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Mind's Eye - A Work Of Art

Artist: Mind's Eye
Title: A Work Of Art
Label: Rising Sun 312.5004.2
Length(s): 65 minutes
Year(s) of release: 2002
Month of review: [05/2002]

Line up

Andreas Novak - vocals
Fredrik Grunberger - guitars
Johan Niemann - bass
Daniel Flores - drums, keys

Tracks

1) Prologue - Lullaby 0.50
2) Courage Within 5.54
3) A Moment Of Honor 4.52
4) Roll The Dice 4.26
5) Room With A View 1.57 MP3 or RealAudio
6) Shallow Water 4.50
7) My Kindred Soul 6.09
8) The Shape Of Salvation 6.14
9) These Open Arms 5.56
10) An Eye For And Eye 5.20
11) Hands Of Time 6.27
12) Your World 5.08
13) Epilogue - Domino 7.11

Summary

Swedes Mind's Eye describe themselves as being a progressive band, but I would say they're a bit heavy for that, not sharp enough to be prog metal, though. Aside from this there are some mild influences of American pomprock like Magnum made in the eighties and some regular pop as well (which is more or less consistent with the range of bands they name as influences). After releasing a demo as well as two full CDs in the past, this is their third full album (also available with their second in a double CD version 312.5005.2).

The music

Courage Within starts in what very sounds like a Spock's Beard way, especially in build up, except that the guitars are a bit stronger. After the start up this influence withers to give way to a prog metal track with a strong melody with riffy guitaring.

A Moment Of Honor has a gentler feel to it, largely due to the use of acoustic, next to electric guitar, although the harmonies do help as well. Once again a song well-crafted, with all imstruments working together at great effect.

Roll The Dice has the feeling of a ballad, being quite laid back and gentle, but also because of its traditional verse-chorus-bridge build up. It steers away from getting sappy though, making it a pretty good, although non striking track.

The Room With A View is in a hospital, in which the protagonist has landed after the car crash featured at the start of the track. This a slow piano vocal track with a rather intimate feel.

Shallow Water again shows the harmonies supporting a strong melody. This is a strong melody with a compelling twist in it.

My Kindred Soul features a vocal melody supported by friendly keys, giving it a laid back feel. The uncoming of guitar and the somewhat slick rounding give this track a bit of a poppy feel. Not a bad track, but not all that interesting either.

The Shape Of Salvation is a bit of a power rock track. With flashy and spacy keys and guitars, which unfortunately overshadow the strong melody of the track. The acoustic ending of the track has something of a coda that could just as well have been a separate track.

These Open Arms is the kind of track in which he's trying to win her back after slipping up. Despite this seedy set up, they manage to come up with a track that has all the integrity necessary to salvage the subject and come up with a strong enough song, albeit not exactly very original.

An Eye or An Eye is yet another melodic heavy prog track, showing what has been shown before, but Hands Of Time leaves me quite indifferent, being somewhat riffy and with a weakish melody.

Your World features a strong melody once again, with a piped organ, reminiscent of Lana Lane's works. The vocals sounded somewhat husky at the beginning. Although somewhat slick once again, this track comes across pretty good. Especially the twist in the bridge comes across nicely.

Conclusion

Mind's Eye seem to have made it a goal to combine strong melodies with a well integrated performance. They do well at this in the first six tracks, but then the glibness of the harmonies and slickness of the keys unfortunately tend to introduce a certain tackiness, which is shooed not before the penultimate track. Not all that apparent and more often gone than present, but the songs just don't come across as strong in this middle part.

This album isn't exactly ground breaking, but a string of melodic heavy prog tracks with some nice intermezzos makes it both accessible and quite pleasing. A Work Of Art is of relevance to a wider range of music fans than progheads.


© Roberto Lambooy