Lion Music / Out Now
One of two hot releases this month from Lion Music. Mindsplit are a progressive/hard rock band featuring veterans of the Scandinavian metal scene in guitarist Matthias Holm and vocalist H.B. Anderson, the pair began writing and recording together after a collaboration in the late 80’s. When the music was taking shape bassist Conny Payne (Madison) joined along with sessions musicians – drummer Jon Skäre and keyboardist Jonas Lidström.
This new collaboration turned into a whole different ballgame though when H.B. found his great old, old grandfather Xerxes Anderson’s Artificial Universe (a.k.a. Prof. Xandau 1807 ~ 1851) notes from his therapy sessions. The promo blurb states Prof. Xandau was a much respected therapist during the first half of 19th century and had his sessions all over the world based in both Europe and the U.S. These notes are the solid ground to this project and are used to tell a true story about psychological thoughts and human behaviours… so why not build a concept release around it?
Musically this is top notch as you would expect from Lion Music. But the band do entertain influences outside the expected prog metal leanings such as the acoustic eastern quasi Zeppelin feel of “The Traveller” and haunting nylon guitar and dark vocal lullaby of “Elsewhere?”. Mathias Holm proves himself to be a master of guitar with interesting riffs and highly proficient lead work which reek of his own style, the guy can play make no bones about it. Vocalist H.B. Anderson is as far away from the norm you expect in this style with an original vocal style that is nearer to say Jon Oliva than James LaBrie or Russell Allen. This is a refreshing change and certainly helps further the bands own sound. It might be a vocal that might be a little hard to immediately enjoy but give it time and you will hear how well suited it is to the almost theatrical quality of the music on offer. Highlight come in the guise of the epic tracks “Dream Another Dream pt.1”, “Battle Of The Mind”, the single “NMe – Myself and I” and “Silver Lining”.
“C.H.A.O.S.” is by no means an immediate album but a grower and one that will reward with each new listening experience. Superb musicianship combine with excellent songcraft and a superb production. A very fine debut indeed.
Hot Spots : Dream Another Dream Pt.1; The Traveller; Battle Of The Mind; Silver Lining.
Rating : 90%