Mind's Eye - A Work Of Art

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Rising Sun Productions
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 65:16:00

Weaving the spell of alluring melodies and lush vocal harmonies to grant the kindling gift of beauty to music is an aptitude that this world often rewards with wonder and open ears, even if popular acclaim haunts the vague horizon merely like a vain mirage. True grace is thus the conductor of dreamful admiration, and such appears to be the reaction that Mind's Eye has aimed for with the careful detailedness and exquisite aural textures on its second album, A Work Of Art. Featuring velvet harmonies, delicate vocal lines, a rich collection of pleasing sounds, and a crystal clear production, the songs contained herein are often a reflection of a beautifully whimsical and intricate nature; the kind that often attracts those who enjoy accessible and polished progressive metal irremediably.

Yet the emotional reach of the style that Mind's Eye utilizes keeps its distance more often than not from the insufferable kitsch that much of that branch ails from, and instead maintains its focus on an instantly recognizable mix that nevertheless holds some interesting characteristics. For instance, there is something in particular about both Fredrik Grünberger's guitar work and Andreas Novak's vocals that brings to mind Living Colour's Vernon Reid and Corey Glover, respectively. And Novak further recalls Queensrÿche's inimitable Geoff Tate at certain points, even though all comparisons are really nothing but points of reference, as it is impossible to place one's finger on whom exactly these guys sound like, and it's driving this particular reviewer crazy.

The safest bet? Mind's Eye sounds like a good number of bands and like none of them at the same time, meaning of course that a healthy number of valid musical allusions can be made and yet never brought to anything more solid than a sudden flash of memory or recognition. Nonetheless, the songs contained on A Work Of Art are easily described as lavish compositions that tread none other than the softest of prog metal lines and often threaten to cross over to quite indulgent and carefully crafted pop ballads, so that the effect is more soothing than headbanging; more sweetly emotional than aggressively intense; more Empire than Operation: Mindcrime, for the sake of making myself clear.

There is, however, one flaw that keeps this record from achieving consistent and long-lasting emotional impact: its length. With CD technology having taken over completely during the last decade, bands have increasingly tried to fill up the space available to them on the nifty recording format, and the results have not always been quite perfect. In the case of A Work Of Art, they are rather unfortunate. By the time "These Open Arms," the album's ninth track, enters the picture, the band's penchant for catchy emotional choruses and unforgettable melodies becomes increasingly weaker and barely escapes turning into a parody of its great former self, thus eroding the initial favorable impression to a point of indifference. Even then, however, there is no questioning that the better part of this record is indeed worth a listen, and that, despite its shortcomings, progressive metal fans with a tendency for the softer will find it quite palatable and well worth their time and money.

Similar Artists: Under The Sun, Enchant, Queensrÿche

Prologue - Lullaby (0:50) / Courage Within (5:54) / A Moment Of Honor (4:52) / Roll The Dice (4:26) / Room With A View (1:57) / Shallow Water (4:50) / My Kindred Soul (6:09) / The Shape Of Salvation (6:14) / These Open Arms (5:56) / An Eye For An Eye (5:20) / Hands Of Time (6:27) / Your World (5:08) / Epilogue - Domino (7:11)

Johan Niemann - bass
Andreas Novak - vocals
Fredrik Gr?nberger - guitars
Daniel Flores - drums, keyboards

Afterglow (1994) (demo)
Into The Unknown (1998)
Waiting For The Tide (2000/2002)
Record Heaven Sampler (2000) (free with Progression Magazine)
Powermad 2000 Sampler (2000)
Transcending The Mundane Sampler (2000)
Warning: Minds Of Raging Empires - A Tribute To Queensryche (2000)
'Calling (Father To Sun)' (2000)
A Work Of Art (2002)
Walk On H20 (2006)
A Gentleman's Hurricane (2007)
1994: The Afterglow (remastered ed. of first album) (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: March 24th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.roundrec.com
Hits: 884
Language: english


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