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Sense of Mind
Released: 2002, Independent
CDs that arrive in DVD cases always get my attention rather quickly. I think it might be the fact that I am expecting a DVD. But alas there is only a CD, but in this case a very good CD. A couple of years ago I reviewed Empyria’s last CD THE LEGACY. Not a bad disc at all but the SENSE OF MIND is a great step up. Empyria are a great prog metal band and I do mean metal. Though I have heard people try to compare these guys to Dream Theater they lean much more to the metallic side of the spectrum. No soft and sweet interludes choking the metal heart of this band.
SENSE OF MIND is 10 songs that clock in at a little over 57 minutes. The CD opens with the absolutely blazing track “Ties The Bind”. One of the better songs on the CD in my estimation, “Ties That Bind” showcases the considerable vocal talents of Philip Leite. His voice is powerful and has a very distinct sound that can be almost nasal at times but nonetheless gives him an edge in the scene where everyone wants to sound like James LaBrie. Up next is “Ties That Bind”. This is a much mellower song with a very catchy chorus. The title track highlights guitar player Mike Kischnick and his guitar gymnastics. One of the things that brings me back to this CD is that even though there are prog elements present, the band keeps the music within the metal realm. There is very little of the self-indulgence that seems to be rife in the prog metal genre. Another strong track is “Blackened Heart”. The track starts slow but builds to a blistering crescendo to finish out again on a mellow note. The CD closes out with the power ballad “Forever” followed by an unlisted instrumental track.
I have been putting off reviewing a number of CDs the last couple of months because of other commitments. This is my first review in a couple of months and it is a great CD to get me into the swing of things. This Vancouver, Canada band have really outdone their previous work with SENSE OF MIND. It took me a few listens to get into but I am glad that I did. The songs are well written and performed and most importantly the band don’t for get that the genre is called progressive METAL!
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