Back From The Edge

SKU: IW83040
Label:
Inner Wound Recordings
Category:
Power Metal
Add to wishlist 

"It's a strange thing, but hardly uncommon in the Internet age. I had to find out about Pennsylvania's Mindaze through a German promotion outfit distributing promotional packages for Swedish label Inner Wound Recordings. Mind you, Mindmaze's roots are in Allentown, a mere hour drive from Dangerdog HQ. Here we have their sophomore effort Back From The Edge, soon to get more and better interest thanks to this international promotion.

Mindmaze works from the roots of traditional melodic heavy metal, and then throws in female lead vocals with a good mixture of progressive power metal. The band is essentially a trio, led by siblings Jeff and Sarah Teets, with guests filling the bass guitar chair. For the album session recording that duty fell to Symphony X's Mike LePond. They get additional support from Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson (Moment of Flight), Pharaoh guitarist Matt Johnsen (The Machine Stops), and Lord guitarist Lord Tim (Onward Destiny Calls II).

Keeping good company with talented musicians is one thing, but delivering the heavy metal goods is another. And Mindmaze does. I was particularly impressed at the depth of the songwriting and arrangements. All the songs are thick with groove, harmony, and melody, yet sufficiently intriguing thanks to shifts and twists from tempo to instrumentation. Significant to the latter is Jeff Teets' impressive guitar lines. His riffs and leads are rather rather large, rousing and entertaining. So much so, one might call this a guitar-oriented metal album. If you like sharp guitar work, you will definitely enjoy this album. As for sister Sarah's voice, her vocals are essentially straight foward, easily in the range of hard rock and heavy metal. What she's not is some crazy operatic singer trying to impress you with her range and pierce your eardrums. She reminds me of A Sound of Thunder's Nina Osegueda, but not as screamo. With that reference, I would suggest that, if you like ASoT, you're going to love Mindmaze.

As for individual songs, I won't bore you with minutae. You can listen to a few tracks below. I was immediately pleased with Dreamwalker, Moment of Flight, and The Machine Stops. The latter two having perhaps the most 'proggish' moments of the album. Not so much for Consequences of Choice. It's not a bad song, but just seems more riff driven and even-handed, with little intrigue. But it in no way diminishes the strength of the whole as Back From The Edge a fine listen from start to finish. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • German reissue packages the two albums from this now defunct band at a budget price.  Superb progressive metal from Eastern Europe....
    $5.00
  • "The empire of the eminent Floor Jansen strikes back with an absolute startling release, a great surprise for all lovers of modern female fronted sound and an inescapable altercation towards anyone protesting against trying new and versatile notions. Set for release on August 23rd via Nuclear Blast, “Wild Card” really blew me away, in a level that my mind started whirling with the bands mesmerism in creating a very fresh and present album.After three years of agonizing waiting time, the down to earth yet class plethoric Symphonic/Melodic Metal act’s sophomore release settles down in the average CD player; revealing the hermetic catalyst of music to an extent that time-dimension seems unable to debilitate the magic of cardinal passion. And there’s a lot of passion and energy in “Wild Card“.Guided by Joost van den Broek, the band manage to conserve the known REVAMP vibe present in each and every single note performed, resulting to a set of eleven shining tracks full of charisma, sentiment and individuality. However “Wild Card” is by far heavier and much more aggressive than the 2010s self-titled debut album. Definitely guitar oriented and featuring one of the best vocal performances ever recorded in the history of heavy metal music. The compositions are quite variegated providing an intense kaleidoscopic view of interpretation by the listener.You can tell Floor Jansen had the need to redeem herself after her illness and thus resulted lyrically into some heavy stories and very personal experiences in which the Symphonic Metal Queen let out of her system with some quite openhearted screams and massive growls. Floor’s vocals are indeed very diverse and there’s not a single blemish throughout the record. From operatic, melodic lines to straight forward metal vocals, to grunting and growling everything is extremely powerful and it matches the albums violent music.Talking about music, “Wild Card” has a monstrous industrial atmosphere all around and it’s breaking new grounds to the sound of female fronted bands. The production is exquisite and it meets the bands polished songwriting, which makes me a very happy customer! Keyboard solos and compound synth sounds are everywhere to be found and together with the abundant heavy guitar riffs, make for a solid foundation in which bass and drums encircle beautifully.“Wild Card” features a plethora of guest musicians; to begin with, Devin Townsend sings on the track “Neurasthenia” which is part three of “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown” theme-song and he sounds amazing, then there’s Mark Jansen (EPICA) who delivers some terrifying growls on the song “Misery’s No Crime“. In addition to that, Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION) and Daniel de Jongh (TEXTURES) recorded the choir parts and harmonies together with Floor and that really adds to the whole Metal feel of the record. Finally Johan van Stratum (STREAM OF PASSION) was recruited last minute to record the bass for “Wild Card” and he did a splendid job if I may say.Thanks to the extreme variety in REVAMP’s “Wild Card“, there’s not a single dull moment overall and with every listening session I find myself discovering more and more in each song; and that’s a wonderful feeling and really what makes “Wild Card” a first-class album. Highlights include “Wild Card“, “Distorted Lullabies“, “Amendatory“, “Misery’s No Crime“, “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia” and my personal favorites “Precibus” and “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown’: On The Sideline“. Honestly though, you should listen to the entire album back to back.The CD cover is quite remarkable as well. Definitely recognizable by REVAMP fans due to its connection with the debut album, the dual nature of the Queen of Hearts is a strong image which relates to the music in such drastic and fascinating ways. A perfect visual to accompany the fierce character of the music and props go to Richard Stark who created the artwork. A very well thought concept, indeed.A “Wild Card” is an unpredictable and unforeseeable factor and I feel like REVAMP won the bet and have successfully release a unique and brilliant album that will inspire many generations of heavy metal fans and for that they deserve immense credit. Many tunes off this album have the potential to become REVAMP classics and this itself makes the purchase essential for everyone that does not so far have REVAMP in his/her collection. A piece of thriving Symphonic, Melodic Metal history is now available, make no mistakes. You can’t let it go." - Metal Divas
    $14.00
  • "Following the extremely warm reception given his self-named band's well-deserving debut album, Holy Diver, Ronnie James Dio figured there was no point in messing with a winning formula, and decided to play it safe with 1984's sophomore effort, The Last in Line -- with distinctly mixed results. Although technically cut from the same cloth as those first album nuggets, fist-pumping new songs like "We Rock," and "I Speed at Night" curiously went from good to tiresome after just a few spins (a sign that the songwriting clichés were starting to pile up...read on); and the otherwise awesome, seven-minute epic, "Egypt (The Chains Are On)," inexplicably lost it's strikingly sinister main riff halfway through, in what sounds like a mastering snafu of some kind. On the upside, more dramatic, mid-paced numbers such as the title track, "One Night in the City," and "Eat Your Heart Out" -- as well as the driving "Evil Eyes" -- delivered enough compelling riffs and melodies to outweigh Ronnie's once endearing, but now increasingly troublesome repetition of words like "rainbow," "fire," and "stone" in seemingly every song. Finally, the distinctly more commercial pairing of heavy rocker "Breathless" and the power ballad/single "Mystery" gave undisguised notice (along with the slightly sleeker production throughout and more generous keyboards from new member Claude Schnell) of Dio's intention to broaden their audience by tapping into the rising tide of pop-metal. This would bring dire circumstances on their next album, Sacred Heart, but despite the telltale signs of decline cited above, anyone who loved Holy Diver will likely enjoy The Last in Line nearly as much." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Time Machine is without any doubt one of the most influential bands on the European progressive metal scene. Since their formation in late 1992 through today, their music has been described by the worldwide media as some of the most interesting and original prog metal ever to emerge from Italy.Reviviscence is the second part of the Eymerich Trilogy. This is an album that showcases Italys most experienced band in their right element; a world of beautiful melodies, huge soundscapes, breathtaking guitar solos, wonderfully crafted acoustic passages and an accented technicality that flows hand in hand with the songs.Lyrically Reviviscence is an exciting tale of the evil walking among us, making our everyday filled with greed, war and corruption, while the young hopefuls of the world are searching for something that can make this a better place to live in. Its the ancient tale of good versus evil.For the bands sixth album the core lineup is augmented by special guests Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro, world renowned guitarists from ANGRA, as well as Fabio Ribiero, keyboardist for Shaman and Blezqi Zatsaz. The North American release by Sensory comes housed in a digipak and features "Signs", an exclusive bonus track.Time Machines legend continues to grow
    $4.00
  • Second part of the English Electric concept dealing with life across the UK landscape.  What a beautiful album.  First off lets make it clear - Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford made a huge mistake.  Vocalist David Longdon should have been Phil Collins replacement in Genesis.  He would have fit like hand in glove.  The album features the band augmented by a variety of guest musicians including Andy Tillison of The Tangent who contributes organ, Moog, and Mellotron parts.  Its all very British sounding and once again a wonderful mix of old school prog and a more contemporary neoprog sound.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • PERHAPS THE BEST $5 CD YOU WILL EVER BUY. Superb new progressive metal project put together by noted fretless guitarist Tim Donahue. He decided to go right to the top and put together a collaboration with Dream Theater's James LaBrie. LaBrie brought monster drummer Mike Mangini into the fold. In addition to fretless guitar (you have to hear it to believe it), Donahue plays all bass and keyboard parts. This is classy, epic progressive metal done right. Highly recommended!
    $9.00
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."In 1988, few heavy metal bands were comprised of all black members, and fewer had the talent or know-how to inject different musical forms into their hard rock sound (funk, punk, alternative, jazz, soul, rap) -- but N.Y.C.'s Living Colour proved to be an exception. Unlike nearly all of the era's metal bands, the group's music has held up over time, thanks to its originality and execution. Living Colour leader/guitarist Vernon Reid spent years honing his six-string chops, and was one of the most respected guitarists in New York's underground scene. He couldn't have done a better job selecting members for his new rock band -- singer Corey Glover, bassist Muzz Skillings, and drummer Will Calhoun -- as their now-classic debut, Vivid, proves. Though the album was released in mid-1988, it picked up steam slowly, exploding at the year's end with the hit single/MTV anthem "Cult of Personality," which merged an instantly recognizable Reid guitar riff and lyrics that explored the dark side of world leaders past and present (and remains LC's best-known song). The album was also incredibly consistent, as proven by the rocker "Middle Man" (which contains lyrics from a note penned by Glover, in which he pondered suicide), the funky, anti-racist "Funny Vibe," the touching "Open Letter (To a Landlord)," plus the Caribbean rock of "Glamour Boys." Add to it an inspired reading of Talking Heads' "Memories Can't Wait," the Zeppelin-esque "Desperate People," and two complex love songs ("I Want to Know" and "Broken Hearts"), and you have one of the finest hard rock albums of the '80s -- and for that matter, all time." - Allmusic Guide
    $7.00
  • Stunning debut release from this singularly named vocalist from Vancouver, BC.  Leah's music is an extraordinary mix of Celtic and world music flavors meshed with symphonic metal.  The simplest and best comparison would be a mix of Loreena McKennitt and Delain.  Although the death vocal element is completely missing, the music also reminds a bit of Lacuna Coil and Evanescence.  Leah has a gorgeous voice that fits this style extremely well (I might add that she's not hard on the eyes either).  The metal element has a definite European feel - one could almost mistake this as a band emerging from The Netherlands.  The production has that epic quality that fits so well within the genre.  The Celtic and world music flavors are what sets this album apart.New edition with proper jewel box packaging from Inner Wound.
    $14.00
  • ""The name SEVEN KINGDOMS has been floating around me for a while now and while receiving mostly good to great reviews, I never got around to checking out any of their two previous albums, so when the chance arose to snatch the promo for their third effort “The Fire Is Mine”, I took it - and I was not disappointed.Technically you could lump the band into the Power Metal genre with female vocals, but by just doing so, you would do the quintet injustice for they are not your run-of-the-mill girl-fronted Power Metal group. And instead of trying to do the smoke and mirrors trick of blinding you with a huge hype but in the end a weak album to follow it (*cough* HUNTRESS), SEVEN KINGDOMS offer us sharp riffing, great melodies and powerful vocals united in excellent songwriting, confirming the positivity I had come across all over for their previous releases.After the obligatory intro, opener “After The Fall” blew my socks off (I am still missing one to this date), double-bass driven, edgy guitars, great, expressive vocals and very nice melodies setting the pace. Good parts of the album are upbeat, mid- to fast-paced, but the Americans mix things up with great melodies, a bit of choir, some slower passages, creating a great and dynamic flow, above which reign the vocals of Sabrina, which are powerful and strong, blowing any thoughts of a Tarja clone out of the water. The riffing sometimes reminds me of a mix of BLIND GUARDIAN ("Flame Of Olympus") and ICED EARTH ("The King In The North"), but without coming off as copy cats, though.Another thing I really enjoy about SEVEN KINGDOMS is that while having a hand for catchy and epic melodies, they put enough of a twist on them not to make them too in-your-face, but a little lower, given them a different mood and more longevity. Best example for this are the already mentioned "Flame Of Olympus" and "The King In The North" as well as "Symphony Of Stars" (love the choir) and "Fragile Minds Collapse". The only track that is distinctly different, is the ballad "Kardia", which alternates between very calm and acoustic and the electric side of the six string, with THEOCRACY's Matt Smith on backing vocals."The Fire Is Mine" is one of Power Metal's strongest outings of the year, with sharp guitars, tight rhythm, great melodies and powerful vocals, I will definitely dig into SEVEN KINGDOMS' back catalogue!"" - Metal Observer
    $13.00
  • One of the great guitarists around who is adept at both folk or prog rock. Awesome lineup on this one features Simon Phillips and John G. Perry as well as Richard Harvey (Gryphon)."NEWLY REMASTERED & EXPANDED EDITION CD OF THIS CLASSIC 1978 ALBUM BY GORDON GILTRAPREMASTERED FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPESFEATURING EIGHT BONUS TRACKSBOOKLET WITH FULLY RESTORED ARTWORK & ESSAYESOTERIC RECORDINGS are pleased to announce the release of a newly remastered and expanded edition of the classic album "FEAR OF THE DARK” by GORDON GILTRAP. For over forty years Gordon has enjoyed the well-deserved reputation as one of Britain’s greatest guitar players. He made his first recordings in the 1960s as folk artist, but by 1976 he had crossed into the Progressive Rock genre and signed to the newly formed Electric Records imprint.His third album for Electric was released in 1978. "FEAR OF THE DARK” saw Gordon backed by a band of outstanding musicians such as JOHN G. PERRY (Bass), ROD EDWARDS (keyboards) and SIMON PHILLIPS (drums) and featured many outstanding tracks.This Esoteric Recordings edition is newly remastered from the original tapes and includes eight bonus tracks drawn from a series of singles released between 1978 and 1980, including the live track ‘Inner Dream’ and ‘Party Piece’, ‘Theme from The Waltons’ and ‘Birds of a Feather’ previously unreleased on CD. The reissue also features a lavishly illustrated booklet with new essay and interview with Gordon Giltrap."
    $17.00
  • "Marked by an evident Crimso vein, both in the harmonical geometries and in general for the sound, the band proposes an instrumental formula that ranges over ethereal atmospheres and granitic tangles, a perfect synthesis of electric and electronic, in an ongoing game of references between guitars, keyboards and the sax of Leo Aries (Akinetón Retard, from Chile as well). Thanks to a solid technic and solo skills, Abrete Gandul shows the possibility of a genuinely eclectic and perfectly recognizable approach." References: King Crimson, Magma, Akineton Retard
    $18.00
  • Second album from this Greek progressive metal band finds them with a new label and new vocalist. The foundation of the music remains the same - melodic, keyboard driven prog metal along the lines of Circus Maximus, Dream Theater, and Vanden Plas."Possibly indicative of the album title, Greek progressives Persona Non Grata hoped to 'up their game' with their sophomore release, Quantum Leap. Released in December, this fine work of progressive metal could easily be added to the best of 2011, right along side their peers Symphony X and Dream Theater.Quantum Leap, generally a heavy album, effortlessly blends classic heavy metal, notable in the melodies and traditional guitar work, with enough technical elements to offer progressive intrigue. By example, Redemption of Sins is indicative of this pattern, with it's notable rock/metal fusion finish. Alternatively, a song like Diversity remains heavy throughout, only to be brightened by synths and guitar. While not the best piece here, if you like your prog erring on the side of heaviness, it satisfies.Yet, more traditional melodic prog metal can be found from the start in Imaginative Mind and Lend Me a Hand. PnG stretches this motif and their skills on the longer 9 AM News. Captive and Grief, two of the finest songs here, push the somber subtlety of piano with vocals only erupt in soaring progressive power metal. Any doubts about the skills of new vocalist Aris Pirris are dispelled on these two numbers, also.Yet, after the fine arrangements, the singular most stunning characteristic of Quantum Leap is the bass work of new player, Chris Vogiatzis. Honestly, he nearly steals the show. His work is so fundamental and inspiring as to lift the entire PnG crew to greater heights. I would recommend buying the album for this alone.Fundamentally, however, Persona Non Grata's Quantum Leap is simply entertaining and intriguing progressive metal. Certainly, something you'll want to listen to several times over. Strongly recommended." - Danger Dog
    $14.00
  • Penumbra Diffuse is the second full length release from this Georgia based instrumental tech-metal trio. It also marks their debut effort for Sensory after the successful release of "Sublimation" for Tribunal Records.The band has shown tremendous growth since their beginnings in 1999, evolving out of the death metal/mathcore scene. Dropping their vocalist along the way the band decided to emphasize intricate arrangements, creating compositions that only the most adept musicians could play. Canvas Solaris' music resonated equally with fans of technical metal co-horts Spiral Architect and Cynic as well as bands like Don Caballero and Dillinger Escape Plan."Penumbra Diffuse" demonstrates musical artists that continue to mature. Now drawing inspiration from progressive Gods like King Crimson, Voivod and Mr. Bungle, they have added more textural elements, with keyboards and acoustic instruments playing a more prominent role in the music. The music now has a more expansive sound but still retaining their trademark technical elements.
    $13.00
  • The Custodian is a new British post-progressive rock band formed by Richard Thomson, vocalist for cinematic death metal band Xerath.  Unlike Xerath, The Custodian is an outlet for the more melodic, rock oriented writing from Thomson.While there are moments in the album that harken back to old school bands like Genesis and Yes, the music of The Custodian is contemporary in sound.  Necessary Wasted Time is an album full of dynamics - light and dark shadings balancing acoustic vs electric, heavy vs pastoral.  While atmospherics and tension are a strong component of the album, the band demonstrates their adept musicianship offering up long instrumental passages to complement the emotion filled vocals.  When needed the band unleashes some complex electric runs.The Custodian's debut should deeply resonate with fans of Steven Wilson, Riverside, Pineapple Thief, and Anathema.Necessary Wasted Time was mixed by noted engineer Jacob Hansen and give the full audiophile mastering treatment from Bob Katz. 
    $14.00