Album Review: The Mindsight – Incarnate

by GDK

Very rarely does a band that I know send in a review request to Noisography (which is good because I don’t have to worry about breaking someone’s heart or confidence because they assume I’m going to go out of my way to give them a good review), but when a name does come up that I know, I usually get pretty excited because I get to take a golf club to the bulk and a pair of tweezers to the fine.

Over the last couple months I’ve had the opportunity to review some amazing bands and some… less than amazing bands. I’ve gotten to hear some musical gems before they were released and others that if I had my way, would never be released. One thing is common amongst all of the records I’ve reviewed, and that is I can find something problematic with them. Usually it’s something in the mix or one song that really clashes with the rest.

I’ve combed this record for weeks at different volumes, with different EQs, different speakers, headphones, moods, and with background noise and absolute silence. As far as I can tell there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this record; the mix – 10, the engineering – 10, the musicianship – 10, the songs – 10.

According to iTunes each song on this album has been played between 978 and 1029 times each (the ones that have been listened to more are because I was trying to figure out what FX were used). There’s so much sonic quality on this album it’s actually overwhelming. I don’t think I have ever heard an album that has so much attention to detail.

Based out of Toronto, Ontario, The Mindsight, is a hard rock/alternative band with some metal aggression and underlying progressive elements. Consisting of Shane Bales – Main Vocalist, Leonard F. Farmer III – Lead Singer/Guitars, Dustin Anstey – Bass, Ryan Chalmers – Drums, and Sebastian Biega – their recently added Guitarist; this is a 5-piece music machine that will undoubtedly be signed to a major record label anytime now.

At first blush, their opening track, ‘Abandoning’, is a seemingly simple, mid-tempo rocker. But as the track progresses, you are taken on some certainly less than obvious detours, including "fake choruses" and a full-on head banging scream-along around the 3:40 mark. I’m finding that if a band doesn’t have an intro, they usually put what one would consider their ‘best’ track as the very first song on the album. No doubt a smart move because if they’re serious about getting signed or recognition, the first song on the album can be the last song a A&R or fan listens to. The Mindsight is no exception here, they open with a song that really showcases their talent and style; melodic yet heavy, syncopated yet groovy, simplistic yet complex and sophisticated.

‘Release’ - This is possibly the easiest song to describe on the album because it’s really just one giant heavy groove. For the most part, the instrumentation acts is one locked-in unit, but throughout they break away into some very distinct and separate melody lines (ie. at the 1:00 mark), and when they do, they don't seem to miss a beat and the syncopation just flows like water. This song really carries you between the first and third tracks, it’s not a song you really think about while listening, you just embrace it and enjoy.

‘Wandering’ - While this track certainly displays some very driving guitar lines with bass and drums to match, I suppose it’s fair to call this the “vocal-oriented” song of the album because they really stand out. It’s almost like the vocals are used as an instrument and not as a way to carry a message, however, to say that this is actually the case would be a lie. These guys use the medium of the lyric to it's full potential in most, if not all, circumstances and this song is no different. 'Wandering' acts as a recap of the band's ongoing journey through today's ever-changing musical landscape. The verses are quite cleverly crafted; the first brings the listener up to speed by referencing notable quotes from nearly every track on their first record, 'Gathering Mindsight', while the second speaks of some of their struggles in getting radio play in order to reach the masses, and the third is a broad stroke outline of their writing process.

The 4th song, seems to act as the interlude of the album. I think the reason the band named this song ‘Multiverse’ is because it really takes you on a journey through space and time. Carried by layers of tone-rich bass and an array of almost tribal sounding hand drums, this is the most atmospheric and chill song of the EP. I still have a hard time believing this track is 4:47 seconds long because any time I listen, it just breezes by in what feels like a matter of seconds.

‘Body Suit (Test 1)’ - This is probably the most epic song 'Incarnate' has to offer, and it is one that really twists the mind. It seems to have a mysterious depth and vibe that's not easy to pin point, yet it maintains the familiar hooky and riffy qualities one comes to expect after listening to all the songs prior. Listen to it carefully; notice the background textures and then try not to notice them. They appear only when you’re looking for them and disappear when you get lost in the head banging chorus or the insane bass interlude (go to YouTube and look at the video of Dustin recording the bass, 2 pedals at the same time!). The build-up in this song is filled with climactic intensity and the closing fill puts a definite exclamation point on the end of the EP. This track demonstrates the culmination of everything The Mindsight has produced to date and leaves the listener in anticipation of what the future may hold.

This is an album that no music collection can be called complete without! If you can dig groove, technique, and emotion then this is your album, go pick it up!


The Mindsight – Incarnate earns a perfect 6 strums out of 5!

noisography

No comments: