Mindguard - Out of the dark 3.5/5
2. Out of the dark
3. Edge of eternity
Mindguard is an obscure band from Germany that, simply put, needs a lot more recognition and could appeal to many of you. Their full-length debut 'Out of the dark' is heavy/power metal, but with a hint of the progressive side and is far from generic. It's plenty heavy, somewhat dark at times, with both slower and faster moments, and I've found much of the CD's tempo/pace to be in line with Machine Men, but there are some parts of the CD that bring Katagory V to mind. I realize Machine Men and Katagory V are quite different from each other, but really, Mindguard probably sits somewhere in the middle of these 2 bands.
Vocally, Stefan Ferrara has a terrific voice and is similar to Toni Parviainen from Machine Men, but Stefan is not as distinguishable. Comparing the 2 bands further; Machine Men is a bit more upbeat and is all about songs with simple rhythms and memorable choruses (for the most part), while Mindguard seems to focus a little more on the arrangements, thus bringing the Katagory V comparison back to mind. Still, Mindguard offers up some memorable songs and sing-a-long choruses can definitely be found on 'Out of the dark'. Track 3 "Edge of eternity" (which has a really cool guitar solo!), track 5 "Mindguard" and track 8 "Blinded" will surely have Machine Men fans very pleased.
For the listeners that desire a few unexpected turns and a little variety though, it's some of the excellent arrangements/song structures that will make 'Out of the dark' a worthwhile listen. The final track "Destiny", for example, really takes the listener on a musical ride, offering up slower moments, both soft and soaring vocals, uptempo parts with crunchy guitar work, and all wrapped up is quite a composition. This song, along with a few others (track 7 "Remember" is another good example), will have fans of Katagory V's amazing 'The rising anger' more than impressed.
In the end, Mindguard's combination of somewhat different songwriting styles is what makes them special. Sometimes I need the upbeat tempos and memorable choruses that bands like Machine Men offer, while other times I prefer my mind wandering through a maze of the more complex songs from bands like Katagory V. Mindguard blends these 2 styles very well and as for overall quality, 'Out of the dark' is a consistently great CD and fans of the mentioned bands/styles are urged to check it out. A nice start for the band and I hope they stick around, as I'd be curious to hear a 2nd CD from them.
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