Mastermind - IV- Until Eternity

Year of Release: 1996
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 043
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:15:00

If Tragic Symphony, Mastermind's third work, was one of the band's warmest, they returned with Until Eternity, their coldest. The music is hard, furious and brutal, almost approaching an industrial feel at times. The playing has never been better, with Bill Berends swaying from an overuse of synth guitar and Brother Rich returning to a bombardistic approach on drums. There's also the use of other keys such as piano, though their use does nothing to soften the approach.

"Under The Wheels" and "Inferno", both virtual instrumentals start things off. From their titles, images of factories and industries are conjured, especially through the repetitive atonalities of the music. "Dreaming", a short vocal song follows. It's more in line with what Mastermind was doing previously. The desperation in the words draw attention to how Berends has matured as a lyricist over the years.

"The Tempest", track four, is Until Eternity's first epic of sorts. Nearly ten minutes, it combines the unique power-runs in Mastermind's sound, the bold brassy synth embellishments (making their first big appearance on the CD), and Berends all encompassing vocals. It's a great track whose power grows on you with each listen. "As It Is In Heaven" follows. It's a beautiful ballad with acoustic guitar and bongos! Again great lyrics, heartfelt singing, and a brooding melody.

"Jubilee" is another of the short, classically inspired bursts that Bill Berends throws in from time to time and it works perfectly here. Rich slams out a killer solo on his kit, and some shrieking synth ends things off. "Too Much To Ask For" comes next. After a short build, the song erupts into a vocal passage. This time around the melody is more atonal, cold, in keeping with the industrial feel of the album. While not one of the best vocal pieces by Mastermind, it has it's impact.

We close with the fourteen minute title track. Berends guitar starts things over sounding like a violin. Building like the music of minimalists Michael Nyman or Philip Glass, the music soon swells to a heavy, looming mid tempo rocker. The industrial sound is bigger than ever. There's some softer moments, with spacey textures, but "Until Eternity" basically rocks. After nearly thirteen minutes of bombardment, the CD ends with a quiet, cello-driven epilog. We left ravaged, cold, and waiting for more.

Bill Berends excellent song writing continues to improve. While Until Eternity does not compare to earlier works in terms of melody, it builds on the boys' precision and skill as musicians and lays the groundwork for the fusion-driven material to follow.

Released in Japan, with a bonus track, by Belle Antique (BA96224) and in the US by Prozone/Dutch East (PRO896-2).

Under The Wheels (6:45) / Inferno (4:00) / Dreaming (3:40) / The Tempest (9:30) / As It Is In Heaven (4:30) / Jubilee (4:00) / Too Much To Ask For (6:35) / Until Eternity (13:40)

Bill Berends - guitars, midi-guitar, vocal, bass
Rich Berends - drums & percussion
Phil Antolino - bass & midi-pedals (live)

Volume One (1990)
Volume Two: Brainstorm (1992)
Tragic Symphony (1994)
Until Eternity (1996)
Live In Tokyo (1997)
Excelsior! (1999)
Angel Of The Apocalypse (2000)
Prog, Fusion, Metal, Leather & Sweat (2000)
Broken (ep) (2005)
Insomnia (2010)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: June 1st 2000
Reviewer: Richard Zywotkiewicz

Artist website:
Hits: 2291
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]