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Mindflow: With Bare Hands

Hailing from Brazil, it would be easy to think that Mindflow would follow one of two routes and be either a samba infused rock hybrid, or Sepultura clones. However rather than deliver the expected, this South American quartet serves up a rather slick progressive metal with post-rock concoction. Building from the base up, Mindflow released two well received self financed albums to the South American market, before enlisting respected producer Ben Grosse (Megadeth, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson, etc.) to up the sound quality on their third release Destructive Device. During the recording of album number four Mindflow began releasing their songs one by one on the net and after consideration, decided it was time to take the plunge into the global market by cherry picking the best songs from those net releases and Destructive Device, with the end results being With Bare Hands.

Drawing influences from John Bush era Anthrax, the likes of Disturbed and the heavier end of progressive metal, Mindflow have created a sound that should appeal to anyone with a penchant for those types of bands, as well as possibly reeling in fans of bands like Pagan's Mind. With a sound that is rich in melody and heavy on guitars, With Bare Hands is perfectly capable of caressing and crushing in equal measures and while there is undoubtedly enough going on here to satisfy the out and out metal-heads, there is also enough restraint shown to reel in those who need a little more refinement. Singer Danilo Herbert has a mixture of John Bush and ex-Lillian Axe frontman Ron Taylor, alluding to a voice with the ability to sing sweet lullabies, as well as bone splintering metal. What this allows guitarist Rodrigo Hidalgo, bassist Ricardo Winandy and drummer Rafael Pensado to do is flit between styles with ease and skill in the shape of the restrained melodic metal of "Breakthrough", which actually has hit potential and the more urgent and brutal metal styling of "Thrust Into This Game" or "Destructive Device". It is a trick they pull off with ease and it is easy to tell that Mindflow are a band who have spent a serious amount of time honing their skills, which also allows them to bring in the more progressive edge to their music. There really aren't many bands adding intricate time changes into such hard hitting music and while there is the odd nod to Dream Theater, it is more a passing acknowledgement than a fully fledged acquaintance.

Meaty and melodic, With Bare Hands is a hugely impressive release from a band who look set to leave an almighty mark on the metal scene.

Track Listing
1. Break Me Out
2. Reset The Future
3. Breakthrough
4. Walking Tall
5. With Bare Hands
6. Corrupted
7. Under An Alias
8. Shuffle Up And Deal
9. Lethal
10. Thrust Into This Game
11. The Ride
12. Destructive Device
13. Instinct
14. Fragile State Of Peace

Added: August 15th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Mind Flow
Hits: 2253
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Mindflow: With Bare Hands
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-08-15 18:29:28
My Score:

Like many progressive metal bands seem to be doing nowadays, Brazilian act Mindflow have been slowly shedding away their prog influence in favor of a sleek melodic metal sound, and With Bare Hands shows the band at their most commercial thus far. On this, their fifth full-length studio album, Mindflow sport a modern melodic metal sound that leans more in the direction of Disturbed and recent-Evergrey than Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation. Mindflow's slick new direction is one that I'm certainly not opposed to - after all, I am a fan of both Disturbed and Evergrey - but I feel that With Bare Hands ultimately lacks the "bite" that made their early albums so appealing. Their are plenty of memorable songs here, but they are far too rooted in convention to strike me as anything terribly original.

Right of the bat, I must criticize With Bare Hands for being a bit too conventional and formulaic for my tastes. Nothing here hasn't been done before, and the fairly straightforward songwriting techniques lack enough power and emotion to avoid feeling just a tad redundant towards the end of the album. With that said, damn near everything else about With Bare Hands is pretty impressive. Mindflow are a group of very talented musicians who really have a knack for creating catchy hooks and tasteful instrumental backdrops, and every song on With Bare Hands is highly memorable. The compositions, although a bit too predictable, are generally well-structured and coherent, and even further exemplify Mindflow's talent as songwriters.

With Bare Hands certainly has plenty of positive assets, but I can't help but feel that Mindflow played it a bit safe with this effort. In spite of the sleek production, memorable hooks, and solid musicianship, With Bare Hands lacks the power and conviction that made albums like Just the Two of Us... Me and Them so great. I have no doubt that this is a very good album, but in today's crowded melodic metal market, one has to wonder if "very good" cuts it anymore. 3 stars are deserved for this solid effort and its generally pleasing results, although a bit more originality will be key to winning over this reviewer.

» Reader Comments:

Mindflow: With Bare Hands
Posted by Andre Ramos Carneiro on 2011-08-18 13:28:05
My Score:

Their 4th full album release is called 365. With Bare Hands is like a "best of" album, with songs from both 365 and Desctructive Device (3rd album).

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