Mind's Eye - Walking On h2o
The Swedish band Mind's Eye was founded 1992 under the moniker Afterglow when Daniel Flores (drums and keyboards) and Johan Niemann (bass) met guitarist Fredrik Grünberger. After recording a self-produced promotion CD the band changed their name to Mind's Eye and in 1998 they finally released their debut album Into The Unknown. Fourteen years later the band is about to release their fourth album and this is the first one to reach my ears. Some of you might recognize the name Niemann since Johan and his brother Kristian are members of Therion. The main songwriter Daniel Flores is a full time session musician with an impressive list of where he has made contributions. The vocalist Andreas Novak released his first solo album 2004 which received great response around the world.
Walking On h2o are an ambitious concept album that deals with subjects as human evolution, religion, earth pollution, unexplained phenomena etc. This fits perfectly well with their brand of progressive rock with its intricate melodies and fantastic musicianship. The song structures are a bit complex but always extremely accessible with the melodies in focus. The arrangements are very well balanced and it feels like every single note has its purpose and meaning. I really liked the album from the very beginning but I could never imagine that it would turn out this good after several spins.
After the usual intro the album starts with the catchy A Rabbit In The Hat, a song that deals with the question if the moon landing actually took place or not, and what an opener that is! Equally Immortal starts very calm with tasteful guitar work and beautiful vocals and when the great chorus sets in the time machine has instantly brought us 30 years back in time. Despite this fantastic start the peaks of this album are still to come. Sahara In An Hourglass is, despite the competition, my favourite composition and I can tell you that every single time I hear this song I get goose bumps all over. Just as the title suggests we have now travelled to the Far East and the track has every ingredient to be genre classic. When you're already breathless after the aforementioned track, the melodic and straight forward Sacred Rules explodes in your face, and still we haven't mentioned the absolutely marvellous 11 minute closer Poseidon Says.
Well, this is nothing but a masterpiece my friends. Sure, I get to hear a lot of fantastic records every now and then but it was a long time since an album touched me as deeply as this one did. Despite the fact that I've got a heap of new albums just waiting, Walking On h2o must have its daily spin to make me fully satisfied. This must be considered as a must buy for everyone who's into the progressive genre but I believe that Mind's Eye also have an audience beyond that. I would say that if you have an open mind, love melodies and great musicianship this might be worth checking out.
What a fantastic way to start this year. I wouldn't be too surprised if Walking On h2o will be found at the very top of my personal list when 2006 will be looked back upon. Well done guys!
By Song Commentary