Trivial Act - Mindscape


Year of Release: 1997
Label: FaceFront
Catalog Number: FF 0002
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:32:00

Everyone knows that I am not a fan of technical prog metal, but that does not mean that I don't recognize and plug good "tech" bands when I hear them .... Bands like Mercury Rising, Spiral Architect, Manitou, and other great bands fall into this category..... When this disc was first released, I pretty much figured that this would not appeal to me after hearing the word "technical" being used here and there .....however, I know a lot of people were digging this band too. The promo disc showed up at my door one day (thank you), and I have some things to say about this disc.....

THE STYLE:

If I called this band strictly a technical prog metal band, I would be being fair in my judgement of the band .... while technical in nature, they have a lot of melodies going on in the music to keep it interesting. Pure technical bands tend to get boring fast to me, but this band has some nice, warm melodies swirling around the technical parts, and it is very interesting that a band can actually do this. Not only that, this band serves up those warm melodies without the use of keyboards, which is another plus. Normally, there are keyboards somewhere in the music to warm it up, but with this band, the melodies are created by guitars only, and it's quite a feat that they can not only accomplish this without guitars, but also manage to maintain some sense of technicality in their music, which I believe is their goal. Another plus for this band, is that I can't think of a band off the top of my head to compare them to. About the closest band I can hear in the music, is MAYBE a Pain of Salvation approach, but thats about it. This band stands on its own in "who do they sound like" category. The fact that they are a technical band puts them in a small category to start with. The music can get quite fast at times, but then slow at others. Not in the sense of speed metal, but whatever melody they happen to be playing at the time, can get quite fast at times, and then slow right down again at the blink of an eye. The songs average 6-8 minutes each, with the longest clocking in at 10:34. There are a lot of different things happening here, and fans of Pain of Salvation will appreciate what Trivial Act are trying to accomplish with their music.

THE PRODUCTION:

Very clear, punchy, and the vocals are right in your face. It almost sounds like this band went into the studio and cut this disc live, on the first take. There aren't many variations in the recording except for the main instruments, and vocals. NO effects, no keys, just music. An interesting approach, but again, this band stands on the strength of its music, not its atmosphere. There are two guitarists, and they do a great job of creating a nice, melodic sound to this technical approach. Bass, drums and singer. End of story. Every instrument is very clear in the mix, no one instrument is higher or lower, the mix is very equal in all areas. Nice recording, especially if you like it raw and in your face with little or no effects added to the recording.

THE VOCALS:

A very clear, mid-range singer with a pleasant voice. I am guessing that the band is Norweigan. I can't tell from the Promo Insert, but the singer has a familiar Norwegian tone to his voice. I am sure that I am at least near the country of origin. [They're Norweigan -ed.] The singer pretty much stays within his vocal range, opting to leave it to create a few yells and growls here and there throughout the music. Nothing to detract from the music, as he doesn't do this often. His voice is much more pleasing when he stays within his range and doesn't yell. His harmonies are very pleasing as well. Like the Pain if Salvation singer, he chooses to get a bit growly or gritty when he yells, and even on one song this singer chooses to use a voice processor which seems to be the trend as of late. Not bad, if you like that sort of effect and sound.

THE COMMENTS:

This is one of those "different" discs that a lot of people are always on the lookout for. They have their own style, their own sound, and an interesting melodic approach to an otherwise technical style. Technical prog metal fans will love this disc, no doubt, especially those that love the Pain of Salvation approach to their music. It is never the same, always changing, and you have to really work to keep up with what these guys are trying to do with their music. This is not a disc for everyone.... it is not an easy disc to listen to, but it is very interesting in its own right. This will definitely appeal to the fans who are really into the technical side of music, and like to hear guitarists doing their "thing" in a different way. I actually find myself liking it for what it is.... again, I am not a big fan of this style of music, but this band does it well enough to keep me interested and not bore me to death like a lot of "pure" technical metal bands. Check this out if you want something different.

Also released by Fandango (TKCF-45026) in Japan, with bonus tracks (as listed below), making total time 69:31


Tracklisting:
Mindscape (8:04) / Dream Dwell - Part I (6:50) / Rainbow Valley (5:23) / Forbidden Eye (5:02) / E.P. (7:07) / Vanish (10:36) / Crossing Bridges (5:45) / Dream Dwell - Part II (6:46) / Bonus Tracks: Under The Sun (8:11) / Change (5:47)

Musicians:
Kim Isaksen - vocals
H?kon Salvesen - guitars
Bj?rn Andreassen - guitars
Svend Ole Heggedal - bass
Erik Wroldsen - drums

Discography:
Mindscape (1997)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NO

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Hits: 664
Language: english

  

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