Hailing from Prague in the Czech Republic, Mindwork are a progressive metal trio consisting of Martin Schuster (guitar, vocals), Adam Palma (bass), and drummer Filip Kittnar (drums), and on their latest release Eterea, the band have delivered a very solid and enjoyable mix of atmospheric progressive rock, technical death metal, and jazz-fusion. You can clearly hear the influences of Cynic, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Anathema, and Death, as well as some of the great '70s prog acts such as Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd, so as far as originality goes Mindwork aren't really reinventing the wheel, but Eterea is without a doubt something pretty special.
Schuster mixes in wonderful clean melodic vocals with the occasional death metal growl, and it's there that the Cynic, Death, and Opeth elements come into play, as he delivers both styles with confidence and weaves them into raging, technical prog-metal fare like "The Stream of Causality", "Mind Renewal", and "Perceiving the Reality". You have to love when the band drops the metal and settles into a nice jazzy interlude complete with nimble bass & guitar lines, before they quickly lurch back to bombastic, twisting progressive metal. Palma's sinewy, Jaco Pastorius styled bass lines lead in the adventurous "Causality (The Reconciliation)", which also features piano, lush guitar tones, and then some crushing heaviness. There's an atmospheric feel to this one, a sense of drama, that should appeal to fans of Anathema's heavier material and certainly to the great Polish band Riverside. Another highlight here is the raging "Reaping of Waters", a real workout for the band, part technical death metal, part jazz, part atmospheric prog-rock, complete with some of Schuster's most impressive guitar work on the album. The moody, boiling, bubbling "Enthusiastic Waves" also makes its mark in a big way, slowly building in intensity with melodic, unison lines before Schuster's menacing growls and thunderous arrangements take the song into total bombast, and the closing instrumental "Eterea Collapse" again shows the bands ability to deliver tasty jazz and complex, melodic progressive metal.
Despite the obvious comparisons to some of the bands I mentioned above, Mindwork have put together a corker of a CD here that shows their impeccable musicianship, varied & powerful vocal styles, and the ability to craft complex songs that hit on many moods and deliver plenty of variety. It's metal, it's prog, and it's jazz-fusion, all wrapped up in one splendid package. Without a doubt Mindwork are a band to keep your eye on in the months and years to come.
1) Enter Eterea
2) Perceiving the Reality
3) The Stream of Causality
4) Mind Renewal
5) Causality (The Reconciliation)
6) Reaping of Waters
7) Stillness of the Sea
8) Enthusiastic Waves
9) Eterea Collapse