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Track List: 1. The Neverending Meal 4:43 2. High Meanings 3:23 3. A Bridge Beyond the Hill 5:31 4. Mindflow 2:21 5. Magic Riddles Suite 19:13 6. Before the Walklight 2:03 7. Walklight 3:52 8. Mindfloater 2:24 9. The Bridge Beyond the Hill 2:21 10. In a Lightbox 5:32 All music: by Mindflower. All lyrics: by F. Antonelli. Line-up: Fabio Antonelli - guitars Fabrizio Defacqz - keyboards; vocals Alberto Callegari - bassess Corrado Bertonazzi - drums With: Micaela Gotelli - vocals Produced by A. Callegari. Engineered by A. Callegari at "Allelfo" studio, Italy.
Preamble. "Mindfloater" is the debut album by the Italian band Mindflower. This is a concept album, and all the lyrics here are in English.
The Album. As well as in the case of most CDs released by Mellow Records at the end of 2002, Mindflower's "Mindfloater" is compositionally a highly original and very tasteful album of a moderate complexity. Stylistically however, this is a very motley album. The music on The Neverending Meal and A Bridge Beyond the Hill (1 & 3) represents a high-quality Progressive Doom-Metal with elements of Symphonic Art-Rock. The 'side-long' epic Magic Riddles Suite is about a blend of both of the said genres, and on High Meanings (2), is presented Modern Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Prog-Metal. All of the other compositions on the album are free from heavy elements at all. In a Lightbox (10), which is the only accessible song here, is entirely about an electronically symphonic Space Rock. The musical textures of Walklight (7) are of a 'double' origin, and the arrangements that are typical for a vintage Classic Symphonic Art-Rock are here intermixed with those of Modern Symphonic Progressive. One of the two instrumentals on the album, Mindfloater, represents that kind of 'classical', acoustic guitar-based pieces which we love since their appearance in the very beginning of the 1970s - on such masterworks of the genre as Yes's "Fragile", for instance. Both of Mindflow and The Bridge Beyond the Hill (4 & 9) are of the same story overall, though there also are a few of the vocal parts on them. The remaining track, Before the Walklight, is another instrumental on the album, which, musically, is nothing else but the Classical Music-like piece. As you see, the music on "Mindfloater" is really far from a stylistic uniformity. But does it really matter if the stylistic inconsistency of the album doesn't have an affect on the overall musical palette of it at all? Certainly not. Especially since all of this is above all due to the high originality of everything that is presented on "Mindfloater", which, moreover, is raised to the power of compositional and performance talents of all of the band members, without exceptions. Putting the final touches to the musical picture of this album, I'd like to say that all of the heavy arrangements on the album have quite a notable gothic feel to them. The female vocals are present only in the very beginning of Mindflow (4) and at the end of the album's closing track, In a Lightbox, and backing vocals - on Walklight (7). The keyboardist and the lead vocalist of Mindflower, Fabrizio Defacqz, is a real chameleon, who is equally capable to sing low and other notes. (Purely instrumental arrangements though, cover about two thirds of each song on the CD.) Finally, with regards to the keyboards: while synthesizers rule on the heavy compositions on the album, as well as on the last track of it (the spacey Lightbox), the Hammond-like organ and piano play a prominent role in the arrangements on the other tracks.
Summary. As always, I consider originality the main trump of any kind of music, though, of course, it's especially topical with regard to progressive music. In that way, even though I find that it was unnecessary to include in the album (rather, to add to it) that long spacey outro, presented as being in a Lightbox, "Mindfloater" is undoubtedly worthy of a status of masterpiece. And the creative future of Mindflower should, to all appearances, be radiant.
VM: February 17, 2003
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