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MINDGAMES

Neo-Prog • Belgium


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Mindgames biography
Belgian band MINDGAMES influences are to be found in the whole progressive rock history. Element of FLOYD, YES, GENESIS, MARILLION and too many others to mention can be found in here. The band grouped in 1997 but it took 2 years until they entered the recording studio to shape their first recording demos.

The rehearsals for their debut album took the next three years until the album was ready, in 2002, and was finally released in 2003. This output was carefully structured with mid-long pieces and three epics. It's a very sophisticated music, precisely played and perfect balance between energy and softness. Strong melodies, multiple rhythm changes and a nice instrumental colouring of the songs are warp and woof on "International Daylight", an album that achieved a great success among the lovers of Symphonic Progressive.

In 2005, MINDGAMES returned to studio to prepare their second album, "Actor In A Play", released in 2006 that received very positive reviews from the international press and fans. With this album, MINDGAMES keep following the same path from their beginning, a well-balanced sound between Neo and New Symphonic, blended with several other influences.

Recent news inform that MINDGAMES had important line-up changes and that they are shaping a new album to be released by 2009, but anyway keeping their original style.

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Actors in a PlayActors in a Play
CD Baby 2012
$13.44
$24.77 (used)
Paradox Of ChoiceParadox Of Choice
Mindgames
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International Daylight by Mindgames (2004-01-01)International Daylight by Mindgames (2004-01-01)
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Mmx by MindgamesMmx by Mindgames
Justforkicks
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Actors in a Play by Mindgames (2012-05-03)Actors in a Play by Mindgames (2012-05-03)
CD Baby
$19.99
$47.86 (used)
MMXMMX
CD Baby 2010
$13.44
$5.60 (used)
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MINDGAMES discography


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MINDGAMES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.28 | 39 ratings
International Daylight
2002
3.89 | 89 ratings
Actors In A Play
2006
3.69 | 92 ratings
MMX
2010
3.84 | 44 ratings
Paradox Of Choice
2015

MINDGAMES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MINDGAMES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MINDGAMES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MINDGAMES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MINDGAMES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 MMX by MINDGAMES album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 92 ratings

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MMX
Mindgames Neo-Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Belgian progrock formation Mindgames was rooted in 1997 but not until 2002 the band released their debut CD entitled International Daylight, in 2006 followed by the CD Actors In Play, in 2010 MMX and in 2015 Paradox Of Choice. Meanwhile the band went through several changes in the line-up, with Bart Schram (vocals and acoustic 12- string guitar) as the prime mover and constant factor. This review is about Mindgames their third album, during that time I witnessed the band on a Duch progrock festival. I was delighted about their music and bought this one.

The producer on this third album (and also their second effort) is electronic musician Frank Van Bogaert, he also produced other Belgian progrock band Neo-Prophet their stunning album Monsters. Listening to MMX. I am not surprised about that because there are strong similarities between Neo-Prophet and Mindgames on their new CD MMX: both bands blend symphonic rock, melodic rock and neo-prog with hints of Seventies Saga and Styx.

Most of the seven compositions deliver a song oriented approach with very tasteful work on guitar and keyboards, pleasant vocals and flowing shifting moods.

A dynamic and bombastic sound with lush keyboards an powerful guitar in The Source.

A beautiful build-up from dreamy with warm vocals and tender piano to a compelling final part with howling guitar and Mellotron choir sound in Glory Of Night.

From mellow with acoustic guitar and soaring keyboards to a slow rhythm with moving wah-wah guitar and Hammond organ in In My Humble Opinion.

Sensitive electric guitar, sensational synthesizer flights and in the end bombastic Hammond and a fiery guitar solo in the varied Travels.

From tender piano to powerful wah-wah guitar in the wonderful Outside The Gloom.

And exciting work on guitar and keyboards in the catchy Destination Sky.

We can listen to the band in its full splendor during the alternating and compelling epic final composition The Pendulum: after a spacey intro Mindgames presents an excellent balance of mellow, more dynamic and bombastic parts. From a tight rhythm with fiery guitar leads to a beautiful interlude with warm classical guitar and soaring keyboards, culminating in a strong conclusion featuring a very moving guitar solo with howling runs and majestic keyboards (Mellotron choir sound and Hammond organ), this is Prog Heaven!

If you are up to Seventies Saga and Styx, neo-prog in the vein of Clepsydra or recent progrock like Knight Area, this is a band to discover.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 MMX by MINDGAMES album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 92 ratings

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MMX
Mindgames Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars 3,5 stars !!! After two exceptional albums "International Daylight" 2003 and "Actors in a Play" 2006 ( to this last I give 5 stars in my review #1010372 Posted Saturday, August 3, 2013) in which I've said "in comparison with "MMX" the "distance" grow in considerable way, because I don't find in "MMX" the same quality in arrangements and variations that I find in the two others" I want to stand out that I still think the same thing . However... after a more careful audition I must say which isn't a disdain, in fact MMX is much more simple album with a more "direct" sound, the arrangements are much more close of Heavy-prog. Listening in sequence "International Daylight", "Actors in a Play" and "MMX", I verify in this last the absence of the "filigrees" which you can find in two previous albums. But , "MMX" also have some attractives as for instance track2 "In my Humble Opinion" a great ballad , track 3 "Glory of Night" and his "addict" heavy part with drums broken beats (starting 3 min 54 seg), track 5 "Travels" ( one of best moments in whole album ) . Another great moment is track 4."Outside The Gloom" and the middle theme which reminds me GENESIS " A Trick of The Tail". In sume , if is not an album at the same level of their previous albums, also isn't a "disaster"! My rate is 3 stars !
 Actors In A Play by MINDGAMES album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.89 | 89 ratings

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Actors In A Play
Mindgames Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars In 2004 Mindgames were busy playing their material live.The first Flemish Progrock festival was among their major events, organized by the Prog-Nose e-zine, followed by memorable performances at the Prog-resiste Convention and ProgFarm.The next year the group focused on composing the material of their upcoming album, that was eventually recorded at the Ace Studio of Frank Van Bogaert in Antwerp, who also produced this work, released in 2006 independently by Mindgames.

To play a major role in a play like Progressive Rock, you have to a consistent actor.And Mindgames played their roles with passion and inspiration, even with a literally theatrical taste one could say, as their new album is strongly influenced by MARILLION and quite similar to acts such as KNIGHT AREA and GALLEON with a bit of SPOCK'S BEARD thrown in for good measure.Six long tracks with great lyrical moves, angular synthesizer washes and beautiful symphonic references offer the listener majestic moments, full of incredible atmospheres and sensitive melodies.Numerous shifting moods and changing climates are put together next to soaring guitars, discreet organs and Classical touches to result tight and rich compositions, often with a theatrical grandieur.Pompous instrumental passages and striking groovy runs are well-executed and linked with comfort.The singer, Mr. Bart Schram, has an evident FISH-like type of singing and his voice is quite nice.KAYAK and GENESIS remain a deep inspiration for the group, especially on the dreamy lines coming from the Moog synths.Excellent keyboard work as a whole and some tremendous guitar parts deliver very dense and conveincing musicianship.

A highlight of year 2006.A step forward compared to the very good ''International Daylight'', showing a very mature group, that knows how to compose bombastic, intelligent and intricate Prog songs.Highly recommended.

 Actors In A Play by MINDGAMES album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.89 | 89 ratings

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Actors In A Play
Mindgames Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

5 stars I entirely agree with the PA community, when they conferring for this album the best quotation between their 3 albuns, with a significant difference ... my impression is "Actors in a Play" are fairly superior in relationship to "International Daylight" and much more than "MMX". I say this, because I think which the quotations for the three albuns "International Daylight" - 3.16, "Actors in a Play" - 3.84 and "MMX" - 3.69 , ( im my humble opinion) don't correspond to real superiority from the album in question. I expose my ideas starting saying which "International Daylight" are a very complex work and of course a very good album but , this complexity don't is so well "worked" than in "Actors in a Play" where the different passages comes to flow in a more "digestible" sequence than in the previous album, which turns the album more pleasant for listening and in comparison with "MMX" the "distance" grow in considerable way, because I don't find in "MMX" the same quality in arrangements and variations that I find in the two others. "Actors in a Play" is an album close to perfection without weak points in terms of composition or musicians performance, all tracks are remarkable . For this reason my rate is 5 stars !!!
 Actors In A Play by MINDGAMES album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.89 | 89 ratings

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Actors In A Play
Mindgames Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Mindgames present on Actors In a Play a very theatrical style of neo-prog - aided, in particular, by the lyrical delivery of Bart Schram. Comparisons to Genesis are tempting, though actually in the album's more overtly whimsical moments (which cross the line into "irritatingly twee" a little too often) I'm most reminded of the glory days of Ange. The upshot is that this is a neo-prog album which may offer a refreshingly different take on the neo-prog sound for those who remember Ange with fondness, but which at the same time the lead singer's theatrical flourishes may prove irritating to some listeners. In other words, like Ange itself, it's an acquired taste.
 MMX by MINDGAMES album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 92 ratings

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MMX
Mindgames Neo-Prog

Review by Richens

4 stars Having now listened to this album MMX and their previous album from 2006 'Actors in a Play', I am happy to say that MMX shows that Mindgames have made good progress between 2006 and 2010.

MMX, in my opinion, as a fan of symphonic and melodic progressive rock, is their strongest album to date. It starts off a little slowly, but by the third track 'Glory of the Night', it is beginning to pick up nicely. The final track 'The Pendulum' is an excellent 15 minute track and a fine closing song for the album.

If you are looking at buying this album (which I am trying to do at the moment!), you may have difficulty finding it for a reasonable price. Being a bit of an audiophile, I tend to buy CD's and then convert them to FLAC file format. I find it a little galling that even now, we don't have access to a generally accepted lossless audio format in the commercial mainstream. The cheapest I can find this CD for is from the Mindgames e-store for close to 19 euros, which is out of my price bracket. The most I will pay for a CD is 15 and for that price it better be good! If I can find it for 15 or less I will definitely buy it and I do recommend it as a very good addition to any progressive collection.

 International Daylight by MINDGAMES album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.28 | 39 ratings

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International Daylight
Mindgames Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Mindgames recently had their definite breakthrough with their 2010 album MMX, an album I will explore some day. Right now I will review the debut of this Belgian outfit playing in typical neo progressive style. This is regularly noticeable thanks to slightly emotional vocals accompanied by good guitar and keys producing semi-long compositions. These vocals are by no means poor but they aren't top notch either. Shall we say: somewhere in between ? Typical prog vocals like I stated in more of my reviews, vocals are more often the Achilles heel of progbands.

With Mindgames it's no different I'm afraid but I had hoped for and counted on somewhat more impressive compositions as well when I saw the running times of the songs which could indicate we're dealing with impressive stuff here. The compositions again aren't weak or poor but they aren't truly memorable or excellent either. Let's say I've heard better on all those neo bands and albums I witnessed before. The longest (closing) track is by far the best in this department and makes me doubt a bit to give the 4 stars anyway but I'm afraid the rest isn't really good enough to secure that. It's somewhere around the 3,5 mark to be exact but I wouldn't dare to recommend this to anyone as an excellent prog album. Pretty good neo prog is what this is so I will give three.

 MMX by MINDGAMES album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 92 ratings

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MMX
Mindgames Neo-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars This Neo Prog album is Mindgames' new release, which is quite contradicting, because it literally means prefix that signifies "reborn", being in new age/era. Well, let's see this Neo-Prog release, shall we ?

As far as my poor, age tired ears can see (hehe), this is optimistic music. All 57 minutes long, I felt fine. It was like one great big cure to kill tired state of my mind and shine some sunlight into it. Well, from little bit more technical point of view, this music is quite various (they call it eclectic), graduating in most of the tracks, while along the way tossing some Prog elements, which results in very interesting experience. I hesitated, if I dare to give my best, but after all, sometimes you feel sure about something and so you do it. That's life, deeds and consequences.

4(+), if not the first then maybe one of few best ratings I've give this year (MMX). Because this music is audio (adieu?) poetry from good spectrum of them. Not so long, but not 39 minutes shortling, Mindgames are presenting fine piece of work that shouldn't be denied. Thanks guys from forum to reminding me that it's actually good album, so I was able to "get to" it.

 MMX by MINDGAMES album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 92 ratings

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MMX
Mindgames Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Third album of Mindgames from 2010, just released last month and named MMX. As previous reviewer observed, the MMX means in roman numer 2010. So, Mindgames needed again a long time to release another album, almost 4 years but the expectation are very positive. This belgium band hit the top of the prog genre with Actors in aplay, with MMX the band manage to keep it big in neo prog filed. Same great atmosphere on entire album, good compositions, and above all a pleasent and surprisingly positive attitude on all pieces. Again they did it , maybe a little less convinceing then previous one, but for sure a good album all the way. Again the pieces are elaborated full of catchy interplay between musicians, very solid musicianship. Every pieces is a winner again, not a bad moment here, they tried and succeded again to come with a valueble album in this genre. A recommended release for sure who needs 4 star easy. Great band who desearve a wider recognition by all prog listners. I'm not sure this is a better album then Actors in a play but for sure is a very well played composed album, and a good candidate to the the best of 2010.
 Actors In A Play by MINDGAMES album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.89 | 89 ratings

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Actors In A Play
Mindgames Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars MIndgames is a neo prog band from Belgium , releasing so far 3 albums, this is their second one from 2006 named Actors in a play. The band needed some time to release a second album, after the good but little noticed first released in this field, Mindgames coming with a superb second album. To tell the truth I was very pleasent surprised and the result is very good. I know this band since 2008, I've listen then to this album and with the time I decided to check aswell their last one from 2010 aswell. Actors in a play is a very polished neo prog album with excellent musicianship and great ideas. As far as I see here this might be considered a concept album about different characters, each one present in each piece, and finaly got together in the last song Both Sides of the Show. The album is very well crafted, the skills of the musicians is awesome, the ideas are very strong and better that half the neo prog bands available on the market. The band grow a lot since their first album, with this Actors in a play they reach the peak of their career and for sure they reach a higher staus in neo prg field.Every pieces is a winner here, not a single weak moment, pieces like The Benefit of Anxiety or the superb The statue are perfect examples of this brilliant album. The guitar arrangemnts are almost perfect who interluded very well with the keyboards. The album is melodic full of catchy tunes, brilliant musicianship, and above all an excellent vocalist who doesn't try to sound like a Fish or IQ clone.Sometimes the voice is very theatrical , but fits very well in the context of the piece, also he has a very british tone of voice. The music is complex, much more complex and up tempo then on many neo prog releases, a lot of twists and turning moments in instrumental passages, not very often I can see that , specialy when I'm talking about a neo prog band, when many times the music is flat or linear most of the time. Excellent keyboard and guitar solos and some complex rhythms and beautiful breaks give to this album a lot of varation. So, Mingames and specially this album must be one of the best examples of greatness and intelligent progressive rock music from today. To me this is an excellent album full of surprises, highly recommended to all serious prog rock listners. One of the best neo prog albums ever created, at least from last decade. Great band that needs a wider recognition because they worth every second.
Thanks to ProgLucky; Atkingani for the artist addition.

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