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Released: 2017, Self Released
I received this one in the mail the other day, a rare occurrence in this age of digital. Mindlane hail from Skepplanda, Sweden, a town of less than two thousand people just a short ride north of Gothenburg. UNSPOKEN SILENCE is the band’s debut album, molding progressive metal with passages of aggressive riffs and screams that you would expect to hear on a death metal or metalcore album, but not a progressive one. Mindlane are a three-piece at this point, with session vocal screams provided by ex-Amaranthe throat man, Andreas Solveström. The result is an ambitious debut that delivers in many aspects, but also has plenty of room for evolution.
Reine Svensson’s smooth and controlled vocals are the main feature, with Tom Leonard of Enchant being a point of reference for his style, residing in a comfortable range while avoiding the upper registers. “Liars Crown” is the somewhat subdued opening, immediately avoiding the clichés of many metal albums that either open with a cinematic instrumental or a fast and aggressive tune. “Beyond Today” follows and features a great melody before a heavier riff to accompany Solveström’s screams. Personally, I find Solveström to be a distraction and unnecessary, though I do understand that he gives Mindlane a more unique feel. Still, by the third song, “Weakness Within” the template is evident and wearing thin, each song starting smooth, melodic and progressive with Svensson’s vocals then quickly shifting to heavier riffs for Solveström’s parts. Sometimes the guitar riffs change a measure or two before Solveström screams his larynx to shreds, allowing for a bit of predictability to when we will get another throat-ripping passage. Part of the template is that Solveström never begins a song either and as the record advances songs and passages become foreseeable.
The album sounds fantastic though, with a clear and balanced mix. There are certainly many admirable passages and melodies interspersed through UNSPOKEN SILENCE but they are offset by Solveström’s momentum killing and out-of-place screams to my ears. They have the talent to move forward soley on the strength of Svensson’s much more appropriate style. I would not have minded hearing a guitar solo or two either, but that is a minor gripe. Still, no denying that the band has a vision and they have executed it faithfully. Whether that vision is misguided or brilliant, only time and more albums will tell. Recommended for fans of Evergrey’s music mixed with a beauty and the beast approach vocally, pioneered and overdone by so many female-fronted metal bands and now making its way to progressive metal it seems.
1. Liars Crown
2. Beyond Today
3. Weakness Within
4. Said and Done
5. Beloved Screen
6. Accept the Silence
7. Outside Your Blindfold Eyes
8. Always the Same Story
10. We Learn the Hard Way
11. Heroes in Denial
Joonas Niskanen - Guitars & Bass
Reine Svensson - Vocals
Hannu Mäkelä - Drums
Session: Andreas Solveström (ex Amaranthe) – Screams
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