This debut album from the band Aeon Zen is a very bold statement to those in the progressive metal field that there is a new kid on the block. Filled with the sweeping grandeur that makes this style of music so intoxicating, Aeon Zen does its best to prove that they are musicians worthy of your time.
A Mind's Portrait is a very unusual album in a few different ways. It started as a project by a 17 year old Richard Hinks and an equally young Lloyd Musto. This pair who are prog metal fanatics thought that the music they were creating was good enough for some of their vocal heroes to sing. So, they contact them to see if this might be possible. Damn if they didn't pull it off!
Enlisting such talent as Andreas Novak (Mind's Eye), Matt Shepherd (Timefall), Andi Kravijaca (Seventh Wonder), Nils K Rue (Pagen's Mind) and Cristian Van Schuerbeck (All Too Human) these guys have created a work that will surely keep you wanting more as they take you through a multi-dimensional sonic tour de force.
When I first listened to this disc, I was in the car heading to Chicago. It is a five hour trip and not much to see along the way. As I put it in and the regal beginning of "Existence" hit my ears, there was little doubt that this is an album to take note of. This finely crafted piece of music only sets the tone for what you are going to find on the remainder of the disc. Each of the eleven tracks on this CD are a testament to a band that is not afraid to go where the music leads them. From the melancholy piano that leads off the two part "Hope's Echo" to the blazing metal assault of works like "Time Divine" Aeon Zen takes you on a journey that crosses many musical boundaries. By the time you reach the epic twelve minute closer "The Demise Of The Fifth Sun" every sensory nerve will be on edge and this work may be the one that puts your brain into overload!
The peaks and valleys of this disc make it a true treat for the ears. Too many times I receive works where it is hard to distinguish where one song leaves off and the next one begins. A Mind's Portrait hits on so many different moods and musical styles I found it to be a refreshing change from so many of the albums that are out there today. Fans from Emerson, Lake & Palmer to Dream Theater are going to find a gem in this new band that I believe will make a name for themselves with this terrific release. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on this one, you will not be disappointed. With almost one hour of dynamite progressive music, this one is a bargain at any price.
2. Time Divine
3. Blinded Rain
4. Hope's Echo Pt. I
5. Hope's Echo Pt. II
6. A Mind's Portrait
7. The Circle's End
8. Heavens Falling
9. Into The Infinite
11. The Demise Of The Fifth Sun