Nearly 30 years removed from the heyday of German thrash, the legendary country continues to pump out young denim jacket-clad thrashers with incredible ease. The next such example is Mynded, a 4-piece group formed a few years ago. “Dead End Paradise” is their first full-length record, and comes on the heels of an EP released in early 2013. This album has everything a thrash fan could want: riffs that will cause permanent memory loss inside your skull, technical playing that showcases incredible talent without being overbearing, and even a few great songs. One example of where all of these elements combine is the opening track, “Kill or Be Killed” (which is far superior to the similarly named band). The song pounds along furiously, while incorporating heavier thrash breakdowns into the chorus with no difficulties.
The ability to seamlessly change the feel of a song by adjusting the drumbeats is something Mynded does quite often. In fact, the band could actually benefit from simplifying the drumming a little bit and utilizing more of the standard kick-snare-kick-snare beat that is so prevalent in thrash. This beat is obviously common on the record (after all, it is thrash), but its appearance is always welcomed. To be fair, most of your attention on this record will likely be focused on the guitars. When Mynded’s guitarists aren’t delivering serious riffage, they’re likely working in tandem to provide killer harmonies. The first time this becomes particularly noticeable is in “Humanity Faded Away”, which has a very Maiden-inspired section in the middle. As if that weren’t good enough, the band goes and does something similar on “Overthrow”, but with significantly more speed.
Being from Germany, one might expect Mynded’s vocal approach to be more on the brutal side; however, the band’s singer is a far cry from the screams of Mille or the shrieks of Schmier. Instead, he goes for a more subdued approach. On the one hand, he is by no means a virtuosic singer, and is not meant to compete with Joey Belladonna. On the other, his voice lacks the true visceral sound of the aforementioned German singers. The outcome is something that tries to be aggressive, but with an inescapable sense of melody. Though he doesn’t sound like Matt Drake (Evile) or James Hetfield, these singers would be appropriate comparisons. While his voice is good, it feels like he's on the edge of his potential without hitting it yet. The best is yet to come for Mynded's singer.
Overall, “Dead End Paradise” is an admirable effort. The band knows what they do well, and that is playing relatively fast-paced thrash metal with a few hints of melody. Mynded doesn’t experiment a lot, nor do they often leave their comfort zone, but the result is a record that is both well composed and very enjoyable. While it would be nice to see them up the intensity of the music even further, one can’t fault them for adding a bit of variety to an often one-dimensional subgenre of metal.
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"Kill Or Be Killed"
"Humanity Faded Away"
3.9/5 or 78%.
Written by Scott