Once in a while, an album arrives that is both completely unknown to me as well as very impressive. For me, this is one of the reasons I am writing reviews; to discover new bands and albums that out of the blue surprise me. As did Glass Mind, a young band from Mexico that was formed as an instrumental progressive metal band in 2005 by guitarist Benjamin Berthier and drummer Edgar Garduno. Both 14 and 16 years old at that time. Not much later bass player Michel Villamor and guitarist Pablo Berthier joined the band, completing the line-up.
Glass Mind already released the album Haunting Regrets in 2008 in their homeland. Three years later the same album was rereleased, this time with the addition of a guest vocalist. Later, in 2014 the band was chosen by Mike Portnoy to participate on the Progressive Nation at Sea festival of that year. Also in the same year the band decided to return to the instrumental format and started working on the album Dodecaedro, which is now released on the Rockshots label.
Dodecaedro is a very strong album, lots of variation and has nice smooth interludes in between the “real” compositions. So is Caliente a nice guitar driven track and Húmedo a much more chaotic soundscape. Frío is a smooth piano part and Seco is a kind of Fripperotic part. The remaining five tracks are real strong compositions, that fuse Animals As Leaders style of playing with heavy fusion elements and as well as metal, delicate traditional music. Babel is the opener; lots of powerful riffs and djenty parts alongside smooth fusion, slow played chords and nice melodies. Some parts remind me of Planet X or Virgil Donati's solo work. Nice technical music that impresses. Less heavy is Fu, where the guitars take the detour towards the fusion side of the music. Although the riffs are in the AAL and Scale The Summit vein, the melodies are more jazzy and create a very fine outcome. Inside The Whale is more epical, fine guitar lines occasional whale sounds can be heard; all reproduced on guitar off course. Detritus kicks in hard, but gently loses on power, turning to an almost middle of the road instrumental track. But in this track the guitar solos are the most furious of the whole album, so this track does set you on the wrong foot. The final track is the title track and is a mid-tempo track with subtle post rock hunches and a dominant bass. A nice way to end the album.
Glass Mind created with Dodecaedro a solid and surprisingly good album. The short interludes work really well alongside the more powerful tracks, creating a coherent album. These young musicians are on the verge of a major breakthrough. The album is definitely good enough to be picked up by AAL and STS fans, although the heavy fusion aficionado also should take a listen to this album.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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