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Mind Key - Journey Of A Rough Diamond CD (album) cover

JOURNEY OF A ROUGH DIAMOND

Mind Key

 

Progressive Metal

4.13 | 51 ratings

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martindavey87
3 stars 'Journey of a Rough Diamond' is the debut album by Italian progressive metal band Mind Key. Released in 2004, it bears many similarities to a certain well-known band...

Now, I've always disliked the notion of so many progressive metal bands being labelled as "Dream Theater clones". Yes, Dream Theater are the pioneers of the subgenre, and have remained flag bearers to this day, having laid the foundations and defined the true aspects and qualities of the style. But God forbid, anyone being inspired by this and playing something similar! Why isn't every metal band in history simply regarded as a Black Sabbath clone? Or a Metallica clone? Or a...

Whatever... Back on track... Mind Key are one of "those bands".

Ticking off every cliché from the prog metal guidebook, the music here is highly ambitious, with long track durations, extended musical passages, unparalleled musicianship, and with a vocalist who mostly sings in a higher range. This is prog metal 101.

But is it any good? It's... alright.

I stumbled across Mind Key back in 2010 when I first heard and fell in love with the song 'Secret Dream'. I couldn't wait to hear the entire album, and when I finally managed to get hold of it, it didn't quite live up to expectations. It's good. But it's so incredibly average. I don't expect every band to reinvent the wheel, but for all the musical talent and production values this band has, there's just not a lot here that hasn't been done more memorably by other artists.

Still, there are some solid tracks here. Besides the aforementioned 'Secret Dream', (which is definitely the best the album has to offer), there's 'Love Remains the Same', 'Lord of the Flies', 'Without Ann' and 'Waiting for the Answer'. None of these songs are going to set the world on fire, but in fairness, while my review does seem a bit harsh, these are pretty decent compositions.

But Mind Key just fail to truly stand out amongst a sea of so many "Dream Theater clones". They're good though, and 'Journey of a Rough Diamond' is worth checking out if you're into your prog metal, but there's plenty of similar bands with more memorable and accessible albums.

martindavey87 | 3/5 |

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