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MINDSPEAK

Crossover Prog • Austria


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Mindspeak biography
Founded in Vienna, Austria in 2009

MINDSPEAK is a progressive-rock-quintet based in Vienna, Austria, consisting of VIKTORIA SIMON(vocals), SIMON NAGY (bass), ALEX CLÉMENT (guitar), CHRISTOPH KASPAROVSKY (keyboard, e-organ) and GABRIEL LAHRMANN (drums). The age of the musicians ranges from 19 to 23, while the sum of the individual members' tastes in music adds up to an even greater spectrum. This melting pot of various inspirations and playing techniques results in a very distinct and individual sound that can't be traced back to a single influence or genre. 'PICTURES' is their debut album on which the band has been working on for over two years.

The drums were recorded in studio, all other instruments and vocals were recorded by MINDSPEAK within two weeks in a home studio in Tyrol, Austria. Not least through the professional mixing and mastering the final product can now not merely be showcased as a "student project" but as a highly qualitative, representative concept-album. Pictures' resents nearly an hour of intensively played progressive rock; combining eclectic and original song-writing, resulting in a both balanced and fresh sound altogether. Multi-vocal singing alternates with pulsating instrumental passages; frequent time signature changes and rhythmic playfulness give distinction to the sound and still leave enough space for catchy tunes.

The story told by the lyrics is seamlessly interwoven with the music throughout the whole album. It tells the subjective conflict of a woman with both herself and her societal environment, seen from a very personal perspective. In both life and death she permanently feels confronted with insufficiencies of herself and is longing for a way out. Through changes in atmosphere and reoccurring, often adapted and altered motives, the music on 'PICTURES' attunes to the story and blends in perfectly.

When we read a good story, we create pictures with our minds. When we think about life, we have pictures in our heads, be it moving or stills. When we die, pictures of our lives flash before our eyes until our very last breath. A story of living and dying - pictures.

Biography provided by the artist and used with permission

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MINDSPEAK discography


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

3.64 | 14 ratings
Pictures
2014
3.92 | 8 ratings
Eclipse Chaser
2019

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Pictures Live
2015

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

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

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

MINDSPEAK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eclipse Chaser by MINDSPEAK album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.92 | 8 ratings

BUY
Eclipse Chaser
Mindspeak Crossover Prog

Review by franp

4 stars This is a great album without a single track to dump. The production is perfect (except for the drums, more on this later*). Great guitar riffs and entertaining melodies flowing in each others the exact way. The voice of Viktoria Simon is a real gem, clear and just, in the purest progressive tradition.

It would be closed to perfection if it was not for the drums. I d'ont know if it is by design or if it a problem at production stage. Hey, Gabriel Lahrmann, have a break ! Go and have a nap. Or stop coffee ! The world won't collapse if you avoid beating a few stops. Without this problem, this would be a 5 stars mark. Still great.
 Eclipse Chaser by MINDSPEAK album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.92 | 8 ratings

BUY
Eclipse Chaser
Mindspeak Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars This album is one of those hidden gems released this year (2019) that hasn't got a lot of attention yet.

Mindspeak is a crossover prog band from Austria founded in 2009 when they were between the ages of 19 to 23. Ten years later, they have released their 2nd full length studio album called "Eclipse Chaser". The album contains two songs and one 6-part suite with the total run-time for the album at just over an hour. The current line-up for the band consists of Victoria Simon on lead vocals, Alex Clement on guitar and backing vocals, Christoph Kasparovsky on keys and backing vocals, Simon Nagy on bass, and Gabriel Lahmann on drums and percussion and backing vocals. This is the same line-up the band has had since it's formation There are a few guest artists utilized throughout the album; Olivia Baniqued on flute, Thomas Korner on alto sax, Philipp Lion on backing vocals and Eva Flieder conducting the Chor Weinhaus.

The beginning track is "When Giants Cry" which starts off this nearly 10 minute track with a throbbing synth and the rest of the band join in with a stately beginning. The vocals come in after a minute. Victoria's voice is smooth and airy at first and intensifies as the track continues. After one verse and chorus, the organ plays a nice solo backed by solid guitar chords and a heavy beat. The 2nd verse starts retaining the solid sound which even intensifies more and moves quickly to a bridge before chiming keys and thumping bass move into a slightly trickier rhythm which brings in an excellent and dynamic guitar solo. The synths bring in a somewhat symphonic feel as it continues to push forward. This culminates into a quick climax that follows with a short soft section with piano and vocals, but this quickly builds back up again for the ending.

"Tetrachrome" starts off it's 17 minute time with a loud and chaotic beginning before finally leveling out to a smoother but fast beat and a guitar-led intro. After a few iterations of a melody, and piano complicates things by developing a boiling riff which the guitar soon plays off of. Some solid guitar and organ enhanced riffs provide a start/stop section and then everything levels out again with the return of the guitar theme. This finally moves to a steady repeated keyboard chord progression and the vocals start just before the 4 minute mark. The full band come in to support the vocals. After two iterations of the first melody (verse, chorus), there is a bridge section and then a choral section slow things down as a guitar guides the song to a softer and slower section. Acoustic guitar back up a new vocal melody. There are a few iterations of this new theme, and soft keyboards join on the 2nd verse. The rest of the band join in with a slow but solid beat as the bridge and chorus bring the song to a new emotional level. The choir joins in with a wordless harmony when the main vocals stop and this brings in a nice guitar improvisation just before 11 minutes is reached. Again, the guitar is quite dynamic and the guitar is supported well. At 13 minutes, the vocals return with a return to the original melody and then a more progressive feel brings in the keys and soon the guitar and they work interchangeably on creating some heavy textures. The original guitar theme returns, much slower this time as it brings in a final chorus and a surprise sax solo in the last minute.

The 6-part suite comes next. It is entitled "The Human Element" and starts off with the piano led "All We Know". The vocals come in softly around the 1st minute. A soft percussive effect and sustained synths soon back up the piano and voice. When the vocals end, a flute comes in and brings in a countdown and the beginning of "Lift Off". The full band comes in now for this instrumental section and the guitar takes over with a theme and embellishments. Soon things get quite progressive, the mood gets a bit chaotic for a moment and then guitar, synth and the chorus provide a great amount of dark drama. The beat solidifies and a heavy section follows. Things slow to a moderate beat and a variation of the theme comes in with a stately sound and then quiets down to bring in the 3rd part of the suite, the 12 minutes "Echoes of a Greater Mind". Acoustic guitar and vocals make things more melodic. Harmonized layered vocals and whispering soon intensifies bringing in more vocals, then a nice guitar interlude. After another vocal section, the music starts to build some tension with a repeating guitar arpeggio and drumming. Things turn heavy as layers of synth join the guitars. A new theme appears in the vocals after this. Another instrumental break goes into a solid driving rhythm and heavy guitars and organ. A return to the original theme of the section brings everything back down to a softer sound which intensifies once again bringing it all to a climatic, and symonphic finish before eventually going into the next section.

Part IV of the suite is "Starprism" which is another instrumental section. It is led by a pensive piano and soft synth. Very nice. "Orbit/Catch" is the fifth section. Acoustic guitar takes the place of the piano and soft vocals come in quickly. Towards the middle of the section, the music builds emotionally and a flute joins in with the rest of the band. The guitar takes it's turn with this ballad-style section. Things mellow out again after a while and the solo piano and vocals return. The last section is "A Light from Home", yet another instrumental section (mostly instrumental anyway), this time with the full band taking things home, the choir joins in and then the return to the main theme in the vocals for one more chorus. Then things quiet down and piano and a field recording. Drums and bass with synth effects create a bit of a chaotic ending to it all.

The last track is a bonus track available on Bandcamp. It is a cover of Bowie's "Space Oddity". This flows in from a guitar that emerges from the chaos of the previous track, and Victoria's vocals come in singing a faithful rendition of the melody. The nice surprise is the harmony that comes in later with the atmospheric guitar and piano. Later, sustained synths bring in the rest of the band. The cover is well done and a fitting ending to this excellent album.

Since I hadn't really heard anything previously from this band, and seeing this is only the 2nd album after all this time, I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't expect something this excellent, though. The production is excellent and the musicianship is top-notch. I would imagine that the amount of time between albums is probably due to getting everything right, because it sounds like they worked hard to perfect this album, and it works quite well in the end. The music is mostly quite melodic with returns to the main themes often to help tie things together. There are a few places where the music gets surprisingly complex, however, these parts are kept short with a quick resolution. The compositional structure at times follows the basic standard structure, but there is enough progressiveness in here to keep us all happy. The only thing really keeping this from a five star affair is the reserved use of experimental and complexities, but for a lot of people that is a rather minor issue. This album is definitely excellent, not quite essential status, but great nonetheless and much better than expected.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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