MindMaze - 'Resolve'

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MindMaze - 'Resolve'

A classy Melodic Prog Metal band that has delivered on their early promise.

Twenty years ago an album like this just couldn't be made. Back then, a band either needed to be signed to a record label or have a rich benefactor behind them. Pennsylvania's MindMaze decided to utilise Kickstarter to raise funds for their third album, quickly reaching their target with the help of their loyal fans, with 'Resolve' being the end result.

With their feet firmly in the Progressive Metal camp, with an added dose of Power Metal in the mix, MindMaze have created a concept album with a difference. Rather than tackle the usual Progressive themes of Sci-Fi or fantasy, they have instead looked towards personal struggles and intense human emotion.

Lofty stuff indeed and fortunately, in the main, they succeed in their ambitious project; an achievement that is largely down to the sibling combination Sarah and Jeff Teets on vocals and guitar respectively.

A rather pleasant acoustic passage heralds the instrumental opener 'Reverie' before some serious razor sharp riffage kicks 'Fight The Future' into life. Some heavy duty double bass drum work from Mark "Truk" Bennet drives it forward as Sarah Teets' melodic yet powerful vocals soar over the top.

A second instrumental 'In This Void' creates a dark, haunting atmosphere that glides into the Prog Metal of 'Drown Me' which jostles for place next to the more melodic Metal of 'Sign Of Life' that reminds me of Dokken. 'Abandon' brings in a fine slab of Traditional Metal complete with punchy gang vocals.

Sarah Teets' really shows her stuff on the supremely classy piano-driven power ballad 'One More Moment' which rises and falls in a rollercoaster of emotions. 'Twisted Dream' highlights the more complex Prog side of MindMaze before another major highlight, 'True Reflection', adds some heavy duty early Queensrÿche to the mix; it's a perfect combination of granite heavy riffs and soaring melodies.

A second classy ballad, 'Release', precedes the epic album closer, 'The Path To Perseverance', a track that really gives the band, and guitarist Jeff Teets in particular, plenty of space to open up and show what they can do.

Those people who invested in the album before a note was even recorded will certainly feel that their outlay was more than worthwhile, whereas those who come to the party a little later can be assured that they have discovered a classy Melodic Prog Metal band that has delivered on their early promise.

Mick Burgess

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