When I was younger, there was this movie called The Boys From Brazil. It was about a group of Nazi's who had some DNA from Hitler and had cloned a bunch of them to see if they could produce another Adolph for some ungodly reason. Anyway, after hearing the band Mindflow, visions of that movie danced through my head. What if someone took samples from Dream Theater and tried to do the same thing? In Brazil yet!
Well they are not clones, but they are a very similar band that has put out a rather unique disc called Mind Over Body. With a real flair for what makes music such as Dream Theater, so unique, Mindflow has taken it even a bit further. With a bombastic attitude and a flourish that lends itself to Andrew Lloyd Webber as much as the progressive rock field, Mindflow delivers a package that engulfs you with its elaborate musical diversity.
From the beginning of Mind Over Body, the band spins a tale of majestic proportions while taking you on a musical journey that travels through many a different genre before letting you settle at it's final destination. Weaving a tale that may be considered a concept album, but in my opinion more a group of related topics, the story is one that is left open for many interpretations.
But it is the music which tells the true tale of this band. From the opening song "Crossing Enemy's Lines"the band starts you off with a twelve minute dose of what these guys are all about. A crunching guitar that is the main focus in this scorcher, is interwoven with the keyboards in such a grand fashion that the piece seems to engulf you with sound as it soars and swells with the dazzling brilliance of these musicians. It is hard to fathom why this band is not at the top of everyone's list with such great work as this.
But that is not the only facet to Mindflow. Sure there is enough loud guitar work to reward any metalhead, such as the fierce playing on songs "Upload-Spirit" and "Hellbitat", but there is also the side of the band that takes you through such dynamic soundscapes that belong more to the world of Broadway as with the beautiful "A Gift To You" and the equally touching "Just Water, You Navigate". Both of these songs have that mellow feel of either Pink Floyd or Andrew Lloyd Webber, with the later song being one which swells to a musical climax that would fit nicely into a spectacle such as Webber's Phantom of the Opera.
I think these guys must have been kept hidden down their in Brazil. They are just emerging as a force in the world of progressive music. The many faceted approach that they throw at you is one that is breathtaking in its delivery and a truly magical experience for the listener. This is like being immersed into the music. It enters through the ears but will rattle you from head to toe.
I like the fact that they incorporate the keyboards into their music with much more prominence than other bands of this genre. They have reached the balance between the hard driving guitar sound and the melodic with some very fine keyboard work by Miguel Spada. He gives the band an undercurrent that makes these guys flow like a boat on the river of rock and roll. He can also deliver some of the most beautiful work as his piano creates a lush backdrop on such work as the tender and yet regal "Thousand Miles From You". He has a keen sense of the dramatic and uses it to perfection on this whole album.
Vocalist Danilo Herbert has a range that any singer would envy. From a deep snarl to soaring operatic qualities, this boy can do it all! He is the voice of Mindflow and that voice will carry the band all over the world sooner or later. He is a dynamic singer that will be a force in the world of rock and roll sooner or later. Luckily I can say that he is in my collection sooner than most.
The group's secret weapon is their guitarist Rodrigo Hidalgo. He has the technical ability to rival most anyone in his field and has the gift of knowing just how to use it. The work that he does on this album will only solidify his place in the music world. This guy's style is one that is as fiery and powerful as the bands music demands. He keeps the metal edge to their music that makes it so appealing. Like there contemporaries, he makes them as much at home on the stage at let's say Ozfest as well as with the Philharmonic Orchestra.
The rhythm section of Rafael Pensado on drums and Ricardo Winandy on bass keep the other guys on the straight and narrow. While Rafael is not the flashy player like a Mike Portnoy, he is just as important and gives the band what it needs without overdoing it. With all the complex time changes and variety in music, Rafael keeps them in line and is as steady as any drummer out there. Ricardo use of the bass is very solid. There is a lot of times when he is sitting on the sidelines but when he is needed, he answers the call. When the band is in full tilt heavy rock mode, Ricardo is the guy who carries the beat. He has a hard pounding style that comes through much more strongly when the band is ripping it up.
Together these guys have produced a sound that is familiar yet completely their own. If you have not heard of them yet, you will. Progressive rock has added a Brazilian chapter to its book and this one is a page turner!
1. Crossing Enemy's Lines
3. Thousand Miles From Water
4. Just Water, You Navigate
5. Chair Designer
6. A Gift To You
8. Follow Your Instinct
9. Hide And Seek