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Mastermind - Mastermind IV - Until Eternity  CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.66 | 17 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars My entry point to Matermind is their excellent Angels of the Apocalypse album. With two strong positive reviews by experienced reviewers before me, I couldnt hesitate a bit when I found a new Mastermid IV in an online auction.

The Berends Brothers are the two key masterminds here. If you're reading this, you probably know that the band is pretty much influenced by ELP, but interestingly Bill Berends' use of MIDI guitar has provided them the unusual, to say the least, approach to how a keyboard is played. You'll be able to find plenty of examples in this disc. Too bad the composition for the whole lot of instrument is a work of one mind, so although the melodies are very very strong, the diversity suffers quite a bit here i.e. every instruments try to act as a guitar. (They are actually all guitars!!!) This doesn't happen in AotA as the keyboards duty are tastefully responsible by wizard Jens Johansson.

While my first love with the band is mostly due to the angelic voice of Lisa Bouchelle, this is another weak area in this album. Unfortunately, Bill's is just no leading voice; it is quite weak and amateurish at best, although he is pretty good in backing role as in AotA. And the brothers seem to realise this fact by releasing the all instrumental album right after this one, and hiring singers to front them in AotA and the subsequent EP. So, whilst I love the vocal melodies, I kept looking forward to the instrumental section. In spite of my disappointing comment, his singing in track 3 Dreaming is pretty ok though. I kept thinking throughout the listening how this would sound with Ms Bouchelle's voice (i havent heard the EP so have no idea whatsoever how the most recent singer sounds.

The mixing is another disappointment. It sounds like there are a lot of room for improvement had the album been properly financed. I'd really love to hear if this album will be remixed with technologies of the present day. What else, the artwork is pretty lame.

With all the good melodies and interesting ideas, this deserve at least 3.5 stars. Sadly I just can't think of this album be in the same level as my other 3-4 star albums due to some outstanding weaknesses, so I'm giving this 2.75 at best.

terryl | 3/5 |


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