MIND MAZE - MASK OF LIES (Independent)
(Review by Officer Nice)
From Pennsylvania I’d like to represent you a band called Mind Maze. Before this band was called Necromance, making an EP public in 2009. For this release the band asked some friends to join and so we see that John Gaffney (Sinister Realm) and Lord Tim (Lord, Dungeon) lend their talent. I suppose that makes it clear that Mind Maze is a traditional Heavy Metal band, influenced by the old school bands.
Mind Maze is fronted by a girl that listens to the name of Sarah Teets and I suppose Jeff Teets (guitars) is her brother. As far as I notice this man is also the main song writer. An awesome front cover should maintain the attention of the common Metal fan and for a private pressing this is a good creation. The production is good, the total product looks professional.
Musical wise Min Maze stands indeed for traditional Heavy Metal and if you like female vocals this release should get your interest. Sarah Teets contains a good vocal sound and fits a long row of female vocalists. As I wrote before I prefer in Metal male vocals because men in Metal are able to vary their voice in a better way and have more often something unique in their timbre. No, I’m no sexist nor am I a gay, it’s just a personal point of view. Besides Metal I know plenty of women that have a ‘one of a kind’ voice, in Heavy Metal it is harder to find them, too many ‘look-a-likes’ and this singer fits that picture as well. I suppose it’s easier to recognize a Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, Jorn Lande, John Cyriis, James Rivera or for example Rob Halford than tons of women who are playing a leading role in a Metal band. I hope nobody will misunderstand what I am trying to say here, these are not bad critics! This girl really contains a good clear voice and pleased me in the middle part of the track “This holy war”, where she does things I am longing for in Metal.
This is by the way one of the best songs on this album, contains everything a good Heavy Metal track demands, including some fantastic sounding leads, great samples in the background and it contains a cool bombastic atmosphere. Also “Mask Of Lies”, the long during “Dark City (Dreaming This Life)” and the more epic “Destiny Calls” are worth checking this band out. Okay, the band doesn’t innovate our genre but some excellent musicianship can be heard.
Talking about the song writing I must admit that Mind Maze did a great job with their instrumental song. The band knows how to weave hard hitting riffs with acoustic parts, how to add some great played keyboards into it, I’m impressed. Jeff Teets proves how talented he is right here and I must say it was a long time ago I heard such a good instrumental one. Also on the rest of this record (“Dark City” for example) you will discover this man’s skills, touching the sentiments of the listener. Another example of good song writing is “Remember”, a great ballad. I confess Sarah Teets really sounds fantastic on this track!
“Mask Of Lies” is a good Heavy Metal album in which good song writing is the red line. This band stays true all the way with good compositions and overgrows lots of ‘middle of the road’ bands, especially thanks to the great guitars that can be discovered. It’s a band that I will keep my eyes on in the future, hoping for them they will find a good label. Fans of female fronted melodic Heavy Metal with attention for good guitar works should surf to http://www.mindmazeband.com .
My Points : 80 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & classic ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 89: Decent but better to take a preview first
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard