Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 6/29/2004
posted on 6/2004 By:
Mindgrinder play sort of a...well, I don't know, death metal, sure. Conventional? Not really. There's a small amount of black metal influence, some classic groovy death metal, industrial samples of sorts...all played at a pretty medium pace. Being able to thrive at this tempo and keep the listener's attention isn't exactly the easiest thing, but they manage to throw you a few curves to keep you intrigued. I don't know, I hate how much I reference this band, but they sound like goddamn Morbid Angel. But not one specific era, mind you. The riffing for the most part remains straightforward, but even amongst all the simplicity, I hear a fair amount of Altars of Madness as well as Formulas Fatal to the Flesh. Particularly in a lot of the guitarwork, which just slices through the song to make a ten second dent of manic tapping and shredding every so often. Mindgrinder switch it up enough to avoid being labeled as Morbid Angel clones, but the influence is undeniable at times. Like on the fairly direct track, "War Solution", which just comes across as aggressive and classic, but still retains the outrageous soloing. But hey, it's completely welcome as they're actually able to pull off that kind of playing. In any case, don't expect Mindtech to sound like the Morbid Angel album you've been waiting to hear. It doesn't.
The only real noteworthy fact about Mindgrinder that may attract a few people is that Cosmocrator, who does the vocal work on the album, has also worked with bands like Zyklon and Windir. But no, he doesnt sound a thing like he did in Windir, favoring a low and intelligible growl the majority of the time. Still, other vocal styles make an entrance from time to time, including layered higher pitched growls, a few inhuman screams, and a truly horrible clean-sung chorus on "Starspawned Vision", an otherwise good track. The real problem lies within the fact that these vocals only appear once, in the middle of the album, leaving me baffled as to what the hell they thought they were doing.
When I wrote down my initial thoughts about Mindtech, I was going to complain about the drum machine. Then I realized it's not a drum machine. There's actually someone out there willing to pound out these steady beats for such a long duration. My respect goes out to this man - known simply as "Dan". It must be hard being Dan, always being compared to your fellow bandmates - Cosmocrator, Titan, and Nitrous. But, Dan is a fine drummer and certainly plays an integral role in Mindgrinder.
However, what they're unable to pull off are the subtle industrial influences they've got going on. The band goes about them in the same way Fear Factory used to (machine sounds and such), however, they're used really infrequently. They don't incorporate them regularly so often times when you hear one of them come in, you have to remind yourself that this is supposed to be some sort of industrial influenced act. These guys should either go all out in that direction or just drop it altogether. Personally, I'd love to see them continue more closely on that path, as I really think they're capable of nailing it.
Either that, or they need to just switch entirely to the sound of the track, "Fire & Equanimity", which has this fucking amazing Edge of Sanity sound which almost brings tears to my eyes.
It's a unique listen. I guess. I say that really reluctantly, but it is. Somehow. This album is relatively old, so I can only hope that Mindgrinder's progressed a bit since its authoring. If they can focus on creating a more streamlined vision, don't be surprised if these guys end up making quite a ruckus in the future. Until then though, you might want to hold off a bit on Mindtech and take a listen to some of the samples on their site.
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