Tag Archives: Mindpatrol

Mindpatrol – Vulture City

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I figured I’d end the year the way I started it: with a review of a local band. There is, to my knowledge, no band in Luxembourg that is as productive as Mindpatrol, since they are about to release their third full length in more or less five years. They stick to their concept album approach and this time around they are taking us to Vulture City, a drug infested dystopian setting! Are you ready to take the trip with me?

I realize that I’m sounding like a broken record here, since I said the exact same thing last time around, but the sextet continues to evolve in remarkable ways. Their sound has become a little more concise, settling comfortably in, what I would consider, progressive death metal and the band seems to know exactly what works, and what doesn’t. The result is a fifty-one minute journey that is jam-packed with memorable riffs and impressive drum patterns. Fun fact: this is the first time that the drums were actually recorded and not created on the computer…and can definitely be heard and felt!

The other factor where Mindpatrol really stand out, to me, is their songwriting, which I would rank among the best in the country. It is one of my main critiques I have with local bands especially, since most of them are fairly solid musicians, but the songs rarely have that extra little something that makes them stand out. While not every single one of these ten songs has “hit potential”, the vast majority is truly well-written and has a nice flow to it. Solos complement the riffs superbly, a good example being toward the end of He, Summoned By The Needle, and small, almost hidden, details like subtle licks every now and then really add a ton of depth. The ensemble is rounded off by a truly massive production quality, that makes every note shine even more!

On the predecessor, one major selling point was the fact that the weakest part of the debut album, the clean vocals, was completely scrapped and replaced by shouted vocals. Ironically enough, I am happy to say that the cleans have found their way back into the fold. Having taken the negative comments to heart, the vocalist decided to completely start from scratch and improve his technique to bring a fresh wind to the mix…and it worked! While he won’t be singing acapella at weddings quite yet, it is a real joy to hear the vast improvement and makes me excited for what is yet to come. I won’t spoil any of the story, but I would consider it the most original and risqué one to date.

What can I say? Vulture City is a major step forward for Mindpatrol and I am convinced that it will appeal to a fairly wide audience, if given the right exposure. To get an idea of what I mean, just check out the brilliantly filmed and edited music video to Her Dire Sacrifice below, and I dare you to not hum that intro along after you’re done listening to the song. The band is putting on a really cool release show this Saturday, December 9th, at Kulturfabrik in Esch, so make sure to swing your behind over there and in the meantime visit their Facebook page for more info.

At this point I’d like to thank you for another year of El Gore and you’ll read me again in a few weeks with my annual Top Ten!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsf-o1ok0ds]

Mindpatrol – The Marble Fall

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Imagine this: you start a musical project with your good friend, you write, record, produce and release it all by yourself in complete DIY fashion and it is met with with mixed to negative reviews. What do you do? I’ll tell you what you should do: dust yourself off, recruit some more like-minded individuals, start rehearsing as a band, play live shows and start writing the next record! That is exactly what Mindpatrol did after the release of Downfall Theatre in 2013, which is why I have the great pleasure of writing about their upcoming output, The Marble Fall!

Back when I reviewed their debut album, I praised them for covering a broad spectrum in their music, and I also mentioned the well thought-through songwriting…boy, was I a fool. Because even though they have narrowed their range down to what I would call progressive power-death metal, the songwriting during these twelve tracks is riddled with so many catchy hooks, riffs and melodies that I don’t even want to start counting. It’s clear that the omission of certain elements from the predecessor has greatly improved the sextet’s sound!

At the core of The Marble Fall is an epic story that is, admittedly, very similar to the biblical downfall of man, but with a new twist to it. In order to do this opus, that is recounted in sixty-two minutes, justice, Mindpatrol has incorporated some rather classical instruments such as trumpets, violins and organs, which gives the entirety a much more majestic vibe, without being cheesy though.

Despite already praising the improved songwriting, I can’t help but highlight the fact that the vocals have also further improved. Mainly because the clean vocals, which were the main caveat on DT, have been completely scratched and replaced with shouted singing. Furthermore, I feel like the growls and screams have also gained in strength, and especially the screeches are almost like the cries of the undead. Add to that a much better sense for vocal melodies and you’ve got a very promising vocalist! Hell, even his accent has become much more bareable…still not quite disappeared though.

In closing, I must say that the evolution that Mindpatrol have undergone in two years is quite remarkable…and a little bird tells me that they have not even reached their final form yet. Be sure to check out The Marble Fall when it’s released digitally on October 16th and, if you like what you hear, move your ass to the Schungfabrik in Differdange on October 30th for the release show of the record! In the meantime, watch the band’s music video below and head to their Facebook page to keep up with what else they have planned.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=744OEfNJRfE]

Mindpatrol – Downfall Theatre

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Today I have the pleasure of reviewing one of the most ambitious musical projects that I’ve seen in a long time: Mindpatrol, a Luxembourgish quintet who tell a, albeit slightly cliché, complete story on their debut record Downfall Theatre. While the idea of a concept album is nothing new, the storytelling devices that the band uses are something I have never witnessed in this particular magnitude. Let me further explain:

Instead of settling for one specific genre, the band has a wide range of different metal sub-genres…and when I say wide I actually mean a (almost) complete palette! Each of the eleven songs has a completely different feel to it, and the four spoken-word interludes also range from dreamy to creepy. The album starts with a ballad and just when you think that the guys have settled for melodic power metal, you get slapped in the face by heavy riffs on the next song…this mutates into a pure neo-thrash-metal explosion two songs later, only to switch to death metal and end with black metal. I guess you get the idea? Madness. I love it.

While you might think that all this experimentation could result in poor songwriting…that is absolutely not the case. Mindpatrol understand the genres they play and the ingenious musicianship allows them to portray them most adequately. I’d say that music aficionados will definitely recognize their inspirations, but nothing seems like a cheap copy-paste, which is another point in favor of this entire record. The production, which was all done in-house, is also at a truly enjoyable level and even the most minute details have been fleshed-out.

After reading all that, you might ask yourself how many singers the band has, in order to accompany the music…the answer is quite short: one. Luc Francois, who is arguably the mastermind behind the band, decided that being a writer, walking beer keg and internet troll was not enough…so he decided to pick up the mic. I’ll keep it brief and just say that he nailed all the different singing styles…well, almost. His clean vocals, which are predominant in the first half of these sixty-two minutes, are not quite near the likes of the best vocalists out there but I’m very convinced that with further training he will reach great heights. However, his screams, growls and screeches are more than just redeeming; they blew me away, that’s for sure. The only real critique I just can’t get around mentioning is that, especially in the spoken-word passages, his accent is quite heavy.

To sum things up, I’d say that this record is not to be missed by anyone since there is literally something for everyone on here. The fact that the band decided to release the whole thing for free on Thursday makes that even more true. For those of you who understand German, I should mention that there will be a tie-in book to the album, which further elaborates the story. Check the band’s Facebook page for further news and updates and listen to the song below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv-gpc7rM7Y]