Mindgames - International Daylight

Year of Release: 2003
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:08:00

The world we live in at the moment is ruled by a few powerful people who try to make us believe that young kids who, out of thousands, were voted by "the public" as their idol are the super stars of today, and even before they have their first album out, they are treated like super stars. Fortunately a growing number of people are unplugging themselves of this matrix and enter the "desert of the real musicians." One of the bands who wander there are the Belgian proggers of Mindgames. Their debut album, International Daylight, is already out for quite a while, but it is only recently that I heard of them. And what I heard was very good!

The sound of Mindgames would by some be labelled as "neo-prog," probably as they do not sound as the founders of the progressive rock, but have created their own vision of progressive rock, where the melody and song structure play an important role. From the soft, acoustic ballad "Beggar's Breakfast," which excels in a simple but beautiful melody, to the complex epic "Selling The Moon," where changes in melody, tempo and lush instrumental parts, keep the song captivating. But even in the catchy "Mental Argue," Mindgame offers the listener high quality prog. What I like in this song are the acoustic instruments used, such as the cello, in the intro. Fortunately these instruments are used in several songs, adding flavour to music.

These independent bands are very important to the prog community. Of course, I, too, enjoy stellar releases such as the latest Ayreon, IQ or the Flower Kings. But I find these independent bands, such as Mindgames, bring a unique atmosphere in their albums. When I listen to the superb guitar play of Rudy Vender Veken, like the solo in "Factory Of Illusions" or the soft acoustic play of Bart Schram, whose voice is warm and pleasant to listen to, a bit in the vein of Bert Heerink (Kayak), I can dream away. The rhythm section, formed by Benny Petak (drums) and Eric Vandormael (bass), provides an solid foundation for the songs, but never dominate, yet the bass gives the sound a lot of warmth. Of course I will not forget the keys, by Tom Truyers, not just filling up the sound, although very often his play is a bit at the back of the songs, but if you listen to "An Approach To Mankind," you will hear how good he is, as the keys play an important role here.

I find it very hard to pick a favourite song of this album, as I like all of them. International Daylight is an album that I can play over and over again and still enjoy it. The production is good and the artwork gives it a bit of a 70s touch, just as the music does. The style of the artwork is a bit in the style of the old Genesis artwork, done by Paul Whitehead. Now, reading back, I think my review did not do the album the credit they deserve, but unfortunately I cannot write more than I did. So to do full credit to International Daylight, I can only urge you to listen to it and then buy it (but preferably the other way around :-). One of the better (neo) progressive rock albums that are around these days.

Similar bands: Casual Silence, Ullyses, For Absent Friends

Picked up by and re-issued the same year by Musea (FGBG 4490.AR)

[This review originally appeared June 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Mental Argue (5:02) / Factory Of Illusions (11:22) / Signs From The Sky (7:59) / Beggars Breakfast (2:35) / An Approach To Mankind (12:39) / Dreaming The Circus (9:08) / Selling The Moon (17:23

Eric Vandormael - bass
Rudy Vander Veken - lead guitar
Bart Schram - lead vocals and acoustic guitar
Benny Petak - drums and percussion
Tom Truyers - piano and synthesizers

Demo 1999 (1999)
International Daylight (2002)
Actors In A Play (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin BE

Added: December 5th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.mindgames.be
Hits: 853
Language: english


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