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


Mind Key

Progressive Metal

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5 stars Hey guys, a new fantastic reality is shining! Here's a perfect demonstration of how a great prog metal album should be! Killing riffs, intricate and originals instrumental parts,oddtimes, but also magic, charming melodic passages and vocal lines, in the best tradition of this musical genre! The rhythm section is incredibly powerful and full of groove, andrea stipa (dr) and lele castaldo (bs) march as a train, while dario de cicco (keys) and emanuele colella (gt) paint enchanting scenes of pure magic; marK basile - now replaced by new singer aurelio fierro- shows a very large extension range and great warmth, perfectly integrating with music. So if u love bands like dream theater, symphony x,fates warning,queensryche, van den plas,ark, pain of salvation, shadow gallery, planet x but also deep purple, rainbow, toto, kansas, journey etc... and aim to originality, mind key are highly recommended! EXCELLENT!!!


luca lattene

Report this review (#31959)
Posted Sunday, August 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars WOW! - Mind Key must be rated up with their other Italian colleagues Empty Tremor and DGM. This is the album that DGM should've come up with after Hidden Place - but that's another review. Back to JOARD. This is awesome. Superb song structures and brilliantly executed by some very talented musicians. Melodic, jazzy in places, heavy in others but always progressive. Vocalist has a great mid-range voice which compliments both the up- tempo and the slower passages - shame he has now been replaced. Rhythm section, particularly the drums are amazing - Mike Portnoy would be proud of this guy! This has to be one of the best debut albums I've heard. Fans of all progressive and melodic metal should add this to their collection as well as those into Journey, Toto and Kansas. Fantastic!
Report this review (#35468)
Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Mind Key is an Italian progressive metal band.You can hear many varied influences in their music,from Dream Theater and Symphony X to bands like Deep Purple and Toto.Journey of a Rough Diamond is a fine debut,featuring complex songs with many tempo changes,astounding guitar work,great keyboard playing,and an incredible ryhthm section and soaring Labrie-esque vocals.Versatile guitarist Emanuele Colella frequently switches styles,from metal to fusion to blues,making it seem very easy.Drummer Andrea Stipa,as one reviewer of this cd has said,would do Portnoy proud.And vocalist Marco Basile has a very wide range,but has since been replaced with Aurelio Fierro.Two of the standout tracks for me are "Lord of the Flies",based on the William Golding book and the epic "Waiting for the Answer",which contains all of this groups trademarks of complexity,brilliant technique and melody.4 stars and highly recommended for prog metal fans
Report this review (#41133)
Posted Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Finally, I found a band which sounded like DT but with their own style. I think they did great with this album. Vocal part is great and fits the music. Riffs and Leads are clean and very melodic but not repetetive. The drums is also cool; I think he avoid the repetetive double peddling which makes a song sound like power metal. Good job on that. "Secret Dream", "Lord Of The Flies", "World Of Illusion" and "Waiting For Answer" are the heavy songs here while "Memory Calling" and "Without Ann" are beautiful ballads. Deep Insane sounds like Mr. Big prog metal. To sum it up, the album is very prog metal.
Report this review (#46479)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Mind Key first album named Journey of a rough diamond from 2004 is for me a true treasure of progressive metal, is essential listning if you want something realy strong in this field. I was knock out of my socks when i've listned first time this record last year. Excellent musicianship, great ideas, superb song writing and above all brilliant vocal parts.Mind Key is a talented young italian band who, for some reason didin't make it big 'till now, is strange because this album is among the best prog metal albums I ever heard. Clearly influenced by Dream Theater, but don't expect to be a copy/paste band, contrary this album is 100 times better than anything Dream Theater releases after Scenes from a memory. The music is very well written, with nice shifting moods between heavyer elements to a more mellower ones, great are the interplays between guitar and keys, and above all the voice of Marco Basile fits like a glove here, in this kind of music. Why I consider this album a masterpice, because is not another clone of well known prog metal bands, they manage to creat something special and very catchy. Quite rarely I have the chance to listen to such a perfect album, and surprise from a young band. All the pieces are excellent, from long ones with nice long instrumental passages to mellow ones, where the voice of Basile truly shines. Every musician is sure on his instrument, it's shown in every piece how easy this guys play. Why they didn't had the chance to make it big, I don't understand. On their offcial site is written thet they working on a new album, maybe this year will be released. Anyway this Journey of a rough diamond is a shineing star in prog metal field, highly recommend for every serios prog listner. 5 stars for this almost unknown treasure, but for sure needs a better view. Similar bands, Empty Tremor, Madsword, Dream Theater and at some point Shadow Gallery and Vanden Plas.
Report this review (#199268)
Posted Friday, January 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#1915247)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2018 | Review Permalink

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