Sunday, December 23, 2012


MindGrinder - MindTech
Nocturnal Art Productions, 2004
Genre: Death Metal

1. Repulsive Evolution
2. Regeneration
3. War Solution
4. Deception
5. Starspawned Vision
6. Human Error
7. Fire & Equinamity
8. Sadistic Images
9. Surviving Gadzooks
10. Soul Inferno

The reason I first took notice of this band is because of Cosmocrater.  I met him at the Milwaukee Metalfest in 2001 when he was playing session bass for Zyklon.  Typically things related to Zyklon turn out to be very good.  So needless to say I picked up the MindGrinder album, more off of a whim than from hearing samples as I usually do.  Well, initial reaction to this album was “this is fucking awesome.”  My assessment that things usually related to Zyklon turn out quite good stands true.  Well, things related to Zyklon and Myrkskog, since half of Myrkskog is in Zyklon.

Obviously I wasn’t looking for a Zyklon clone, because then I wouldn’t have thought this was as good.  However, it does sort of have a similar guitar tone to “World ov Worms,” but that’s where the similarity really ends.  “MindTech” has a very interesting approach because some of the chord structuring I could see coming from Black Metal, but the song pace typically feels out of Doom Metal because it is slower than I would’ve expected.  The vocal aspects and guitar tone come right out of Death Metal in my opinion.  Other aspects of the guitar technique come right out of Thrash Metal, for good measure.  Needless to say, the end product is a very strange blend of metal.  While for those of you who are seeking the most intense music on the planet will not find that with “MindTech,” but I honestly think this album could be appreciated by just about any metal fan out there.  It has such a broad spectrum of music, it’s really tough to try and describe this album. 

The major stand out aspect of this album has to probably be the vocal performance for me.  Don’t get me wrong, the guitar work is great and very impressive, but it’s nothing overly technical or extremely different.  However, the vocal arrangements that accompany the guitar lines probably make the guitars sound ten times better.  This is just because you appreciate the arrangement of the music so much more for some reason.  The vocal arrangements make the guitar lines so much catchier that I can’t help but be impressed.  Honestly, I think this is some of the best vocal layering I’ve heard. With “MindTech” Cosmocrater layered a greater portion of the vocal lines.  This in turn made accent points so much more powerful for the listener, especially since he would sometimes add extra layering for those parts.  The biggest vocal surprise I got on this album was on “Starspwaned Vision” because of the clean vocals.  They were just so unexpected by track five that it sort of caught me off guard when they went into them.  However, they sounded great and I sort of wished they would switch it up on a couple other songs.  Granted I personally don’t want a whole album of clean vocals because Cosmocrater’s vocal strength is in a more Death Metal aspect and arrangement.  Now lyrically MindGrinder doesn’t seem to adhere to any major concept.  In fact the lyrics seem to just be cool for the sake of sounding cool.  I’m not sure if they hold any personal meaning for the musicians, but for me, I can’t really identify with any of the material written.

An interesting aspect of this album is that all the drum lines are programmed.  Now before you immediately close this review and decide to never get this album based on that fact, let me tell you they came out exceptionally well.  Even my drummer couldn’t tell the drums were programmed at first.  The only way you can really tell on this album is if you listen to the hi-hat at certain sections.  The ride doesn’t sound too bad, but you can still tell it is fake.  Usually those two cymbals are a dead give away for programmed drums, but MindGrinder managed to choose excellent samples for their production process.  With all the triggering done nowadays the actual drums, snare, bass and toms, can barely be deciphered as being programmed.

Overall this is an incredible release and I would highly recommend this to anyone.  I’m not sure what more I can say about this album, since all the stand out aspects are more based on the fact that they took influence from a lot of areas and improved upon them.  My favorite tracks on this album are “Fire & Equanimity” and “Surviving Gadzooks.”  Granted “Surviving Gadzook” is a rather silly title for a song, but it has one of the best vocal lines during the chorus or possibly pre-chorus section.  Not to mention that vocal part is backed up with one of the cooler guitar lines I’ve ever actually heard.  Needless to say, I think this is a must hear album.

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