeply melodic compositions, and a crisp sound to the whole thing makes it easy on the ears. One thing that I would have liked to see with Mindflow however is a more organic style of production. The drums here sound too dry, and the guitars sound triggered and far too polished, robbing the performance of some of its humanity. Luckily, the guitar solos here are incredible, and when the band gets technical, these issues fade and I find myself very impressed by what Mindflow have to offer.

‘With Bare Hands’ is another development for this band, and while the band may not have yet developed a truly distinct sound for themselves, Mindflow have established themselves in my mind as a remarkably capable act; be it for powerful melodies, crisp production or great musical skills, Mindflow hold their own very nicely, although there are still better albums of similar style that I would likely recommend sooner than this.

Tracklist:

1. Break Me Out
2. Reset the Future
3. Breakthrough
4. Walking Tall
5. With Bare Hands
6. Corrupted
7. Under an Alias
8. Shuffle up and Deal
9. Lethal
10. Thrust into this Game
11. The Ride
12. Destructive Device
13. Instinct
14. Fragile State of Peace

Line-up:

* Ricardo Winandy – bass
* Rafael Pensado – drums, percussion, vocals
* Rodrigo Hidalgo – guitars, vocals
* Danilo Herbert – vocals

Links:

http://www.mindflow.com.br/

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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