Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mindmaze – Resolve

Resolve” is the third full-length effort from American progressive power metal band Mindmaze. With 13 tracks spanning over 67 minutes, this album is a monolithic entity that covers a wide gamut of sounds and styles. The influences that drive this record are too varied to name, but certainly fans of any number of classic progressive bands (Savatage, Queensryche, Dream Theater, etc.) will be thrilled with this release. The complexity of this album is displayed as soon as it begins, with an epic instrumental, “Reverie”, kicking things off. It moves through a variety of moods and sounds, revealing that this will by a dynamic record. Perhaps more importantly, it also shows that the guitars will be at the forefront of the music, not allowing them to get lost underneath keyboards.

If it wasn’t obvious enough that Mindmaze’s roots lie in writing good riffs, “Fight The Future” opens with the most potent riffing of the entire album. This song is a direct throwback to any number of great USPM bands like Titan Force or Jag Panzer. It also marks the first of numerous instances where lead vocalist Sarah Teets displays her complete mastery of singing. She has an incredibly melodic voice, but avoids the opera-esque approach that a lot of modern bands take. Each of her vocal lines features power and majesty, again recalling singers of white-collar USPM groups. 

As the record progresses, it quickly becomes clear that each musician is at the top of their game. Whether it is the somewhat random, but awesome bass fills or the screaming guitar solos, there is a lot to enjoy on this record if you play an instrument. The band uses their skills to explore plenty of different styles, but ultimately, one of the record’s greatest strengths is also its biggest weakness. Simply put, “Resolve” is too much. It is long-winded and intricate. This is more of a fault of the style they play than Mindmaze’s product itself. It’s impossible to see a prog fan disliking this record, but it is definitely tiring for someone who prefers more straightforward music. Despite having heard this record numerous times, only a handful of tracks consistently stick out on each listen. Regardless though, there really isn’t a bad moment on here. It’s just a matter of trimming the fat to take this album to the next level!

Be sure to check out and like Mindmaze on Facebook!

"Fight The Future"
"Sign of Life"

Final Rating
3.8/5 or 76%. 

Written by Scott

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