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Mindflow - With Bare Hands CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

2.62 | 15 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Like many progressive metal bands seem to be doing nowadays, Brazilian act Mindflow have been slowly shedding away their prog influence in favor of a sleek melodic metal sound, and With Bare Hands shows the band at their most commercial thus far. On this, their fifth full-length studio album, Mindflow sport a modern melodic metal sound that leans more in the direction of Disturbed and recent-Evergrey than Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation. Mindflow's slick new direction is one that I'm certainly not opposed to - after all, I am a fan of both Disturbed and Evergrey - but I feel that With Bare Hands ultimately lacks the "bite" that made their early albums so appealing. Their are plenty of memorable songs here, but they are far too rooted in convention to strike me as anything terribly original.

Right of the bat, I must criticize With Bare Hands for being a bit too conventional and formulaic for my tastes. Nothing here hasn't been done before, and the fairly straightforward songwriting techniques lack enough power and emotion to avoid feeling just a tad redundant towards the end of the album. With that said, damn near everything else about With Bare Hands is pretty impressive. Mindflow are a group of very talented musicians who really have a knack for creating catchy hooks and tasteful instrumental backdrops, and every song on With Bare Hands is highly memorable. The compositions, although a bit too predictable, are generally well-structured and coherent, and even further exemplify Mindflow's talent as songwriters.

With Bare Hands certainly has plenty of positive assets, but I can't help but feel that Mindflow played it a bit safe with this effort. In spite of the sleek production, memorable hooks, and solid musicianship, With Bare Hands lacks the power and conviction that made albums like Just the Two of Us... Me and Them so great. I have no doubt that this is a very good album, but in today's crowded melodic metal market, one has to wonder if "very good" cuts it anymore. 3 stars are deserved for this solid effort and its generally pleasing results, although a bit more originality will be key to winning over this reviewer.

J-Man | 3/5 |


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