Do you know what the best part of running a webzine is?
It definitely is reviewing an album with which you instantly fell in love!
Goosebumps all the way… It is doubly a feast at your favourite restaurant if you get a hold of the band members and they turn out to be great, nice, kind people… Oh such pleasure! English language does not have the words for it. None of the languages I know do for that matter.
Anyway, let’s get down to business.
Rebel Mind is a very powerful and technically impressive progressive metal album with some fantastic song-writing, grand production, brilliant vocal melodies, soulful instrumental sections, deep complexity and euphoric moments all throughout. This awesome début is a journey of pure musical bliss that takes you to technically and emotionally vibrant territories.
I’m not exaggerating; this album is one of the best things that happened to me this year. My observation is that they quickly found their place in the prog-metal scene right next to the big ones up there!
I have given it a lot listens even before I decided to review this album and my favourite tracks changed at every spin… I think we all know what that means… Yes it’s a testament to how many gems there are in this album…You know it gets really hard to pick a favourite.
These tight bunch apparently used my favourite formula in this album:
proggy + heavy + melodic + technical + emotional = WIN!
Hence the enthusiasm…
I couldn’t find any misses in this album.. seriously it hit me hard…
On to the songs
Delusions is a hell of an opener. It starts at a very tasty tempo with the drums and guitars and a pinch of keys. We already have a taste of what’s to come…. The moment Jonny chimes in with his amazing voice, the most harmonious and tastiest of sounds emerge… Eumeria sound! The first time you hear Jonny hit a high note, you’ll definitely go whoa! Just perfect! Lyrics are very good and very well delivered. When he goes “don’t give a damn about you” you instantly side with him and start hating to whomever he is referring in the song! Very powerful elocution! Serious goosebumps! As a personal side, that line is the hallmark of the track for me – it builds up to a good sense of climax. Some epic riffs at about 2:20 minute mark follow… But mind you, those are only an introduction before the brilliant instrumental feast with the sizzling bass-work, impossible keys and the awesome unison section which I personally love! And that killer line again… What kind of sorcery is this?!
Rebel Mind is a tightly arranged, melodic-as-hell, and extremely catchy tune… It is like a showcase (in a good way) of what the band members can do – I must have listened to it a million times! (I know it would mean I’d be a time traveller from 10 years ahead… sue me). It is still very impressive… Again, what kind of sorcery is this?? I don’t know where to begin… The out-of-this-earth guitars? The I-am-stumped-as-to-where-these-are-from keys? Technical and emotional capacity of the vocals? I am not that good an author as to be able to convey the beauty of this tune, sadly… It’s perfectly arranged and mixed as well… Seriously, It’s an example of how a catchy proggy song should be structured…
The keys halfway through the tune is so powerful that my head exploding was accompanied by my admiration of Bobby reaching its zenith.
I reckon they know of all these and so shot the first video for this song – it is a deft move since the song is what you want to listen to if you are looking for a good sample that can tell as much to you as possible about the band. The song is just brilliant from start to its end at 7:05 mark and it has just the perfect length. But right at this point I’d like say that I am expecting some epics from these guys as well… Just saying 🙂
A personal side note here: the title track struck me hard the first time I listened to it but I am not alone since I made a very long list of prog-head friends on various social media platforms thanks to it! What brought us together was nothing more than the brilliance of the song and our immediately developed fandom. /fangirlism
In brief, it’s a masterpiece which keeps growing on you… Sometimes it’s the opening riff, sometimes it’s the guitar or keys solos, sometimes it’s the very catchy chorus and the epic delivery, sometimes it’s Kevin’s unbelievable drumming or Shawn’s aggressive bass lines… But every time, it’s a blissful seven minutes!
Father… Ha! You know it is a tough job to make me like a ballad. But something in this one touched me… Keys kick the song off and the song has a soft and brooding air about it. Jonny is ridiculously talented in inducing emotions – sadness, in this case. If you follow my work you know this is something I actively seek in music. Keys at around 3 minute mark is absolutely amazing… I think Bobby is going to be up there with the prog key legends.
The feeling of sadness, great vocals, great lyrics – all work perfectly. I believe they were not concerned about making this song flashy at all; they are storytellers of great calibre and here, they just put together masterfully what is needed for the best telling of the story.
Tides starts off with an uplifting vibe and then shredding guitars and drums join in. After the first minute, the song turns into a dark and atmospheric ballad with killer riffs. Seriously, very impressive riffs. Then the track builds up into something else again sneakily – which means that I probably need to stop trying to classify it. The vocals at 2:39 mark are brilliant – and yes, I am talking about a two second bit of vocals and it is a detail very worthy of mentioning. It gets heavy and wild at the 3 minute mark and about a minute later keys and guitars solos in succession are awesome! Once again, it is clear that we are listening to a very talented bunch.
In their awesomeness, they take you through a journey full of different vibes and emotions.
All those jarring sections shake you emotionally. We have Jonny screaming, then cooling down. The contrast is compelling. I love the idea… Awesomeness!
The Key is another awesome song… Heavy and fast as hell… Very aggressive riffs and then nice mellow bridge followed by the an awesome instrumentation where Reece is stealing the song for a while with a wild, I mean wild solo section before Jon chiming in with his powerful singing and lyrics… “Out of the circle I walk alone.. Drive this fiction from every home”
As the end of the album nears, Dreaming of Death owns me at the first second with the heavy intro… The riff at the 1 minute mark… Oh my god. My anticipation builds up in the background… Nothing lets me down… a proper prog-metal track…
The song is chuck full of technical expertise – it is impossible to break down the intensity of brilliance.
The tune calms down before leaving you as if bowing its head to the closing track in respect. Truly awe inspiring.
And finally the closing tune, Secret Places… This is one of the best closing I’ve seen in a good while. The tune has very good distorted guitar riffs and near the end of the first minute mark, a very catchy chorus that utilises Jon’s voice range quite expertly kicks off. The beautiful bridge afterwards adds to the awesomeness and the song compels you to listen to the whole thing in an enchanted state without losing anything from its tempo. Instrument work is brilliant with heavenly guitar melodies. After the two minute mark, Jonny’s screams blend in with the shredding guitars before the beautifully done key work accompanied by some heavy drumming. And you will hear some very good melodies until it ends with the awesome chorus.
The whole tune is a thing of beauty without any exceptions among sections. Such a brilliant way to close an album, it is pure genius!
Yeah you must have already figured that I fell in love with Jon’s stellar range. The fact that he used to play the drums and the keys and then (to our absolute delight as prog-heads) switched to vocals makes him a very well rounded musician. Of course, this shows on his vocal performance. You know those who played other instruments and switched to vocals are traditionally good at it (*cough* Labrie and drums *cough*).
The members, without exception, are stellar musicians. You will see this when you listen to the album.
As a final note guys, I think this album is essential for every prog-library… Don’t miss out.
I rate this album at 5/5!
Jonny Tatum – Vocals
Reece Fullwood – Guitar
Bobby Williamson – Keyboards (formerly of OUTWORLD)
Kevin Bartlett – Drums
Shawn Kascak – Bass ( formerly of OUTWORLD)