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Tiles Presents of Mind album cover
3.85 | 120 ratings | 16 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Static (5:43)
2. Modification (3:42)
3. Crossing Swords (1:06)
4. Facing Failure (5:41)
5. The Learning Curve (4:40)
6. Ballad of the Sacred Cows (6:55)
7. The Sandtrap Jig (0:48)
8. Taking Control (5:12)
9. Safe Procedures (7:04)
10. Reasonable Doubt (11:22)

Total Time 52:13

Bonus tracks on 1999 US edition:
11. Patterns (live) (4:05)
12. Token Pledge (live) (6:49)

Bonus tracks on 2004 remaster:
11. In the Corner (2:31)
12. Ambition (3:40)

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Rarick / vocals
- Chris Herin / guitar, mandolin, banjo, keyboards
- Jeff Whittle / bass, backing vocals
- Mark Evans / drums, percussion
- Pat DeLeon / electronic percussion, backing vocals

- Matthew Parmenter / violin (10)
- Kevin Chown / bass (10)
- Sonya Mastick / percussion (2)

Releases information

Artwork: Hugh Syme

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 032 (1999, Europe)
CD Magna Carta ‎- MA-9038-2 (1999, US) With 2 bonus Live tracks
CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 158 (2004, Europe) Remastered with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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TILES Presents of Mind ratings distribution

(120 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TILES Presents of Mind reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars This is the third album from the four-piece US band TILES, and it's almost as good as the previous album "Fence The Clear" from 1997. Still you can hear the reminiscences to QUEENSRYCHE and RUSH although they aren't that obvious any longer. Perhaps you could compare this album though with QUEENSRYCH's "Promised Land" and "Hear in the Now Frontier". The music is intricate progressive metal with good melodies and arrangements. The singer is really good and the guitarist is a real maestro. The highlights are the opener "Static", "The Learning Curve", "Ballad of the Sacred Cows", "Taking Control", "Safe Procedures" and the last track "Reasonable Doubt" that contains violin played by DISCIPLINE's Matthew Parmenter. As said in the press info "the lyrics focus on how the human mind adapts to the many different and changing situations life presents". The cover artwork that is displaying the music very well is made by Hugh Syme, known for his work with AEROSMITH, ARENA, FATES WARNING, BON JOVI, KISS, MEGADETH, RUSH and WHITESNAKE among others. I recommend you to buy this CD immediately.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is my first introduction to the band and am amazed with the kind of music and sound this four-piece band is producing. It's the kind of hard-rock music with an intense prog elements, I would say, from Detroit-based guys. In terms of band format, it seems like LED ZEPPELIN: guitar/keys (by Chris Herin), drums (by Pat DeLeon), vocals (Paul Rarick) and bass (Jeff Whittle). The difference is that keys is played by guitar player instead of bass player in the case of LED ZEPPELIN. Their music is a blend of hard rock (with no influence of LED ZEPPELIN), jazz rock fusion and some neo-prog elements with frequent changing tempo thru smooth and nice transitions.

STATIC is a great opener with howling guitar sound followed by shuffling drumming work and great bass line. It's really a rocking track that you may presume this band would play the prog met music. They are not. There is no such tempo or guitar riff that may associate you to the prog met music. It has a great composition supported by excellent musicianship from all members of the band: stunning guitar, dazzling bass, and dynamic drumming. The vocal quality of Paul Rarick is also great - he sings in a high tone almost in all tracks. Personally, I really enjoy the drumming and bass guitar sound, especially at the end of the track. The electric guitar solo during interlude is also fascinating and rocking! "Static is our legacy / Taught from birth what we believe / Our mind creates another boundary ." It's really amazing ..

MODIFICATION is in the vein of opening track: upbeat tempo in a full rocking style. Guitar work is really fascinating in lead and riff roles accompanied with punchy bass line at the background. Again, this is more a hard rock sound with some intense prog elements throughout the track.

FACING FAILURE is opened with a nice acoustic guitar works; when the music enters, the bass playing is really fascinating - it runs like hell and brings you to a very stimulating experience. Throughout the track, bass is dominating the music especially during transitions. What makes this track wonderful is the inclusion of some sudden musical breaks with drums/percussion work only. It's interesting track. Though, this track is still having the kind of short interlude with electric guitar sound. And also there is an insertion of mellow tempo with nice acoustic guitar and vocal line at about the ending part of the track. The ending track gives a fusion type of music.

Fourth track THE LEARNING CURVE opens with a mellow / ballad music with vocal line and acoustic guitar rhythm. The music then flows to a hard rock style followed by a nice transition in the vein of symphonic music (with keyboard sound at the back) with great bass guitar sound. It ends with an electric guitar solo. Very nice.

BALLAD OF THE SACRED COWS is one of my favorite tracks. It starts with a rocking style of music dominated by drums and bass guitar (reminds me to RUSH "Hemisphere" album). During transition and when the full music comes into play, the band inserts banjo sound that really makes this track fruitful. It's an approx 7 minute instrumental track performed excellently by the band - it has frequent tempo changes with smooth transition. The exploration of guitar sound at the ending part coupled with dynamic bass line at background is really wonderful. It reminds me to some segments of DREAM THEATER music. Don't get me wrong, TILES music is totally different from DREAM THEATER even though TILES has ever played as opening act of DT concert in 2001.

Opened with a short acoustic guitar work SANDTRAP JIG, the eighth track TAKING CONTROL really takes you to a full-fledge hard rock music in upbeat tempo with some mellow transitions. Well, the band really takes control over you because until this eighth track they still prolong the ultimate enjoyment of listening this wonderfully crafted album.

SAFE PROCEDURES is opened with a PORTNOY-like drum work. It's so energetic opening that brings us the full experience of enjoying this uplifting song. The combination of guitar and bass work is really excellent; accentuated by dynamic drumming by PAT DeLEON. Especially this track, HERIN plays his guitar sometimes in the vein of HACKETT and sometimes HOLDSWORTH during interlude section. It's an excellent track. The concluding track, REASONABLE DOUBT is opened by an acoustic guitar fills followed by the music in relatively medium tempo. Despite the violin-like keyboard sound in the middle of the track, I find this track is a bit boring and less attractive compared to other tracks that really excellent. It's akind of anti-climax putting this track at the end of this album.

Overall, I must admit that this album is excellent. The band is great and it potentially grows in the future. Songwriting and musicianship are top notch. So, it's not naïve to give 4+ / 5 rating for this album. GW, Indonesia.

Review by Menswear
4 stars The album Rush never recorded.

If you can't get enough of the Hemispheres/ Permanent Waves / Moving Pictures period of Rush, go get this album. Tiles is surprisingly tight and ambitious on Presents of Minds. Ambitious too, they even got Terry Brown on production and Hugh Syme on sleeve concept! Talk about wanting to re-create the moment! Oh MaN YeAh ! It's a success all the way. Maybe some numbers are (a tad) less influenced, but the whole feel is efficient enough to hear the message: "Perpetuate the legend".

While their last album 'Fence the Clear' was in the same vein (but in a much lazyer way) this is a big jump in skills and writing. The drums, the bass and especially the guitar is proving what these guys are capable of. The singer's voice is quite good, in a tone we don't hear often. Just listen to the Mp3 on this site, it's a fantastic track and guess what, it's not even the best song of the album!

Man, there's not much to say except this is exceptionnal stuff, and a great consolation prize to fans of the fantastic Rsuh period of '78-81. This is very refreshing stuff and a tremendous jump in quality from the other Tiles records. Funny how such a skilled band could only bullseye once like that. Too bad!

Influenced by Rush but at the same time, a classic example of recycling a good idea into another one!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars The third release from the Detoit based TILES is a classic. I was reading some quotes from Ian Anderson, Gene Simmons and Mike Portnoy, and they were all raving about "Presents Of Mind", especially Ian who is never short on something to say. He was suggesting you buy, beg or steal it, it's that good. Well i'm inclined to agree. Mixed by Terry Brown in Toronto, every aspect of this album is first class. Hugh Syme did the art work. The highlight for me are the vocals of Paul Rarick. There is a resemblance to James LaBrie but he doesn't go for those really high notes, he stays within himself and he has a great voice. There are some RUSH similarities that pop up once and a while, especially in the bass playing of Jeff Whittle.

This is heard on the first track "Static" where we hear an almost funky bass line from Jeff. Great vocals as well.This is a mid-paced tune with a great chorus. I like the drums and bass late. A good start to the record. Another highlight is "Facing Failure", I really like the arrangments on this song, terrific guitar and there is a RUSH vibe on this one too. This is the best song so far. "The Learning Curve" begins with acoustic guitar and gentle vocals.The tempo gets faster and the sound heavier.

Perhaps the best song is the instrumental "Ballad Of The Sacred Cows" with the great drumming and bass playing, lots of time changes too. Hey there's even some banjo, it's awesome ! "Taking Control" is just a fantstic feel good song for me. Some mandolin in this one as well. "Safe Procedures" is really good too, towards the middle of the song the vocals stop, and there is this extended instrumental with the drums pounding, the lead guitar just keeps soloing until the song is over. I can listen to that over and over. Matthew Parmenter of DISCIPLINE fame guests playing the violin on "Reasonable Doubt" a dark song against capital punishment.

This is an easy one to recommend and 4 solid stars ! A must along with "Fence The Clear" for Metal fans out there.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Awesome album and band. One of the front prog band these days. Tiles is a band full of energy, good and fresh ideas. They listen a lot of Rush in their lifes, but is not by far a copy of the monsters Rush. It's clear they know to use the instruments, a timeless album in my opinion. If you listen to Rush, this may be the answer to your looking. No doubt this is the best effort from Tiles. 4 stars for sure. Forte tracks: Ballad of the sacred cows (superb instrumental track, here they show the true talent), Safe procedures. Get it now, worth every second of this album.
Review by progrules
4 stars In my recent review of Fence the Clear I called that album their best by far. I also stated that FtC is the album out of the four releases that least resambles Rush. This one however is a different story. This album is more straightforward in my opinion and the songs are less original and complex than on FtC.

This doesnīt necessarily mean this album is much less in quality and overall feel, I think this is another very fine release by Tiles but itīs not as good as its predecessor. Again I can agree with the recent rating average of exactly 4.00 right now.

The general sound of this album is a bit rougher than FtC sounded. And therefore much more like Rush. Because of the different vocals (Rarick is better than Lee to me) and difference in composition style I donīt think Tiles is a clone of Rush. But the resemblance is obviously there. And there is also connection. This album is produced in Toronto by Terry Brown who of course got famous with Rush in the period 1975/1982. And that is remarkable since Tiles is an American and not a Canadian band.

Highlights on this album are Reasonable Doubt and Safe Procedures. The other songs are good/very good. No surprise I give this one the full 4 stars, I guess. Needless to say itīs recommended for Rush fans besides Tiles fans of course.

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a really pleasant surprise. Tiles is an outfit from the USA which play heavy rock with strong prog influences, sometimes it might even get close to the prog metal genre. I still feel that it's primarily hard rock, and not metal, and in this case I think that distinction is very important.

It would also be very unfair to categorise Tiles as a Rush clone. The bass reminds me of Geddy from time to time and the tight interplay is also a Rush trademark. However, these guys are playing their own music and their true talent lie in that they so successfully blend genres, without leaving any elements out, and still manage to produce such a consistent album.

I love the voice of Paul Rarick. It's so clean and emotional and yet so stunningly beautiful, lifting many of the songs to the masterpiece status they deserve. Another highlight is Jeff Whittle's basslines. I can listen to nothing but them throughout the album. Never boring! But on the other hand, the guitarist Chris Herin can pull off both powerhouse riffing and delicate work with a banjo or a mandolin. Oh, and Pat DeLeon! Varied, powerful and sometimes intricate drumming.

Coming to think of it, this is a great group effort, just as it should be. No member overshadows the others with godlike skills, making the band Person X and his backing band. This is bunch of people having fun together and that's something you notice in the music. Highly recommended!

Highlights: Static, Safe Procedures, Reasonable Doubt

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When you deal with a TILES album,usually you know what to expect...''Presents of mind'' doesn't deliver something groundbreaking or extraordinary but this is generally a very good effort...From the very start it is obvious that the band has chosen the RUSH way of creating prog rock,which is in my opinion one of the most difficult styles of progressive rock,by the mean that this is a rather radio-friendly style of music but at the same time the music must be based in their prog roots...And TILES have done it very well...The album is full of accesible moments along with some more complex ones due mainly to the great work of Chris Herin in the guitars,banjo(!) and keyboards...I consider as best tracks of the album the excellent ''Taking control'' with the nice banjo sound along with ''Safe procedures'' which is balanced between some heavy and some complex guitar lines...As a minus I would notice Paul Rarick' vocals which sometimes remind of JAMES LaBRIE making some tracks sounding close to DREAM THEATER,but TILES have nothing to do with prog metal...Overall this is another nice effort by TILES but I'm still waiting for their true masterpiece contribution to prog rock...3 stars...
Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Any reason to doubt? No? good.

Presents of Mind is the third album from hard-rock-prog outfit Tiles, and it's a great follow up to their previous work. It's very clear between the albums that the band saw that they had found a niche and decided to play to their strengths - this album is very much in the style of their sophomore effort, Fence The Clear. Melodic mid-length songs with high-pitched vocal styles reminiscent of Dream Theater with a heavy guitar and a dominant bass. This style has also been frequently compared to Rush, albeit rather unfairly for each party, since Rush were more kin to playing fantasy-esque songs in their progressive era, and Tiles is much more progressive than Rush in their 90s era. Although comparisons can be drawn between some of Tiles' work and, say, Counterparts, but the parallels are rather few. Regardless, it is clear that Rush were a big influence on these boys, based on the clear nod to Rush's Hemispheres album cover, the brain ominously floating over a barren landscape in black and white with a bow strapped on top, not to mention that the album was mixed by Rush producer, Terry Brown. But comparisons with other bands (or band) aside, let's get into the album.

Tiles really attacked this album the same way they did with their last one. But hey, a good formula is a good formula, and instead of playing out as a carbon copy of their old work the album actually turns more into a direct sequel. It's as though they're saying, ''oh, you liked that? Well how about this?'', then cracking the volume to 11 and blasting on the guitar. All in all this seems like a significant improvement on Fence The Clear, even if the approach was similar. The song writing is tighter, more aggressive and more thought out than their other opus. While Fence The Clear certainly had some down time between moments of brilliance, this album is just full of great material. They do here what they do best, very melodic arrangements with excellent riffs, hooks and choruses. This makes for a wildly approachable album as well, not one that needs multiple listens to catch on, but also one that still sounds great the 100th time you've played it since the music is complex enough to hold a progger's attention.

Tiles also spent a lot of time thinking out the arrangement of the distribution of songs on this record. No songs seem out of place thanks largely to where they're put on the album, and any songs that could be misconstrued as ''filler'' actually really help to liven up the album. After a blistering start to the album, for example, the whole thing slows off for the brief instrumental Crossing Swords only to explode back into motion with the heavy propelling bass riff of Facing Failure. The short moment of near silence really does help to bring up the effect of the loud parts of the album, bringing down any ''wall of sound'' syndrome that might occur. They do this once again as the happy and quirky The Sandtrap Jig abruptly turns into the heavy Taking Control.

These guys are also masters of the short and mid-lengthed song, this album is no exception. The album opens with the excellent Static, although its pace may not be quite up to speed with some of the rest of the album, we're quickly brought there with the next track, Modification. While this second track may not be quite as powerful as the almighty Beneath The Surface from the previous album, it still manages to hold attention and really keep you strapped to your seat. Other excellent songs include the well structured The Learning Curve which features a rare moment of abrupt speed change - something Tiles often does not attempt - but it comes off smashingly making for one of the best songs on the album. The low guitar tone of The Ballad Of The Sacred Cows also makes for a wonderfully satisfying instrumental in its 7-minute entirety, and man is it ever heavy as hell.

The longest song on the album proves to be a slight let down, but it's still strong. Checkerboard was going to be an incredibly tough song to cap, and on this album Tiles attempted to do so with Reasonable Doubt, the 11-minute behemoth that sits in wait at the end of the album. The song is good, but it's nothing like its furious, bombastic and dynamic brother track. This one is mainly mellow for the entire duration of the song, and while this isn't bad after repeated listens the first few times one really just sits in wait for it to pick up. Still, with some smooth riffs and emotional voicing it makes for a satisfying end to the album.

This one really does seem more solid than Fence The Clear before it. Although, admittedly, the shining moments on Fence do shine brighter. Still, both albums are amazing pieces of work no matter which way you nit-pick them and each deserves a loving home in any heavy progger's collection. Recommended to fans of Counterparts era Rush or Awake era Dream Theater. 4 floating brains out of 5 - excellent!

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ''Rushing'' through the new millennium!

TILES' third release felt like a real ''present'' to me. I purchased this album near its release date at a ridiculously low price and I never regretted it. The ''presents'' TILES have to offer in this release are powerful and energetic heavy prog compositions, heavily influenced by RUSH but with a very ''fresh'' and modern approach, in the vein of ENCHANT.

Some people (including Mike Portnoy) have commented that the sound of this album is how RUSH should have sounded in recent years; and that's not far off the truth. This album is ''soaked'' with the influence of Lifeson's riffs and Lee's bass lines; however the ideas are so live and well-worked that the resemblance to the great heavy-prog act does not become at all annoying. The main elements of TILES' music are the hard rock/heavy prog guitar uplifting riffs that usually build up with beautiful vocal lines and very catchy melodic refrains. The musicianship will definitely impress some listeners who could have expected ''another rock record from an American band''.

Trying to ''categorise'' the songs, this album mainly consists of powerful, short-to-medium length, mid-tempo rocking tracks: Static, Modification, Facing Failure, Taking Control, Safe Procedures. There are also a couple of very short charming acoustic guitar tracks that act as introductions: Crossing Swords, The Sandtrap Jig. The instrumental piece of the record (Ballad of the Sacred Cows) is probably one of the most interesting moments, balancing between heavy prog riffs, dynamic rhythm sections and melodic acoustic guitar breaks. A half-ballad (The Learning Curve) and a mini-epic (Reasonable Doubt) complete the puzzle of ''Presents of Mind''. The former, without being weak, is probably the most indifferent track, while the latter is a pleasant surprise, flowing in a low tempo with strong vocal melodies and ''coloured'' with the presence of a violin's sound - something completely different to the rest of the album.

Apart from the resemblance to RUSH and the indifference of one track there is nothing that would keep from recommending this release to all heavy prog fans. Attention should be drawn to the pure rocking energy of the compositions; particularly in the guitar/bass riffs and the beautifully drawn melodies, especially in the vocals section. Suggested starting points: Static, Taking Control, Ballad of the Sacred Cows. Unreservedly recommended to friends of RUSH that would like to hear a more modern approach to heavy prog.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This was the first album of my introduction to Detroit based Tiles. A solid outing and I was instantly intrigued by their style and sound. I often read of their comparisons to Rush, and I understand the personnel links with producer Terry Brown, artist/guest musician Hugh Syme, and even a guest ... (read more)

Report this review (#1285717) | Posted by OldSchoolProg | Monday, September 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4,5 stars realy!!! In my humble opinion, this third albun of the North American band TILES entitled "Presents of Mind" , is his best work and with certainty one of the best albums of heavy-prog to the late 90's. The main influence is the Canadian band RUSH, however there are still other ... (read more)

Report this review (#450636) | Posted by maryes | Saturday, May 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Huge Disappointment. I would like to preface this review by saying that I am an enormous RUSH fan. Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures hold special places in my heart like few albums possibly can. When I heard phrases like "the album Rush never recorded" and "If you can't get enough of the Hemi ... (read more)

Report this review (#409884) | Posted by The SaidRemark | Tuesday, March 1, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Tiles- quite often tagged as "The next Rush" Is that comparison true? I guess its up to you. This band is HUGELY underrated. And by underrated, I mean rarely talked about on the archives. Having all of Tiles albums- I must say that this is my favorite album of theirs- it is musically tight wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#83574) | Posted by Drew | Wednesday, July 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Wow- so little reviews of such a great art-rock album. This may be the best effort from Tiles. Beautiful Music Here- solid all around. Rush-inspired no-doubt, so I may be partial to it...but any fan of Art-Rock should check this CD out- Solid, Solid Music. The Highlight of the album is Reasona ... (read more)

Report this review (#60067) | Posted by | Saturday, December 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars With "Presents Of Mind," Tiles unveils an outstanding, unique sound, combining the spacious, edgy, guitar-driven neo-prog of '90s Rush with touches of Fates Warning's intricate, powerhouse riffing and the creative arrangements of Yes and Spock's Beard. No comparisons to other bands, however, c ... (read more)

Report this review (#18383) | Posted by | Thursday, July 8, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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