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Trivial Act - Mindscape CD (album) cover

MINDSCAPE

Trivial Act

 

Progressive Metal

3.97 | 12 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Mindscape" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian progressive metal act Trivial Act. The album was released through FaceFront Records in 1997. Trivial Act was formed in 1992 as Cemetary Gates but changed their band name to Trivial Act in 1993. In terms of output "Mindscape" is their only official release, but they did actually record a second full-length album, which was released as a demo in 2001. At that point bassist Steinar Krokmo and drummer Stian Kristoffersen had however begun a new adventure with the subsequently more successful Pagan's Mind. None of those two play on "Mindscape" though where the bass is handled by Svend Ole Heggedal and the drums by Erik Wroldsen (the latter would join Red Harvest in 1998 for a longer stint.

The music on "Mindscape" is guitar/vocal driven progressive metal or in other words 80s influenced progressive metal without keyboards. There is a strong power metal influence in the music too and especially the vocals and the occasional use of choirs in the choruses lead my thoughts in that direction. The material on the 10 track, 69:34 minutes long album (the Japanese version features two bonus tracks), are well written and very well performed. Itīs obvious that these guys are both skilled composers and even more accomplished musicians. The vocals are powerful and delivered with great conviction (reminds me slightly of Dio at times), the guitars are both hard and edgy, and more melodic and intriguing, and the rhythm section are tight and deliver an impressive precision attack.

While there are technically complex sections on the album, the music is not as such focused on that aspect of playing music. Instead "Mindscape" is generally a very melodic oriented album (examples of the most melodic tinged material on the album are found in tracks like "Rainbow Valley" and "Vanish"), where the technical playing is a means to an end, instead of being forced technical noodling. There are no odd sections put in for the sake of it, and when the band put in progressive parts, itīs always done in a tasteful manner.

"Mindscape" is a self-produced affair, and taking that into considering, the album is well produced, featuring a both powerful and clear sound. Weīre so used to hearing keyboards on almost every progressive metal release these days (and back when this album was released too), that the soundscape sometimes feels a bit "empty", but itīs actually refreshing to hear a progressive metal release with some "room" in the mix.

Overall "Mindscape" is a quality release, but the fact that the bandīs brand of progressive metal arguably sounded a bit old fashioned in 1997, probably sealed their fate, and the release of the album more or less went unnoticed by most fans of the genre. If you enjoy melodic progressive metal with strong power metal leanings (and no keyboards), this might be the release for you. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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