Talk about something refreshing! Mind[s]peak’s new, and apparently first, album Pictures is one chunk of progressive metal madness! Reminiscent of Dream Theater, Spock’s Beard, King Crimson, and Yes all at once, this female-fronted band really delivers!
Their music is quite instrumental-heavy, but vocal sections are always throughly worked and layered with multiple voices, which is interesting, and quite rare nowadays. The very first singing section is a capella, and step up to four singers in some kind of canon/contrapunctus fashion reminiscent of Spock’s Beard – Thoughts Part II. On the rest of the album, vocals rarely come with only one voice.
The music itself is heavy, melodic, and shows the musicians’ talent and proficiency. Compositions are long, complex songs with multiple parts, like the album epic The Big Sleep, just shy of 30 minutes, divided into six parts, swerving left and right through varied musical landscapes. The same can be said, but to a lesser extent, of the two other, quite lengthy as we like it, songs : The Tragedy Of Perfection and Reawakening.
Pictures drives on the fragile wall between rock and metal, and jumping effortlessly from one to the other. From Pink Floyd-like guitar-solo-over-keyboards to Symphony X odyssean riffs. Viktoria Simon’s wonderful voice will keep you attached, and wanting more from them! At just under an hour long, keeping the listener’s attention is key, and they succeed in that!
What would we like to see in the future from Mind[s]peak? Keep a heavy focus on complex vocal harmonies, keep rocking it out loud, and keep those soft parts in there too! Really, what we want is more! Try and bring in other musical genres – balkan music comes to mind – in order to extend your already vast influence and sound. Also, never stop writing absurdly long songs, those are the best!
Pictures is definitely a progressive highlight of the year!