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Mindgames Actors In A Play album cover
3.94 | 104 ratings | 12 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Benefit Of Anxiety (09:03)
2. Dramatis Persona (10:05)
3. The Statue (16:29)
4. Sagittarius (06:47)
5. Royalty In Jeopardy (11:53)
6. Both Sides Of The Show (12:35)

Total Time: 66:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Bart Schram / lead & backing vocals, 6- & 12-string acoustic guitars, recorder
- Rudy Vander Veken / lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars
- Tom Truyers / piano, synths, Hammond
- Eric Vandormael / bass, bass pedals
- Benny Petak / drums, percussion

- Ilse De Knop / flute (2)

Releases information

Artwork: Harbinger Design

CD self-released ‎- MIND002 (2006, Belgium)

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and to Quinino for the last updates
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MINDGAMES Actors In A Play ratings distribution

(104 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MINDGAMES Actors In A Play reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars Three years after their debut CD International Daylight here is the new album Actors In A Play by the Belgian five-piece band Mindgames. They don't sound very original and the vocals will not be everybody's cup of tea (a bit high pitched and an obvious accent). But in general Mindgames makes very pleasant and dynamic prog: the six compositions are tastefully arranged featuring lots of shifting moods and strong soli on guitar and keyboards. The music contains lots of captivating moments: sumptuous parts with sensational synthesizer flights and fiery electric guitar soli, a majestic church organ intro followed by howling guitar work, wonderful mellow climates with twanging acoustic guitar, flute and soaring keyboards and great interplay between guitar and keyboards. If you love bands like Genesis, Marillion, IQ and Clepsydra, this CD deserves a chance. Good work, neighbours!
Review by Menswear
3 stars Homogenic blend of Néo.

The only band from Belgium that I knew before Mindgames was Hooverphonic. They're absolutely not musically alike but they share at least one thing: the strong desire to please with savoir-faire.

Mindgames will maybe not reach the clouds in the progressive skyline dominated these days by Dream Theater, Riverside, Pallas and Arena, but they've done a very nice job with Actors in a Play. They wanted to go in the most saturated section of progressive rock: Néo. So many bands are trying to be the new IQ or the latest Marillion clone; not forgetting the departure of Arena from that section, towarding the harder edges of metal. So yes, the néo prog section is filled with wannabes and neverwas, all showing their affection for their long lost heroes. Mindgames sounds very Néo progressive with the usual keyboard sounds, low profile rythm section and Rothery guitars. What' new then?

Despite all the common Néo ingredients, in many occasions Actors in a Play sounds a tad more exciting than the average Néo band (Everon, Illuvatar, Violet District or Red Sand). The tendecy is more on the symphonic side, with deeper melodies, meditated arrangements.

For 2006, I place this one with the good surprises of the Néo genre. Too bad there's too few of them.

Review by Prog-jester

Freshly sounding melodic New Symphonic Prog from Belgium - this what MINDGAMES is!!! Deeply inlfuenced by IQ and YES,complex but very melodical epics are supplied with emotional singing and very good lyrics.This is the BEST Neo effort I heard this year,and it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to all Neo/New Symphonic Prog fans!!!If you're longing for a mature music,throw away all the copycats and clones - MINGAMES have their own way of playing the Progressive Rock!!!Must NOT be missed!!!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Actors In A Play shows a vastly improvement over their debut three years before. Everything that album hinted and promised is fulfilled here. The songwriting is much more mature and developed than on International Daylight. Also the band is much more focused and tight. The only controvertial point are the vocals: Bart Schram has a high pitched voice that seems to be a mix of Geddy Lee (Rush), Aloisio Maggini (Clepsydra) and Jon Anderson (Yes). His vocal technique also evolved since their start, but clearly not for everyone´s taste. In my case, I think it works well for this kind of music.

Their music is a fine mix of symphonic prog (Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd), neo prog and some heavy elements (the influence of Rush is evident). The result is a very pleasant music, creative and appealing. there are no fillers and the six long compositions are quite uniform, with very few lows and lots of highs The musicanchip is excellent: all the guys in the band are skillful and the arrangements are very tasteful. And the right production only enhances their qualities. Nothing too original but very well done and the band is surely on its way to build up a very own sound if they keep developing this way.

My rating: something between 3,5 to four stars. I´ll round up to four this time because they did their homework. If you like melodic symphonic prog, or neo prog in general, this CD is recommended. I´m looking forward to hear their next releases.

Review by b_olariu
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.
Review by Warthur
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.
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.

Latest members reviews

5 stars In the realm of all the current bands, Mindgames shines as a remarkably talented neo-prog band. While their influences, including IQ, Pallas, Pendragon, and Marillion, are evident, they skillfully craft their own unique sound. They maintain this originality in their compositions, delivering strong i ... (read more)

Report this review (#3025119) | Posted by Mspy1 | Sunday, February 25, 2024 | Review Permanlink

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, b ... (read more)

Report this review (#1010372) | Posted by maryes | Saturday, August 3, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is rare to see a progressive rock band to come from Belgium, and it begins with curiosity as this album. Quickly you will note the similarity of Mindgames with Pendragon, IQ.but that's music,sometimes is inspired by the past, that does not mean that this album is entirely a copy of the previou ... (read more)

Report this review (#221464) | Posted by JgX 5 | Tuesday, June 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I was astonished when I first heard this record. Though many influences can be found on this CD, the approach of the compositions are very original and Mindgames seem to have their own sound. The lyrics are profound and brought with a dramatic touch to emphasize the emotional parts. This is ... (read more)

Report this review (#89818) | Posted by | Saturday, September 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Second effort from this belgian prog band 3 years after "International Daylight". "Actors In A Play" is a good prog album full of synthetizer. The singer's voice is absolutely amazing ! It tastes a bit this one of John Watts from Fisher Z. Their music is bright and cheerful. ... (read more)

Report this review (#80719) | Posted by BronDune | Thursday, June 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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