Mastermind - Angels Of The Apocalypse

Year of Release: 2000
Label: InsideOut Music America
Catalog Number: IOMACD 2010
Format: CD
Total Time: 68:12:00

Not having been too much into Mastermind of old, I was surprised when many people suggested that I would love their new disc. Having total respect for the musical ability of the Berends brothers, I questioned the credibility of those who said this disc would be up my alley, especially having seen them live and knew what they were about. Grabbing a hold of the disc, it?s easy to see why I dig the hell out of the new style and approach of the band.

In place of the totally progressive, ELP played-on-guitar-style driven music, Mastermind has sought to reach a wider audience by loosening up on the song writing reigns in favor of a more melodic, accessible, semi-neo-classical style. Many will say that the band gone too commercial or sold out to their loyal fans by loosening up their belts a bit, but this is a great disc on its own merit. Take out the variable of comparing old Mastermind to new Mastermind and you have a great "metal" disc led by excellent musicianship and female vocals of the best kind. The Berends brothers have even sought the keyboard talents of the great Jens Johansson to round out the variety of sounds that this disc has to offer.

The music is still led by the blistering guitar work of Bill Berends, and you still get the Berends trademark long solos and guitar pyrotechnics and his wide variety of sounds that go with it - but in addition, you get them fronting some extremely interesting, somewhat accessible melodic metal with plenty of double bass drumming, layered keyboards, and the great opera-like vocals of Lisa Bouchelle.

The songs range in length from 3:35 to 12:18, with the average being around 6:00 and up. The production is top notch from the Berends Brothers, with each and every instrument able to leap out of your speakers and into your listening room?.of note, the vocal production is absolutely superb, as it should be with a singer of Lisa's caliber. Lisa leads the way with her incredible operatic and melodic style, not to mention her wide range, which runs from low to mid-range to high at the drop of a dime. People who have seen her play live know that she can carry it all live and I've never heard her miss a single note.

The music is epic at times, very progressive, and you get the Berends traditional guitar lessons at each and every turn. Throw in a 12:18 ELP cover tune, a bonus track, 70:00 worth of music, some progressive metal guitar crunch, great drumming, great vocals, and a superb production, Mastermind has found their way into the progressive metal genre very quickly and easily and should appeal to both the prog rock fans and prog metal fans. This is what more bands in the progressive music world should be trying to achieve, reaching more fans in different genres and making their name grow.

Highly recommended.

Also released by InsideOut in Europe (IOMCD053/SPV 085-31872CD) and Avalon (JVC) in Japan (MICY-1153)

The End Of The World (10:35) / Perchance To Dream (6:19) / 2000 Years (6:16) / This Lover's Heart (6:00) / The Queen Of Sheba (6:26) / With Dignity And Grace (3:35) / A Million Miles Away (6:30) / The Beast Of Babylon (5:30) / The Endless Enigma (12:18) / Only In My Dreams (6:03)

Lisa Bouchelle - vocals
Bill Berends - guitar, midi guitar, bass, and vocals
Rich Berends - drums
Jens Johansson - keyboards
Bob Eckman - 5 string bass (1,7)
Hollis Brown (Ozone Quartet) - electric violin (2, 5)
John Paoline (Mortal Decay) - voice of the beast (1, 8)

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: September 1st 2000
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website:
Hits: 873
Language: english


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