Mindpatrol – Monster

It’s crazy, in a good way, to me that today’s band has been making music for over a decade now. I still remember getting early glimpses at their first record before it was even released and going to their first show and here we are, ten years later: their fifth release is on the horizon! While Mindpatrol has gone through a few line-up changes over the years, their musical approach has largely stayed the same, albeit become more refined since then. Their new EP Monster is going to be released this Friday, so let’s talk about it a bit!

Before we start: there are four tracks on it, but I will only be reviewing three of them, since the last one is a cover of System of a Down’s Aerials, which turned out quite nicely but it adds nothing to the record’s “soul”, in my opinion.

If you are not familiar with the band’s concept, let me briefely get you up to speed: all their records are concept albums that deal with a completely new story, and each one has an accompanying book, written by the singer, to go along with it. This allows the band to expand further on the story, that does not fit into the music and it’s worked quite well for them in the past. This time around, however, they chose to be inspired by someone else’s already existing work, in the form of the popular manga Monster by Naoki Urasawa.

Even though I am not, yet, familiar with the manga, the songs work really well for me on a lyrical level and the chosen topics round each other off quite nicely in the span of the nineteen minutes.

On a musical side, the band has pretty much stayed true to their roots of progressive metal but here they also enlisted a bit of extra help by Louis Viallet for orchestral arrangements, which really elevates the two songs he features on. Especially Magnificent Steiner might be my favorite Mindpatrol song so far, because every single aspects just works perfectly for me: the track is heavy where it needs to be, the chorus is super catchy and the orchestration gives it that extra majestic feel.

Vocally, the same can be repeated that I’ve said in every single one of my reviews of the band: evolution! The way every technique keeps improving between releases is alway a joy to me. Most of all, the clean vocals are peaking on these three tracks, especially on the above mentioned track’s chorus. But the band broke another tradition: there are guest vocals! The Hirsch Effekt’s singer makes a guest appearance on the final track, Nameless, and they make the track even more haunting than it already is. A great addition!

All in all, this EP definitely highlights all of the strengths of the band and if this is the direction Mindpatrol wants to go in the future, I am beyond excited! Do yourself a favor and check out the brilliant song below and head to the band’s Facebook page to stay updated about their plans.