Mind's Eye - 1994: The Afterglow review
|Album:||1994: The Afterglow|
|Release date:||April 2008|
01. Blind Justice
02. Castle Of Eternity
03. Red Storm Rising
04. Beyond Endurance
05. With These Eyes
07. Ending A Story
08. A Thousand Nights (After The Last Sundown)
+ Castle Of Eternity [video]
Mind's Eye has been a pretty big figure in Swedish Progressive Metal over the years. They've been around for 16 years at least anyway. They've released five full-length albums and this new album, "1994: The Afterglow" is their sixth. "Afterglow" was really their first album (or rather demo release), but was independently released at the time and was highly limited. The original promo/demo contained just four tracks but this re-release also includes an additional four tracks that were recorded around the same time but apparetly never released. These songs have all been re-mastered too so they sound better than they would in their original form. The album has new artwork too, done by our very own Monowasp! So let's find out what Mind's Eye were like back in the mid-90s.
Back in 1994 the ages of the band members of Mind's Eye ranged from 20 down to guitarist Johan Niemann who was only 15. So for a group of guys at that age, an album like this is fairly impressive. Each instrument or component of this album is really quite good. Germán Pascual's vocals are a little like Russell Allen's (Symphony X), so as you could imagine they're rather powerful and he holds his notes pretty well. Johan's guitar-work is technical enough an in a kind of unpredictable style so it fits the Progressive Metal method of the band. The drums and bass guitar are also more or less flaw-free. The problem I have found with The Afterglow is that all of the elements don't always come together so well. With the opening track "Blind Justice" for example, it starts out very promisingly with some clever low tuned riffing. The chorus though has stretched out overlapped vocals that don't seem to me, to match the guitar riffs all that well. The same occurs with the next song "Castle Of Eternity". The singing during the chorus is fairly drawn out and sounds alright but inappropriate when coupled with the guitar and drums. You could say that the vocals are a bit one dimensional at times, but thankfully they come together with the music better in later songs.
I think The Afterglow would be best appreciated by fans of Progressive Metal. People who enjoy a lot of Power Metal or just melodic stuff in general would possibly find some enjoyment here, but the way that it's not always linear and doesn't flow in a predictable way might take some getting used to for some. Apart from a few awkward moments though this isn't such a bad album, especially since it's a first album from what was a young band.
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