Review: MindMaze – Resolve

634046Written by David Kerber

Three years after the last full length album and two years after their first EP, American power metal outfit power metallers MindMaze present their most ambitious work to date with Resolve – a concept album based about profound personal struggles, loss and other highly human emotions.

As a long-time fan of the first hour, I was really looking forward to the album, only to be a bit helpless after the first listening. Even in the second and third listen, the spark somehow did not want to skip, although I am accustomed to bulky, not easily digestible music. There is no real hit (of course, as with many other concept albums), since the overall work of art is in the foreground.

While the band is not lacking in skill, as there is plenty of it, the album fails with its execution of the concept element, which makes for bit of a headache. Without the appropriate and gripping music it is, at least for me, difficult to deal with the texts in detail and to grasp their meaning, since the listening pleasure is considerably diminished. The album soured my expectations with a real overuse of the similar riffs, a lack of noteworthy melodies, constant, and often rather inappropriate, tempo changes and uninspired guitar solos. All of this comes together to provide a collection of songs that lack depth. On the positive side, this refers only to composition and song structure; the vocal technique utilized by Sarah Teets sublime, but even her amazing vocals couldn’t save the album.

It seems as if this young band has boiled the ocean with this concept album. Maybe it was much, too early at this point in their career. They’re only on their third album, so I have faith they’ll gain some more experience in composing by the next release. However, with Resolve there’s much to be desired since it doesn’t really go beyond simple approaches to their brand of power metal. But like I said, I think they can do better, so I’ll be waiting for the next release. 4/10

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